The COVID-19 pandemic has added an entirely new stress level to workplace environments. Employees are often grappling with increased measures to stay healthy, new work guidelines or policies, plus whatever added responsibilities they are experiencing at home. This and other challenges can sometimes lead to the creation of a toxic workplace. A toxic workplace can drain a team’s energy both at the workplace and in their personal lives and can limit an organization’s ability to grow and scale. Keep reading to learn how to identify a toxic work environment and receive solutions to protect your team’s energy better and enhance productivity and achieve the mission and goals for your company.
Overcome Poor Communication
One of the leading causes of a toxic workplace is poor communication. When we fail to communicate clear expectations or guidelines to our team, it can build resentment over time. Some examples of poor communication include passive-aggressive conversations, not listening to your employees’ needs, lack of clarity around projects, unclear deadlines, and communicating different messages to employees. Proper communication should always be a top priority, and here are a few solutions to consider:
- Create a safe space that encourages the team to share their perspectives and recommendations.
- Engage in active listening and be present during meetings.
- Gain insights about different communication styles and know them for your team.
- Use respectful body language and observe that of others.
- Facilitate weekly team meetings and be available for periodic one-to-one discussions.
- Share positive and growth-oriented mentoring.
- Be clear about each person’s role and responsibilities.
- Measure and evaluate progress by implementing work plans for ongoing reporting that include action items, responsible parties, timelines, challenges, and solutions.
Replace Cliques and Gossip in Workplace with Belonging
A workplace should never feel like you’re back in high school. While it’s natural to form friendships within the office, we all know what a clique looks like and how damaging they can be to those who are excluded. Cliques and gossip should never be allowed in a workplace, so if you notice anything forming, it’s important to nip it in the bud early in a constructive manner. A few solutions to consider:
- Ensure the team understands the organization’s strategic goals and their associated roles and responsibilities, collectively and individually.
- Confirm the team has access to the resources and tools they need to be high performers and productive.
- Create and implement a Diversity/Equity/Inclusion/Belonging system and policy and provide onboarding for the team.
- Provide an ongoing strategy for soft skills professional development to include unconscious bias, microaggressions and microaffirmations, emotional intelligence, cross-cultural awareness, multigenerations in the workplace, and collaboration.
- Provide safe spaces for employees to share ideas, opportunities, and concerns.
- Conduct employee pulse and engagement surveys to proactively gain insights about what is working well, what can be enhanced, and what to stop doing to deliver exceptional experiences for the team.
- Embrace that every person is unique and wonderfully made, foster a sense of belonging, and ensure everyone’s voice is heard.
High Employee Turnover
High employee turnover is a sign of something. It could be that the recruiting process is not in alignment with the culture and core values of the company. High employee turnover can also be an indication that there is a toxic workplace culture. If you can’t seem to keep your staff from constant turnover, it’s time to reevaluate what is the root cause of the problem. Employees will not stay at a job for long if they feel they aren’t valued, and you don’t want them to stay when the culture and core values are not a fit for the individual. If you are experiencing high employee turnover, consider the following tips:
- Define and implement the desired organizational culture and core values for your organization.
- Assess, evaluate, and enhance the recruiting and hiring process and hire people that fit.
- Ensure compensation and employee benefits are competitive.
- Implement a sound orientation and onboarding process.
- Know and manage or lead your team – i.e., there are performers, doers, people who don’t help much, trouble sources, and those who suppress the group.
- Standardize and implement a performance management system. We love meaningful job descriptions and a Balanced Scorecard® model.
- Encourage professional development, career progression, and ongoing learning.
- Reward and recognize the team with meaningful recognition from their unique perspectives.
- Conduct employee exit interviews one-on-one to find the underlying cause for resignations.
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Did you know that HR Anew has been helping employers with solutions for more than twenty-three years to address the pain and challenges identified in this article? We are here to help.
HR Anew helps teams be engaged, productive, performers, and fulfilled, which results in organizations being able to grow and scale. Connect with us when you want innovative ideas and solutions to address the topics above. Or, if you’re going to optimize digital resources, strategy, and training in diversity, equity, equality, inclusion, and belonging; manager and employee education and training, employee relations and workplace investigations, and human resource advisory services, we can help with this too. To help your company hire, inspire, and retain top talent, schedule a meeting with us at https://calendly.com/chiefstrategist-peopleofficer.