A toxic workplace can cover such a broad range of physical environments and human behaviours, that for the most we don’t realise we are operating in it.
Quite often business owners and managers don’t notice there is a problem until it’s much too late and that can cause a catastrophic result of low morale, flatlining productivity, and employee retention issues, with a result of little or no business success.
This situation must be avoided at all costs and here is what to look out for:
“Banter” is that all it is?
One of the possible elements of a toxic culture is how your employees behave.
Bullying and harassment always create a distressing working environment but remember this can sometimes take a subtler form; an aggressive behaviour that crosses the line but gets shrugged off as “banter.”
Always make sure you have a zero-tolerance approach to bullying and harassment, and make sure you have robust policies in place that explain your company’s position on these matters. It is also essential that you have reliable grievance procedures in place so you can address complaints seriously and professionally.
Just busy… or drowning?
Unrealistic expectations, big workloads and pressure from business owners and managers can all be root causes of a toxic culture.
You need to combat this by reviewing your team’s to-do lists and sharing the work out equally. Make sure you watch out and encourage employees that seem to be struggling and give them the support they need. Reducing extreme workloads gives you a good chance of keeping employee stress levels low and productivity high.
Make sure that you are proactive in taking steps to avoid a toxic culture ever developing by creating a happy and positive working environment.
Remember it doesn’t always take or cost a lot to boost morale, perks like sweet treats, a team meal, or maybe even financial incentives for top-performing employees.
Supporting the physical and mental wellbeing of your employees is vitally important, making sure your company has policies outlining what support will be offered during times of ill health is essential for your company handbook.
Why not consider offering sick pay or even give your employees access to an employee assistance programme (EAP) which can offer health and wellbeing support either in person or over the phone or online.
If you look out for these signs you will be on the right road to avoiding a toxic workplace culture and the outcome? You keep your business, and your people in a happier, healthier, and more productive situation. If you need any HR help or advice on workplace culture, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.