Let’s walk through three ways to eliminate a toxic workplace with HouseRules. There is so much information on spotting signs of a toxic work environment but not so much on practical solutions. As the foundation of your business, policies and procedures should serve your internal community and clientele. So here are three tips on how to tailor your systems to build a work environment that people enjoy (most of the time).
The common myth is policies and procedures are for large corporations. Therefore small or start-up businesses only see them as a priority once it’s too late instead of treating your business like a game of Chinese whispers, which eventually becomes open to interpretation. Longer serving or those who believe they have more seniority will infer their preferences.
Please get in the habit of writing it down. It may sound tedious, but you should ensure everyone is on the same page without demanding your time and energy to handhold all recruits to the organisation. Instead, create the workplace environment you envisioned, and keep the need for more communication from hindering the progress you make.
A toxic workplace can sometimes lead to concluding poor leadership. Unfortunately, relying solely on word of mouth and not having written policies and procedures will only feed the misconception. When your rules are in black and white (or the colour of your choosing), it is easier to share, question and clarify. Keep misinterpretation and emotions to a minimum.
Strike a balance between being aggressive and assertive with HouseRules
Let’s talk it through so you know all your options before taking action.
A toxic workplace is born out of the frustrations and boredom of individuals. One person becomes comfortable in their position and then develops a warped way of thinking. No one is to surpass them in rank. Therefore, they want to avoid hearing new and innovative suggestions.
You will have individuals in your company who become unmotivated. It will be for you to determine whether that is because they are fighting change so they can remain in comfort. Alternatively, an individual who has all the enthusiasm when joining is now a silent shadow. Having a meaningful programme in place to support your internal community will see them excel and your business.
There needs to be a structure in place so that individuals can see the possibilities available to them should they remain loyal to the company. Dangling the carrot to get the best of what a person has to offer and not following through on your promise is not motivating anyone.
Although we are creatures of comfort, be very weary should you hear someone has a "cushy little number!"
Feeling Burnt Out
When you as a leader need clarification on an aspect of the business, don’t simply pile the pressure on those around you. If you have the proper practices, you will attract individuals wanting to contribute to the company’s success and self-advancement. Unnecessary stress is going to have an adverse effect.
Your workforce doesn’t need wrapping in cotton wool and pampering, but as the one in charge, be realistic and recognise when to take your foot off the accelerator. Or, at the very least, know when to give it a rest.
It’s not a sign of a great manager, much less a leader, who measures the productivity of their workforce by how late they stay behind in the evening or how early they arrive in the morning. So if they have taken up residency outside their role, you have a severe problem.
You know the problem, but you are unsure of the best way to handle it. You need someone to converse honestly and work out a plan with. The Spring Dust Off is easy to book at a time that suits you, and there’s no long-term obligation.
HouseRules to Eliminate a Toxic Workplace
When you’re a business of one, it seems ridiculous to make notes or how-to guides. However, this is the perfect time to start your planning. You want those representing your business to bring to life the dream.
Taking control and curating an environment that draws others in to support is your duty as the leader. You control the narrative; the best way to express your expectations is to have adequate systems and practices in place.
At some point in your business life, the challenges of a toxic workplace environment will inevitably attempt to propagate your internal community. However, with relevant HouseRules, there will be no panic or avoidance because you will have the tools to address the concerns. It’s not about memorialising your business because it is a living legacy; a toxic environment will only detract from its growth.
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