5 leadership Tips to Protect Your Team from Toxic Work Culture

5 leadership Tips to Protect Your Team from Toxic Work Culture

A toxic work culture is known to be one of the leading causes of employee turnover and a major reason for a decline in performance and productivity. Therefore, leaders must address the issues promptly and efficiently when they receive consistent feedback on a toxic work culture within the organization. However, identifying the causes and taking necessary action without disturbing the harmony is daunting. We identified 5 effective ways to eliminate toxicity and reinforce a positive and healthy work culture.

Toxic Work Culture

Setting boundaries

A healthy work environment will have a structure that breeds and encourages amiable behaviour. Factors like transparency in communication and stringent boundaries influence an organization’s culture to discourage toxic malpractices like bullying, discrimination, racism, sexual harassment, and workplace politics; to name a few.  When boundaries are clearly defined employees are more likely to engage in open dialogue in an atmosphere and safety and comfort; knowing that they have a voice on issues that matter. Team leaders in charge are required to regularly schedule one-to-one meetings and group workshops that go a long way in addressing early signs of toxic behaviour.

Discharge when In Charge

Today’s workforce expects a more liberating work environment where they can associate themselves as one with their bosses. The stereotypical ‘command and control’ attitude is fast losing ground and hierarchies have levelled up to boost group morale. Leaders in charge need to pause and think if they could do anything better to address the shortcomings, whether they have been treating the team fairly, and whether were they able to maintain their calm amidst the chaos, for better handling of situations. Inculcating organizational values to drive basic human needs like self- esteem, self-actualization, a sense of belonging, and building confidence in decision-making; fosters a healthy environment for the workforce. Distributing power within the team is akin to accelerating business processes while maintaining leadership and building a culture that helps employees flourish.

Onboard an external consultancy

Organizations that exercise zero tolerance towards toxicity at workplaces can maintain momentum by inviting an expert speaker to educate the team. By spending a few hours discussing and highlighting key issues, an external resource can delve into the nuances with an unbiased approach. Leaders within the organization can benefit by carefully listening to the team members’ responses during interactions and understanding changes for the better.

For organizations where employees have approached the C-suite for help with toxic work culture, an external consultancy can aid in systematically addressing issues. With 360-degree assessments and findings from anonymous surveys; the experts can help with the expected norms to rebuild the organization’s work culture.

Review the pyramid

Ensuring that the organization’s core values are well-understood, respected, and practiced across hierarchies makes for a lead-by-example situation. Culture and toxicity start at the top and filter down because employees tend to reason that behaviours exhibited are allowed to occur. Leaders have to set the right culture to facilitate a healthy work environment and with clear guidelines to discourage toxic behaviour at the very early stage.

Introduce Strategic Initiatives

Employee turnover is a crucial outcome of a toxic work culture and must be dealt with efficiently. Strategic moves like reviewing exit interviews will uncover several red flags that may have gone unnoticed. Also, internal and anonymous surveys should be conducted organization-wide at least twice a year to invite constructive feedback on the existing work culture. Such initiatives help monitor red flags, track progress in case of changes implemented to discourage toxicity, and also make for an early detection system for new signs.

The time to fix a toxic work culture is now for a happier and more harmonious work environment.