Much has been said about the “Great Resignation” and the driving forces behind it. From pandemic induced self-actualization to the demanding Gen Z, numerous resignation reasons have surfaced. Collectively, these reasons point to what can best be described as “toxic work culture”.
In fact, Forbes names toxic work culture as the number one factor driving workers to resign. Toxic work culture is ripe with psychological hazards that negatively impact an employee’s well-being. Employees’ physical and mental health can be harmed as well as their overall productivity and engagement.
Typically, toxic work culture is thought to consist of bullying and harassment. According to Forbes, toxic work culture also includes things such as low pay, limited to no opportunity for career advancement, untrustworthy employers, and failure to reward achievement just to name a few components.
Remote work is not immune to toxic work culture. Software programs such as Hubstaff and TeamViewer enable the micromanagement of employees by providing managers with the ability to virtually observe an employee’s every keystroke. Many employees find themselves dealing with abusive managers and colleagues in isolation. The disconnect from being in-person can cause an individual to feel a greater degree of anonymity and therefore often ramps up bad behavior.
A few signs of a toxic work culture include:
- Abusive management. If managers engage in bullying or harassment, it signals that such behavior is tolerated. Eventually others will engage in similar behavior creating a toxic work culture.
- Fear is the norm. Employees don’t feel psychologically safe enough to raise issues, errors, or concerns to leadership. Employees fear the criticism or the retribution that comes with speaking up.
- Clarity and efficiency are lacking. Toxic work cultures lack the trust necessary to effectively collaborate and communicate. The result is a state of constant confusion and dysfunction.
For employees who find themselves in a toxic work culture, it is best to focus on what you can control. Also, build a team of allies who can support you in raising critical issues to leadership.
For employers who want to correct a toxic work culture, seek feedback from employees. To gain genuine feedback an anonymous system for collecting employee feedback may need to be implemented. Use it to implement changes that will create a positive workplace.
How do you maintain a positive work culture? Let us know in the comments below.
Make it a great day!
Meetings consume a substantial portion of the employee’s work week. A closer look reveals that a substantial number are unnecessary, unproductive, and deprive employees of irreplaceable time to focus on completing projects.
According to a Harvard Business Review survey, 65% of senior managers said meetings prevented them from completing their own work and 64% said meetings negatively impacted their deep thinking time.
The meeting culture directly impacts employees’ happiness and health because they work “off the clock” and the result is simple: a poor meeting culture equates to reduced productivity and a loss of work/life balance.
If your organization touts time efficiency as a core value but consistently schedules ineffectual meetings, your core values are out of alignment and require a corporate culture tune up.
Ideas to mitigate the problem:
- Beforehand, review the expected deliverables and determine whether a meeting is even necessary. Could the desired outcome(s) be accomplished in a different format? Possibly via email? A brief telephone chat?
- Be sure the meeting agenda is concise and specific. State the start and end time and stick to it.
- Invite only those who have a role on impacting the outcome (decision maker, adviser, executer…)
- Discussions that come up that are not agenda-related should be deferred to off-line conversations or to future meetings (this avoids “time gulping”). Record action items and follow up with the appropriate colleagues afterwards.
- BONUS: Give attendees the option to leave once their role/interest has been discussed.
Let us know in the comments how you keep your meetings on track. In all your doing, make it a great day!
Concerns about the overuse of “Sorry” in the workplace, have left some people confused (dare we say, “jaded”) about how and when to sincerely apologize.
Apologizing for everything including things that don’t warrant a response can signal a character flaw of untruthfulness; in fact, such insincerity has been dubbed “a backhanded apology” or a “nonpology”. However, NOT apologizing in a situation when it IS necessary expands the breach between you and the other party.
For incidents that truly warrant an apology, make every effort to genuinely express regret.
That said, apologies take on a different energy in the workplace…corporate culture may have a lot do with it.
