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!
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 !!
Obstacles to delivering exceptional service present themselves in a number of ways. Remained unchecked, they’ll quickly become difficult challenges to hurdle—ultimately leading to poor sales and lean profit margins.
So, how does one overcome such hindrances? One of the best ways is to ask clients a simple question: “What obstacles prevent you from having great experiences with us?”. Caution: This is an open ended question that basically asks, “what are we doing wrong and how are we preventing you from doing more business with us?”. Do NOT ask this question if you aren’t prepared to hear completely honest and hard answers. Customers are eager to give their opinions; that said, their opinions may be offered in a manner in which you may not be ready to receive. So, brace yourself. Get ready. Make a plan for change and implementation.
Make time for you and your team to work on fresh ideas about customer satisfaction. Focus on typical customer irritations such as: