Have you recognised a lack of motivation and reduced productivity among your people? Are employees feeling slow, sluggish, stressed and leaving the organisation with a bad taste in their mouths?

It sounds as though your workplace may be in need of a detox. We’re not daring to suggest you replace the free coffee with superfood smoothies, rather we’re suggesting you route out and banish toxic behaviour from your workplace. 

Toxic behaviour can take many forms and have far-reaching consequences for business. So, let’s don our radioactive suits and delve a little deeper.

What constitutes toxic behaviour?

“Bants”, risqué jokes or being the butt of the joke, treating colleagues more or less favourably than others, scapegoating, ostracising, making false or elevated promises, hostility and humiliation are all conducive of a toxic working environment. 

Worryingly, this behaviour often goes unnoticed or is excused and ignored. In many instances, even the people carrying out the behaviour are ignorant or oblivious to its impact.

Why the need for a workplace detox?

Toxic behaviour is bad for business. It’s the bottom line that feels it the greatest. Heightened levels of workplace stress and anxiety results in reduced productivity, increased absenteeism and decreased profitability.

Organisations where toxic behaviour is allowed to thrive will also experience low levels of employee loyalty and high levels of employee turnover. The concern here is not just the mounting recruitment costs and damage to growth in consistently taking on and training new employees; rather, it is the reputational damage to the business. Perhaps you’ve already received poor reviews on Glass Door from colleagues who have left with a negative impression of the organisation – an impression that they’re happy (or even eager) to share online and with friends, family, potential and current customers, competitors, stakeholders and the press.

How to detox the workplace

Are your people, managers and the C-suite able to recognise toxic behaviour? Are they willing to tackle the issue and change the workplace culture? Training with a third-party can be a valuable and insightful tool in ensuring everyone in the organisation is clear about what constitutes a positive workplace culture and the appropriate behaviour to facilitate this.

Similarly, creating a feedback culture is key to detoxing the workplace. Are you asking for feedback from your people? Do you have the mechanisms and channels in place to enable open feedback? Have you considered an employee hotline for raising and reporting concerns of toxic behaviour?

Encouraging open, honest and two-way dialogue will ensure issues of toxic behaviour are brought to the fore and addressed before they have a chance to escalate. And it’s all very well asking for feedback; processes need to be in place for internalising and acting on the feedback. Indeed, a lack of action in response to feedback can be as demoralising for employees as toxic behaviour itself.

Finally, how are you valuing “good behaviour”? Are you rewarding those who contribute to enabling an inclusive workplace culture? Or are your rewards for performance still driven by contribution the bottom line?

Valuing interdepartmental and collaborative working, as well as ensuring colleagues understand how their role contributes to the organisation as a whole, is fundamental to a supportive culture where positive behaviour is both recognised and championed. 

Ready to get started?

If you’re looking to detox your workplace, we at Tell Jane can give you the advice, tools and training to get you started. Talk to us today by emailing lisa@telljane.co.uk

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