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Toxicity in the Workplace

Today, many employees are stuck in a toxic workplace. These bad vibes can cause people to dislike their jobs, kill productivity, and hamper the growth of your organization. Having a toxic workplace or bad office culture can turn a profit-generating business into a money pit. So, what is a toxic environment and how do we stop it? To understand, we first need to know how a toxic workplace is created so that you can effectively change it and make your organization a great place to work.

Communication

If you are starting to see a decline in communication or you find it difficult to communicate with your team effectively you may have a problem. One of the most well-known signs of toxicity in the work environment is the lack of effective communication. This can have a tremendously negative impact on the production of your business. Communication and teamwork are vital to any business that wants to be successful. Without communication, you will see a rapid decline in individual and team functions. Workers who are subject to a toxic work environment will often say they don’t feel heard or understood by their peers or leaders.

Work Habits

Toxicity in the workplace can take a great employee from thriving to barely surviving. An employee will thrive when they feel valued and appreciated. When they feel underpaid and underappreciated it puts them into a fight or flight mode of survival. Our natural instincts kick in and our defensive walls go up. You will see an increase in absences, poor attitude, and lack of individual production because they are working to get to the end of the day rather than t to achieve a shared goal.

Team Work

Broken relationships and friendships can wreak havoc in the work environment. Gossiping becomes the norm, cliques are formed, and people feel pitted against one another. Most workers relate these types of experiences to that of being in high school. It is important to work together and have trust in your peers. Team building exercises can help strengthen the bonds of trust between team members and build rapport around the office.  These exercises don’t have to be elaborate or have huge prizes. They are fun and provide a productive break from your ordinary schedule.

Work/Life Balance

As an employee, it is imperative to have a good balance of work and home life. Without it you will feel the negative effects it can have on your daily performance and your overall health. These negative effects can go both ways. If you are thriving at work and happy at home life can be so rewarding. If the scale is tipped slightly one way or another it can be very challenging to get back into harmony. These types of imbalances are likely to have a negative effect not only on you but your coworkers, as well. Both employee and manager are responsible for creating a workable work/life balance within your company.

The Spread

Many people know that toxicity can be like a spore of dandelion fluff in the wind once it is blown apart it spreads quickly. As a leader, it is important to snuff out any turmoil or issues before the trouble threatens morale within the office. It’s critical to the success of your business that you remain vigilant to any changes in the attitude of your team.

All in all, toxicity in the workplace is something that can occur within any organization, however, with the right environment and the right management your organization can thrive within a strong, happy office. The bottom line is, if management can quickly identify and stop it in its tracks, you will have an organization full of happy employees, willing to work hard for you day in and day out. Best of luck!

 

How to Handle Politics in the Office

Office Politics

Playing politics at the office is a great way to get a promotion… or a pink slip. It depends on how well you play the game. Today we’re not focusing on playing office politics, we’re focusing on politics in the office. 

Don’t do it! Really, for the sake of your career and office harmony, stay away from political discussions.

Politics is going to come up in your office. You spend a significant portion of your life with your co-workers and it’s only natural that people want to share and hear opinions. However, politics just doesn’t make for great office conversation. It tends to be a divisive and emotional issue.

From a career advancement perspective, you run the risk of alienating the supervisor who decides if you get that big promotion next year. To quote Michael Jordan: “Republicans buy sneakers, too”.

 So, what’s the best way to handle politics in the office? Avoid the discussion!

 If you absolutely must discuss it, please, adhere to these best practices.

  • Focus on your common ground
  • Understand the consequences
  • Be open-minded and curious
  • Respect and recognize everyone’s right to their opinion

By respecting your co-workers’ opinions and avoiding potentially heated discussions,  you will make the most of your right to vote and to work in a civil office environment. 

 

8 Signs That You Work in a Dysfunctional Office

Do You Work in a Dysfunctional Office?

Promotional product offices are crazy places. They have a unique dynamic that drives the culture, mood, and productivity of the sales reps and assistants who call the office home.  The tone of the office is set by the onsite sales manager, office manager, or regional executive who is responsible for providing a productive home for all employees. Unfortunately, negative intra-office dynamics can develop that detract from the productivity and camaraderie of the office.

In other words, sometimes offices suck.

Do you work in a dysfunctional office? Here are the eight warning signs:

Whispering and gossip between employees

Closed office doors

Lack of support from your manager

Staff who say, “That’s not my job.”

Ideas and creativity are not being shared between sales reps

Flare-ups of overwrought emotions, including anger, tears, frustration, and neglect

Shared office chores aren’t completed because some feel put upon

There is no sense of common mission or team spirit

You need to be aware of these signs of dysfunction and meet with company management to address your concerns. Ultimately the mission is to serve your clients.  If your office isn’t supporting your efforts, you owe it to yourself, your company, and your clients to create positive change.