How To Prevent Toxic Culture From Brewing At The Workplace

by | 27 Jun 2022 | Operations

We spend more time at work today than ever before. We’re a part of the millennial generation – Ambitious, hungry to learn and desperate to display our capabilities.

But what happens when these extended work hours and therefore the adrenaline rush to realize more results in – sleepless nights, feeling constantly vigilant, sweaty palms, and a racing heartbeat?

Every job has some level of stress not only on bad days but even on good days. If going to work and the thought of going to work makes you physically ill or depressed even if it is your normal routine then these are signs of a toxic work environment.

Vague, meaningless or ill-conceived values can also cause problems for your company culture. That’s exactly what happened with Uber’s old set of core values, including phrases like “Always be hustlin” and “toe-steppin”. Decided by former CEO, Travis Kalanick and senior executives, these values highlighted and exaggerated a disconnect between how management saw the corporate and therefore the day-to-day experiences of employees, resulting in toxic company culture.

In a toxic culture, new ideas can’t thrive, people can’t be honest, bullying unfortunately occurs, leaders are given power which will attend their heads and fuel their egos, and an eerie feeling occurs at your company’s town hall/all hands when leaders invite questions.

Employees today know their strengths and are also smart enough to realize that if they can perform well in toxic work culture, they can thrive in a Culture First company that looks after its employees.

The biggest concern for any organization should be when their most passionate people become quiet.

Brigette Hyacinth 

Whenever a boss acts sort of a dictator – shutting down, embarrassing, or firing anyone who dares to challenge the established order – you’ve got a toxic workplace problem. And that’s not simply because of the boss’ bad behavior, but because that behavior creates an environment during which most are scared, intimidated and sometimes willing to throw their colleagues under the bus, just to remain on the great side of such bosses.

As a business owner, you would want to ensure that your employees have the right mindset and are in line with your company culture.

10 Signs your workplace culture is toxic

  • Company culture isn’t widespread and inculcated within the workplace
  • Micromanaging employees in performing their jobs.
  • The staff isn’t comfortable / allowed to communicate their opinions or suggestions.
  • The staff feels that they are not valued in the workplace for the work they do.
  • Overworking is a badge of honor and is expected.
  • Hardly any interaction between employees and management.
  • Office politics and Favouritism
  • Aggressive behavior

Things you can do to prevent toxic culture from spreading:- 

  1. Have the HR arrange for creative activities in the office that helps all employees to build rapport and professional connections with not just their department but with different departments as well. Moreover, simply Forming a bond internally to talk, sharing and ideating is usually a good idea, even If it’s over a simple coffee break or lunch.
  2. Encourage your employees to do activities after work to relieve stress. Maintain a hobby like gymming, reading books or learning a new skill.
  3. Suggest your employees to follow a Time-table/ Checklist of the tasks that they have to accomplish which will help them feel less overworked.
  4. Encourage a hierarchy that includes and supports a collaborative effort.
  5. Reiterate the company values and culture to the employees by speaking to them about it, portraying it yourself and reminding them time and again.
  6. Appreciate your employees for the tasks they do and the efforts they put in – it only encourages them forward.
  7. Discuss the future of the employees in the company, the growth of the company and their growth in the company as well.
  8. Hire new employees on the basis of your culture and if that is not taken care of – we all know a rotten apple spoils the barrel.

Final thought

Toxic cultures cause share prices to drop and profits to plummet! Instead of watching spreadsheets and accounts for answers, check out your people.

Your profits turning up or down is a direct result of your people.

Identify the issues of your company’s culture, own them, then become hooked into asking your people how you’ll change them. Then, implement the changes. Ask the employees what they want to change, keep and suggest in the company so that they feel heard and valued.

Fight toxic work cultures by making your company transform into being Culture First.

It starts with people.

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