A common complaint among many unsatisfied office employees is a toxic company environment. As an employer, it can be hard to come to terms with this fact, especially if you’re not interacting with or exposed enough to your employees. Toxic company culture shouldn’t be left as it is, or you may suffer low productivity and a high employee turnover.
An office environment is more than just its physical characteristics. Although a gorgeous arrangement of an office fitout significantly contributes to a pleasing environment, it is you and your employees that make your company thrive culture-wise.
Here are the signs of a toxic company culture, and what you as an employer can do to fix it.
Toxic Culture Signs
If you notice productivity rates dropping and turnover rates surging, then you should already be more observant. Take some time to assess your workplace by spotting the following signs:
- People hold others back. If your employees don’t seem to support their colleagues, work performances can be compromised. For example, if one employee notices that their colleague is more competent than them, they’d use peer pressure on them so that they’d reduce the quality their performance.
- People don’t show genuine support to the decisions made. When an idea or proposal is suggested, the staff would agree to them, only for you to find out that they aren’t actually happy about them.
- Employees with attitude problems aren’t called out. When these employees are allowed to behave badly, the whole organisation will be affected soon.
- People refuse tasks they think are beyond them. If you’re a small company, it would be unavoidable for everyone to perform tasks that may not be included in their job descriptions. If many employees complain about this, they promote toxic behavior.
- Gossip is prevalent. Besides reducing productivity, gossiping also affects the people who are the subjects of the gossips.
- Credit isn’t being shared enough. A good employee or manager should always share the credit for a job well-done, not hoard it all for themselves.
- No one likes to be accountable for trouble. When a problem occurs, employees point fingers and play the blame game instead of stepping up to be accountable.
Remedies for a Toxic Company Culture
Now that you can spot the signs, it’s time to make a plan on how to reverse the situation. Being the company owner, you have the power to make changes you deem necessary, so consider implementing the following:
- Promote healthy conversations. Have a “common area” in your office where employees can enjoy coffee and engage in healthy conversations. This can help them unwind as well.
- Allow remote work. With electronic communications easier than ever, remote work should be possible. This way, your employees can see a change in environment from time to time.
- Plan company events. An event outside the workplace is an opportunity for your employees to mingle more with one another. Employees can make friends with their colleagues from another department, resulting in positive relationships between all employees.
- Engage with your employees. Make yourself available so they can reach out to you when they have concerns.
- Monitor management. Make sure they do their job in accordance with the company’s values. If they exhibit toxic behavior, they may be encouraging their staff to do the same.
- Ask for feedback. Conduct surveys periodically to hear out what your employees desire. Gather their suggestions on improving your current culture.
- Be transparent. Your employees will greatly appreciate you for it. When you converse with them, tell them stories about your triumphs and failures. This can make them feel empowered and motivated.
With a healthy working environment, your company and its people will thrive mentally and emotionally. Fixing a toxic culture may take time, but with patience, determination, and commitment, you’d see the difference in no time and reap the benefits.