Office gossip, passive aggressiveness and disgruntled employees. While no employee is going to feel completely happy all the time, negative attitudes can gradually seep into your organization and cause some serious harm to your workplace culture, having a negative effect on potentially every aspect of your organization – from operations to your bottom line. Check out these three trademark signs of toxic energy in the workplace and how to address them:
Lack of empathy.
Successful organizations are often those that not only value their mission, but the time and talents of their employees. This comes down to the quality of interactions in the workplace and the tone set by your leadership team. Being empathetic means having compassion for your employees and understanding the importance of work-life balance. It also means seeing your employees not only as more than workers, but as people with families and personal lives. If your managers are dismissive, belittling or outright rude to subordinates, your employees will begin to resent their jobs and feel disengaged from their work. Training your managers on the importance of empathy, and reinforcing a culture of work-life balance, will help to build empathy among employees and improve job satisfaction for everybody on your team.
Poor internal communication.
Does it constantly seem as though things are getting misconstrued and twisted in ten million different directions? If your workplace feels like a giant game of telephone, this is a clear sign communication among your employees is poor and toxicity likely exists. A negative culture often has a lack of transparency, especially among upper management. For example, if your organization currently does not have an “open-door policy,” you may want to consider ways to foster communication, such as weekly companywide meetings or mandatory team-building activities. Finding ways to promote easy sharing of information will make your employees more comfortable expressing themselves, creating a positive work environment for both superiors and subordinates.
When negative sentiments pervade the workplace, employees can become easily caught up in sidebar conversations and distracted from the work at hand. This can result in low productivity as employees focus more on workplace drama than on their responsibilities. If you find your employees are making silly mistakes or missing deadlines, it’s time to make changes so productivity does not take a downward spiral.
Even if signs of negativity in your workplace appear to be minimal on the surface, they unfortunately have the potential to do long-term damage on your organizational culture. Addressing issues before they get out of hand is the only way to prevent negative situations from becoming detrimental to your organization in the long run.
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