Keep these three ideas in mind for workplace apologies:
1) Apologize as soon as possible. Rectifying the issue quickly enables all parties involved to move forward instead of unnecessarily brooding over the matter.
2) Own what happened. Taking responsibility for what occurred will open the door to empathy. Avoid explanations that may be perceived as a defense mechanism…it could lead to a debate which could completely derail the apology.
3) Discuss with those who were offended what you learned from the mistake. Doing so will demonstrate that you have the capacity to evolve and that you won’t make the same mistake again. Make sure your discussion and the apology are concise.
In the comments below, share your tips for crafting the perfect workplace apology and don’t forget…make it a great day!
The hospitality industry was devastated by the pandemic. According to usnews.com, almost 4 million hospitality jobs were lost in 2020, eliminating nearly 10 years of job growth in the sector. To adapt and operate with less staff, the industry is embracing technology more than ever. Limited staffing leaves many employees working alone in isolated areas which poses a security threat. In response, unions and some states are advocating or requiring the use of rapid response buttons in the industry. These buttons, worn by staff, provide a way to summon help in the case of an emergency. However, research by PWC highlights gaps in such technology in terms of reliability and connectivity issues.
Violence in hospitality spaces is on the rise and employers must evaluate the efficacy of whatever safety plans they’ve implemented for their staff. The “customer is always right” motto has led to more verbal abuse from guests in hospitality spaces. Verbal abuse is violence. Training staff on de-escalation techniques should be prioritized.
Hospitality industry employers have placed a great deal of focus on technical skills in their hiring practices. A higher value needs to be placed on hiring individuals with the necessary soft skills to ascertain the needs of guests, interpret body language, de-escalate volatile situations, and set boundaries. Hiring individuals with these soft skills will not only improve the overall guest experience, but will also assist in creating a safe space for staff and guests.
A few points of consideration when reviewing your safety plan and engaging staff in safety discussions:
- Does your establishment need security? How will security be trained to handle volatile situations?
- Do staff know when calling the police is necessary? What is the policy for calling the police?
- How do you notify staff of violent occurrences at your establishment?
- What safety protocols is management required to follow?
- Can staff differentiate between unsafe situations versus uncomfortable/inconvenient situations?
- Are managers focused on surveilling staff or guiding them and providing emotional support?
We hope this post encourages you to evaluate not only your safety plan, but also your establishment’s culture around safety. In the comments below, we’d like to know what safety practices you’ve implemented to shift the culture and create a safe establishment. Make a it a great day!
Remote work is creating a shift in how we define professionalism. Before the pandemic the rules of professionalism were clearly defined. In some instances, attire was suits and ties–no exceptions, or business casual such as golf shirts, or cardigans and khakis on Fridays. In some cases, professionalism meant perfect grammar—a demeanor that reflected mannerisms and speech patterns void of any individuality or cultural attributes. Seemingly the pre-pandemic definition of professionalism was a construct of our unconscious bias designed to avoid any feelings of discomfort with the unfamiliar.
Many employees who work remotely are letting their guard down and removing the old mask of professionalism. Increasingly, employees are showing up in virtual meetings as their authentic selves not only in attire, but in how they express themselves in virtual chats where language is often more relaxed, and grammatical errors are overlooked. Perhaps because working remotely has enabled each employee to create their own safe environment, they are more likely to show up in shared virtual spaces as their authentic self.
As a leader, it is important to embrace diversity with a spirit of inclusivity. Determine how closely your current definition of professionalism aligns with your company’s core values. Take another look your company’s dress code.
- Does it allow employees to show up as their authentic selves or does it have an undertone that dictates how they must hide their cultural attributes?
- Does your current definition of professionalism support a psychologically safe workspace?
For the benefit of your employees, clients, vendors, and partner, set aside time to re-examine how you define professionalism for your work environment. It could make all the difference in the world.
Give us your feedback in the comment section below.
Make it a great day !!