The word “eventful” doesn’t begin to explain the many ups, downs, and significantly impactful movements the market has experienced over the past year, and despite being at the tail-end of 2021, accelerated inflation continues to drive more worries and fear in the global economy going into 2022. As a result, even if the increasing market and investment opportunities enable businesses to scale and establish financial security, the overarching theme of uncertainty will remain prevalent in the years to come.
However, while current external threats do pose a risk to business growth and sustainable performance, internal weaknesses, specifically toxic work environments, are also rising in numbers and are just equally destructive. And although these workplace issues may not seem as urgent on paper when compared to problems existing on a macro-level, there might not be a business left to think about external threats if these shortcomings are left unaddressed.
What Are Some Telltale Signs Of A Toxic Workplace?
Circumstances and situations can vary from one industry to the next, but when accounting for the root causes of a toxic workplace, some aspects are universal by nature despite the deviations in specific categories. So, rather than pinning down every last possible item, you want to look out for (1) employees constantly feeling stressed and pressured by their workload and (2) the lack of balance and collaboration among your established teams.
- Employees Constantly Feel Stressed And Overworked: Some will argue that variable levels of stress are expected in any career and responsibility, but while that may hold true to some extent, your employees should never feel like they’re working on the clock 24/7 and putting out 100% all the time. Work must be assigned and divvied aptly to meet job descriptions, only ever going above and beyond when made known beforehand and wherein just compensation is provided.
- Absence Of Balance And Effective Collaboration: There’s no denying that individual effort is more than capable of achieving an acceptable level of success, but when managing a business, teamwork and collaboration are necessary. As a result, the absence of balance and effective collaboration in a work environment highlights a disconnect among employees that’s hurting quality and efficiency. And unless resolved, this particular issue will cause performance to plateau and any current progress to stagnate indefinitely.
Addressing Workplace Concerns At The Fundamental Level
Given some of the most common root causes mentioned above, it is essential to a company’s success that they address workplace concerns at the fundamental level to replace damaging factors with more helpful intervention measures before they become too big to handle. And instead of assuming a passive role in promoting change, business leaders must take an active position in creating progress and reconstructing from the ground up to make a lasting impact.
- Upper Management Should Lead By Example: Managers oversee numerous core operations associated with the business and given their level of authority and impact on the workplace, upper management must lead by example. For instance, managers should attest to the core values of the company and reflect the same in their actions through more actionable performance reviews and evaluations. Furthermore, it’s not a stretch that the same managers shall pioneer collaboration and work to better themselves.
- Appropriate Channels For Two-Way Feedback: Apart from leading by example, communication also plays a crucial role in reinforcing collaboration and working toward a healthier work environment. Conflicts of interest and disagreements are commonplace in any professional setting, but instead of leaving things unsaid, appropriate channels for two-way feedback must be established to provide clarity and consensus. Plus, the same channels can work just as effectively at any level of management or project urgency, easily integrating into any current business process.
- Seek Expert Advice From Other Professionals: Last but not least, while managing workplace issues and resolving them by your own merits is commendable, it’s always recommended to seek expert advice from other professionals who can offer a different point of view. At the end of the day, nobody is exempt from the risk of personal biases and self-interest, which could jeopardize the quality of decision-making for a healthier work environment. So, don’t shy away from expert help through a work culture consultant or a long-time business partner.
Let Your Core Values Outshine Petty Arguments
Overall, while there are many factors and causes associated with toxic work environments, businesses cannot afford to let such petty arguments win against more pressing matters like business decisions, product strategies, and financial planning. So, before you push forward and treat workplace issues like an afterthought, please take the advice to heart and address these challenges ASAP to save you the trouble of solving them later.