Avoiding A Toxic Work Environment

Avoiding A Toxic Work Environment

It’s no secret that happy employees are more productive. Yet, creating a work environment that makes this a reality can seem like a tall order. This guide offers several tips to help you foster a positive, productive work environment also avoiding a toxic work environment

What Makes a Work Environment Toxic?

A workplace plagued by negative behavior, such as infighting and belittling language, inevitably leads to a decrease in productivity,
You may have a toxic work environment if you see any of these warning signs:

  1. Your employees seem fatigued and frequently call in sick, this may indicate a high-stress work place because stress can lead to illness.

  2. Gossiping, rumors, and negativity play a prominent role in your employees’ conversations or they exhibit clique-like behavior — all of which can reveal the presence of toxicity in coworker relations.

  3. You experience high turnover rates or a pattern of staff quitting before completing a full year of employment  both typically imply a degree of unhappiness in the workplace.

  4. Your employees show little to no enthusiasm especially if they previously exhibited greater engagement in their job performance. This can signal an increase in workplace toxicity.


Tips on Avoiding a toxic work environment

  • Establish a strong organisational culture

Every organization has a vision, mission and core value statements. The problem is that few organizations have created an integrated and systematic methodology for teaching employees what these statements mean and then holding them accountable to acting out these statements in their daily behaviors.

 Outline cultural characteristics prior to hiring—then look for shared culture in potential employees. Hire people who align with your values. Just like culture, values are often established. 

If you can articulate your core values and be direct during your employee search, you will have greater success avoiding conflict day to day. When the team understands the values of the company and believes in them, communication and performance fall in line more easily.

  • Encourage an Open Office Culture

If your employees are hesitant to approach you for help, there’s a good chance that it is fear holding them back, not awe. While boundaries are important in maintaining your role as a leader, it also pays to encourage your employees to approach you with their concerns or if they need assistance. You might find that they have good ideas to share, but were afraid of being criticized.

All in all, fostering a harmonious working environment is not as straightforward as simply following these tips closely. By keeping the lines of communication open and fostering a collaborative work culture, you can turn a toxic workplace into a dynamic environment where employees are happy, motivated, and engaged with their roles.

Reiterate to your team that when they have an issue or concern, they can always set a time to talk to you.

  • Allow people the opportunity to learn

Providing information and the ability to learn is essential to the growth and development of your team. Investing in your team takes time and money. People need training and support throughout their careers  both as individuals and as teams  to develop their skills and to continue to work effectively. 

It also takes the right people with a great attitude who are open to learning new things.

  • Seek a workplace that matches your culture and values.

Candidates are seeking workplaces where they can intertwine their beliefs with those of the company, and work together on a common vision of purpose and success. As leaders grapple with how to recruit top candidates and retain employees,

they must rethink how they’re shaping and building a culture that unites people around a common cause. Great culture should provide continuous alignment to the vision, purpose, and goals of the organization.

You will only reach your true potential if you look for an office culture that matches your core values. Identify what you value most in a workplace and don’t compromise.

 Seek out employers who post job descriptions that include their core values and articulate yours during your interview.

  • Learn from your Mistake

“A smart man makes a mistake, learns from it, and never makes that mistake again.”– Roy H. Williams (1958-), U.S. author and marketing expert.

Understanding that people make mistake is important to keep in mind. Think back to the last mistake that you made at work. Even if it was a minor one, like spilling coffee on a document seconds before you were due to present it,

you’ll likely have felt a rush of panic and then had the inconvenience of putting things right.

No one is immune to making mistakes, we are human, after all! But if we simply apologize and carry on as before, we’re in danger of repeating the same errors. When we don’t learn from our mistakes, 

we inflict unnecessary stress on ourselves and on others, and we risk losing people’s confidence and trust in us. In this article, we look at how to ensure that we take those lessons on board, and then use what we learn.

  • Strive to be the best at what you do.

Often time doing our best has not always been without its own form of challenges still always ensure that you are diligent with assigned task and just focus on doing your best job. Being the best at what you do is how you win at work. Always learn be a good team player, but remember you have a voice and it’s important to use it to help the team succeed.

Tips on how to avoid being Toxic at the Workplace

1. Be proactive

Don’t sit in your cubicle or workstation and never emerge unless it’s for a bathroom break or to leave for the day. Opportunities won’t find you there – you need to get to know people in your department and throughout the organization. By looking for opportunities and connections to further your skills and help your company, you will keep moving forward no matter where you work.

2. Be organized

There are a multitude of technology tools and apps to help you stay organized, but even the old-fashioned day planner can make a real difference in keeping your priorities straight and ensuring you meet deadlines. Choose an organizational method that is flexible enough to adapt to your boss’s changing priorities and includes a follow-up system so tasks don’t fall through the cracks.

3. Focus on goals

Funny memes, basketball brackets, and beer in the break room are just a few of the things that can distract you at work – not to mention the colleague who seems to be dumping unwanted tasks on you. Whether your workplace culture is casual or more buttoned-up, it’s going to be up to you to make sure you don’t get off task and distracted from meeting your goals. If necessary, have a list nearby of your boss’s goals for you and some career development goals you have for yourself.

4. Ask for feedback

Many bosses don’t like to give feedback because they find it difficult to discuss the performance of an employee. They may be unsure how you will take it. Will you cry? Yell? Quit? If your boss isn’t regularly meeting with you (and he/she should be), set up a time to talk and explain you want to ensure you’re meeting expectations.

 When feedback is offered, pay attention and immediately try to incorporate it into your performance. If feedback is ongoing from your boss and your colleagues, you will have a better chance of correcting performance issues before they become a detriment to your career.

Handling and avoiding a toxic work environment will allow you truly enjoy working.

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