We see and hear about workplace toxicity everywhere: people are getting more aware of what it means, learning to stand up for themselves and expect better treatment. And rightly so, we may add!
Everyone wants to feel respected, valued and treated as a decent human being even when it is busy and stressful and there are so many pressures.
We want a healthy work culture. In exchange for that most will be happy to go the extra mile and remain loyal to their team that they know will have their back. When your business is not a giant corporation, every person leaving the crew or not being able to work to their fullest potential can cost much more than you can afford.
These tips are to give you some ideas for keeping your team dynamic, healthy and productive.
Acknowledge & React Positively
Make sure you always react positively when anyone raises a concern and talks about important issues – do that yourself to set an example.
Too often we assume that ‘everyone knows’, but in reality, we can’t change what we don’t acknowledge, and it needs to be done with clarity and a vision of improvement.
Make your values known, but more importantly – show them and live by them yourself.
Expect the same from your staff and make it clear what it means to show those values in their work.
Workplaces need to be realistic and fair to drive good culture. At work, it is only appropriate to assume that your team is supposed to work to the best of their abilities, and here you need to keep yourself in check as well as your staff:
It is always a fine balance: be demanding yet understanding when people have legitimate reasons for not doing so well (health, family circumstances, etc.), and on the other hand, not letting staff take advantage of your kindness and slack off.
Make them accountable for all the work done: notice and acknowledge both success and drawbacks.
If there is a problem caused by a team member, don’t let them get away with a silly excuse.
They need to know that their actions have an impact on the business and it’s only fair to expect adult people to be able to deal with that.
In the same way, people need recognition for their knowledge, skill and effort, the value that they bring to the team.
Healthy debate is also needed, but respectfully.
Instil and expect regular, professional and productive communication.
Do not tolerate disrespect in the team, make sure people are keeping one another in the loop and no one is left out of important conversations. Check-in regularly to know people are on the same page.
Respect can be about seeing others’ perspectives. It may not be possible in all businesses, but if you can rotate your staff and let them see and learn different aspects of work, they will have more variety and also will be more understanding of the challenges their colleagues have to deal with.
You will have a more well-rounded team where people can step in for one another and be more flexible.