A toxic workplace crushes creativity, encourages bullying, and reduces employee engagement.
A recent Gallup study found that only 37% of employees were engaged in the workplace. Not surprisingly, only 15% were actively engaged. It is indicative of unhealthy and toxic workplaces across all industries.
The time has come for managers and leaders to consciously create a positive work culture to increase engagement, inclusiveness, and diversity.
Here are some steps for creating a healthy work culture:
1. Acceptance and Self-Assessment
Workplace toxicity and bullying are common and often goes unnoticed. A number of times, these are small actions and words. The first step in solving a problem is accepting that there is one. After which, you can assess work culture by surveying your employees. Make the survey online and anonymous so that they do not hesitate to speak the truth. After the survey, you will have a better picture of your work culture and the required changes you will have to work on.
Workplace bullying and harassment are like an elephant in the room that no one talks about. Many times, the senior managers and leaders can actually be part of the problem. That is why it is hard to initiate a conversation about this. However, it would help if you led the change by speaking about it first. Things will only change when there is an open dialogue around it.
3. Zero Tolerance Bullying Policy
One of the most vital tips to detox your workplace is bringing a zero-tolerance bullying policy in your employee healthcare benefits plan. It will send a strong signal to all the employees, including managers and leaders. You should talk about the policy with all your employees. Explain to them what exactly the policy entails.
However, the true impact of the plan lies in its enforcement. As the HR team, you should be prepared to enforce the policy irrespective of who the guilty party is.
4. Data-Based Decisions
When you make a workplace harassment policy, empirically look at what works and what does not on the basis of where the data takes you. For example, many big names in the industry stress various sensitivity training programs, but they end up paying billions of dollars in discrimination and harassment lawsuits. Companies have doubled down on training programs, but they don’t work. Instead, engaged managers and better-trained HR professionals are efficient at solving workplace problems like bullying and harassment. Detoxify the work environment with data-driven decisions.
5. Better Hiring & Training Process
In the hiring process itself weed out people who do not mesh well with the workplace culture of your company. It can avoid unnecessary friction on a later date.
Even after you hire the best candidate, invest in your hires by training and developing them well. It will not only increase their engagement levels but also get them acquainted with how things work in your office.
6. Vacation Days and Sick Leaves
Paid time off is crucial for employees. It gives them time to de-stress. They can come back fresh without having to worry about money. Stressed employees contribute to the toxicity of the workplace. Sick leaves are vital as well; they go towards creating a positive work culture. It sends a message that you care about your employees. In addition to the sick days, you should also think about investing in such employee healthcare plans that look into both physical and mental wellbeing of the team.
7. Engaged Leaders
How to engage employees is an age-old question. The answer is through engaged managers. However, the largest drop in engagement levels are also sometime seen among managers and leaders. But what cannot be ignored is that engaged leaders are better at getting the job done. Moreover, they care about their employees. They actively resolve workplace issues and toxicity.
It is crucial to hire managers and leaders that are perfect for your organization’s culture. They will be instrumental in detoxifying your workplace.
8. Open Door Policy
Employees in most companies hesitate to put forth their workplace grievances because of the fear of being judged or the repercussions. When an employee has an issue with a manager or a leader, keep their identity safe. Try to resolve every issue with impartiality and due consideration.
The HR department here should be well equipped when you have an open-door policy. They should be trained well in resolving the problems that arise in the workplace in a discrete manner.
A work culture that focuses on cultivating long-term relationships will flourish. You can try team-building exercises and host social events so that employees get to socialize in an informal environment. A closely-knit organization is only possible when employees care about each other – something that happens over time with a lot of conversations.
A toxic work environment can ruin an organization from the inside out. Recognizing problematic behavior and trying to solve them will go a long way in increasing your employees’ morale. We hope that the tips in this article help you detox your workplace to better employee engagement.
Guest Contributor: Being in the B2B content domain for several years now, Tripti Rai is presently focusing on unfolding the elements that make employee healthcare more accessible. Currently working with Onsurity as a Content Manager, she stays focused on how the employee health and wellness sector is changing, and what can HR managers do to make it more inclusive to all.