How to Fix a Toxic Work Culture

How to Fix a Toxic Work Culture

A healthy workplace is conducive to improved work and fosters cooperation between employees. It incentivizes productivity and encourages healthy competition that does not sacrifice teamwork. This type of workplace helps employees grow and develop great professional relationships with their colleagues.

What’s a Toxic Workplace Like?

A toxic workplace is a suffocating environment. It limits growth and breeds cut-throat competition. According to research, 58% of workers quit their job because of toxic workplace cultures. Look out for the following signs to know that your workplace is getting toxic:

  • Reduced enthusiasm among employees.
  • Everyone is too afraid to make mistakes.
  • There is no clear definition of the employees’ respective roles and responsibilities.
  • There is too much drama, gossip, and bullying.
  • Talented people leave too early, too often.

How Can You Fix This?

A toxic workplace is often the result of bad leadership. It stems from the failure of noticing the symptoms, lack of action, and lack of enforcement of workplace rules. As a leader, you can fix this by taking the following steps:

  1. Be responsible

Avoid playing the blame game and explore how your behavior has caused issues or misunderstandings. See to it that you recognize your lapses and mistakes. It pays to show humility and understanding towards your employees and colleagues. Owning up to your errors and taking the right steps to correct them is a great way to lead by example.

  1. Communicate

Talk to your employees and discover factors that could be causing tension in your team. Remember to listen with compassion and do not undermine any concern. Communication is a good way to learn what is going on in your workplace and understand the underlying issues contributing to its toxicity.

  1. Be observant

Observe the workplace to validate what you have learned from your employees. Watch out for signs of control, oppression, and isolation. This will help you identify the bad eggs, the victims, and the solutions to resolve or, at least, keep these issues from escalating while you formulate a detox plan.

  1. Rebuild security in the workplace

Explain office policies clearly and ensure that rules — especially those concerning unpleasant behavior — are duly enforced. Be open about it and make sure that everyone adheres to the rules laid out. Keep listening to concerns to alleviate office anxiety and rebuild confidence and a sense of security in the workplace.

  1. Encourage everyone to participate

Everyone should be on board in the workplace detox. Keep your ears open to feedback and keep the table open for discussion. A toxic workplace has so much to improve on, and achieving a positive work culture is only possible if everyone participates in fixing it. Making employees feel valued and respected is a sure way to boost morale, improve cooperation, and restore workplace confidence.

  1. Take action

Implement reforms based on your observations, fix inadequacies of your existing policies, and action employee feedback. Lack of effective action plans may discourage workers who took time to talk to you about their concerns. This might result in employees losing confidence in the company.

Toxicity in the workplace can be dealt with by responsible leadership. Neglecting the symptoms or failing to treat the office dysfunction can lead to something worse such as lower productivity rates, an increase in attrition rate, poor-quality outputs, and so on. This is why managers have to work hard in promoting a positive work culture for the benefit of the whole organization. 

About Sam P

EnterpriseZone Staff Writer

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