Reforming Negative Workplace Cultures

The office culture has changed a lot over the past decade. The appropriate office behavior has gone through numerous changes. A report says around 60.4 Americans have gone through workplace bullying.

By definition, workplace bullying is repeated mistreatment of an employee by one or more employees. A bad work environment can impact badly on the mental health of employees. So, a good work environment is a necessity. Today we will discuss how you can reform negative workplace culture.

Causes of Negative Workplace Culture

1. Poor Communication

A company needs clear communication between employers and employees to uphold company vision, values, norms, goals, and objectives. When there is a lack of communication, the employees feel that they are not valued or heard. As a result, it encourages fear rather than respect.

A survey has been conducted that one among four employees doesn’t trust their company leaders. It will cause significant discomfort among employees and will increase employee turnover rates.

2. Toxic Co-workers

It is important to hire employees with better technical knowledge for the company’s growth and success. However, too much competition in the workplace can lead to an increase in company politics and less knowledge sharing.

Toxic employees are more likely to cause problems among other employees. If they hold a position of authority, it can cause a cascade effect from employees to managers. Therefore, it is important to consider cultural fit as well as technical fit while hiring new employees.

3. Putting Profit Over People

According to a combined Columbia and Duke University study, focusing on figures rather than people encourages unethical behavior. Here the companies don’t consider the inputs of the employee while making policy. This encourages dissatisfaction for the employees.

Some companies would put employees under immense pressure to reach goals after goals. It can impact the mental well-being of the employees and doesn’t allow them to have a good work-life balance. So, the employees are not satisfied with their job and will change their job whenever the first opportunity appears.

4. Unwillingness to Change

For achieving optimum success, a company must change and evolve over time. The employee’s desire and behavior change over time. Therefore, a company will need to adjust to these changes.

Google’s study on collaboration conducted within 258 companies found that 73% of employees believe the company would be more successful if collaborative and flexible work is encouraged. However, most companies fail to create a collaborating culture due to a lack of incentives to collaborate work, changing working habits and styles, and a lack of leadership.

5. Performance Management

Some performance management systems that worked in the past can negatively impact workplace performance. For example, the stack ranking system ranks employees against each other. It generates a fear of failure and discourages employees from innovation and risk-taking.

Another example of bad performance management is performance review at the end of the year. It has a slower pace that struggles to match industry change.

How to Improve Workplace Culture?

1. Accepting Responsibility

Reforming a company culture should start from the top management. While it is crucial to ask for employee feedback, leaders should act upon them as soon as possible. It will ensure employees that they are heard and also allow leaders to reduce toxicity from the workplace.

To repair toxic culture, leaders need to acknowledge the issues first. It will allow them to take proper action and understand what is appropriate and what cannot be tolerated.

2. Ask for Outside Help

In some cases, toxic cultures can be too out of control to fix from the inside. Calling in for outside help can be very beneficial in such cases. Third-party coaches can help companies understand the root causes of a toxic culture.

A third party will try and understand the desired culture for the particular organization. Upon deciding, they will identify the toxic behaviors and how they impact the workplace culture and employee morale. Upon assessing the culture and identifying recurring patterns, they will develop plans to repair and dismantle negative behaviors.

3. Instituting Policies and Holding Everyone Accountable

The problematic employees are often insubordinate, and their personal attacks damage other employees’ morale. So, new policies are the first step to dis-empower bullies and change negative cultures. The most important part is not to let any negative behavior slide, no matter how insignificant it is.

Constant communication and reinforcing policies should be a priority to reduce toxic workplace behavior. Leaders set the tone and culture of an organization. So, their behavior and actions matter most in reforming workplace culture.

Bottom Line

Cultivating a safe workplace environment can show better results for an organization. It will allow the employees to be safe and satisfied in their workplaces. As a result, they will be encouraged to put in their best work.

Proper monitoring and appropriate policies are essential to maintain good workplace culture. Third-party intervention can be very effective in this manner. There is a wide variety of recognition software that allows employers to learn about these negative behaviors and take quick action.

For a better workplace environment, the leaders should be willing to adopt all available resources and take necessary actions within the shortest time.