Whenever a boss acts like a dictator – shutting down, embarrassing, or firing anyone who dares to challenge the status quo – you’ve got a toxic workplace problem. And that’s not just because of the boss’ bad behavior, but because that behavior creates an environment in which everyone is scared, intimidated and often willing to throw their colleagues under the bus, just to stay on the good side of the such bosses.
A toxic company culture will erode an organization by paralyzing its workforce, diminishing its productivity and stifling creativity and innovation. Now more than ever business leaders need to be addressing issues of workplace toxicity. It makes the difference in retaining good staff and also whether your company fails or succeeds. Employees aren’t afraid to jump ship when faced with a toxic workplace—and it’s usually your high performers who will go first.
The biggest concern for any organization should be when their most passionate people become quiet.
While toxic work cultures are the end result of many factors, it’s generally a combination of poor leadership and individuals who perpetuate the culture. It starts with those at the top. Leaders must show – Respect, Integrity, Authenticity, Appreciation, Empathy and Trust.
Toxicity in the workplace is costly. Unhappy or disengaged employees cost companies billions of dollars each year in lost revenues, settlements and other damages. Once you identify the major problems by gathering information. Develop a plan and follow through. It may mean training, moving or simply getting rid of bad bosses who are the root cause of toxicity in the work place. Show employees you care and are committed to improving their workplace environment. Your employees can be your greatest asset but it all depends on how you treat them.
Sadly, if you do not cure the cancer in the root of the tree, not only with the branches and leaves die; but so will the tree.
Why in the world did I do that? How can I do better? Chances are you’ve asked yourself these questions at least once today. To understand how your mind works and how you can improve your decision-making, explore these six psychology and behavioral economics books, each one recommended by a TED Talks speaker.
“Edward L. Deci is a legend in the study of motivation, and the 1996 book Why We Do What We Do offers a nice early introduction to his work.”
“In his book, Give and Take, Wharton professor Adam M Grant shows how giving at work can lead to greater happiness and success.”
“Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience illuminates the kind of life we should all be living. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi argues that one of the highest states of being is the state of flow — when you’re totally engaged in an activity, riding the narrow channel between boredom and anxiety. I talk about this book a lot, and try to live by it even more.”
“The Liar in Your Life, by Robert Feldman is a great book about how and why deception is eroding our culture. This deception expert, also a University of Massachusetts psychology professor, authored a famous study that found strangers lie to each other about three times in the first ten minutes of meeting each other.”