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REBUILDING YOUR CULTURE: Adjusting Your Engagement to Guide Your People From Toxic To Thriving

culture holistic leadership leadership leadership challenges Feb 23, 2021

Is your workplace thriving? Or is it dragging?

Are your people excited to spend time in the office? Or are they dreading pulling their alarm? 

Is there motivation fizzing throughout your team to accomplish goals? 

Or is there tension and silence that has fallen on your team stifling performance?

We have shared a lot about "Engagement" recently because it's so important, but we would be amiss to not talk about toxic environments and how your engagement can impact more than just the monthly deadlines. As we’ve noted, your people MATTER, and so, the environment that you create and allow your people to cultivate matters all the more. 

We recommend reviewing our “7 Warning Signs Your Workplace is Toxic” Resource to help you quickly identify toxic tendencies and diminish them before they take root and run your top talent away. Meanwhile, here’s a deeper look into guiding the workplace culture to thrive. 


Take Interpersonal Inventory:

Spend time talking with your people to see how they are doing. Get involved and work to see what is happening on their level and in each department. Ask questions like:

  • Are you stressed about anything in the workplace?
  • Do you feel like your workload is ever too much? 
  • Are you interacting well with other fellow co-workers?
  • Do you feel any pressure or tension that is negative right now within the company?

Look Around, Be Aware, Observe:

Often, leaders can become so caught up in managing that they allow some intuitiveness (often a characteristic that landed them in leadership)  to slip. Make sure you are getting a good look at the big picture and the small when it comes to your people. Look around, what do you see and what does what you see tell you about the environment? 

  • Do you see and hear people communicating well?
  • Is the mood light and friendly or heavy and gloomy?
  • Are there any bullies or ones who poke fun excessively? How are people responding to one another?
  • What about gossip? Do you work to keep that in check? Are others keeping that in check? Do your employees have a sense of trust with one another and are their clicks?
  • What about hot tempers? Are they tolerated? Who has one?
  • Is anyone isolating themself from the group? If so, why? If there is silence happening, and it appears unusual, investigate. But remember to do your best not to gossip as you seek answers! 

Having open dialogue with your teams will continue to create a community of safety and trust. Toxic behaviors have a lot harder time brimming and spawning when there is clear communication and accountability.  

Taking control of toxic behaviors once they are identified

In order to bring about a successful culture, a culture that is thriving, you’ll obviously need to squash whatever is poisoning it. You may find there are quick and obvious fixes like shifting some personnel; however, keep in mind that you may have to dive into an extensive task of  digging up root causes and redefining cultural norms within your company. These harder fixes take dedication and determination. Whatever the outlook, be encouraged that it IS possible to change the dynamics in your workplace - from ugly to great. 

Here are some mindsets to remember when digging up toxic roots and challenging culture:

  1. Remember your own strengths and weaknesses. Everything rises and falls on leadership; the tones and behaviors that you practice will be the standard. Ask for accountability and keep your own tendencies in check. Seek to set an atmosphere that is enjoyable and encouraging to work in. 
  2. Keep vision clear and continue to repeat it. Never allow the vision of your company and the core values to fade to the background, instead rally around them! Continual reminders of vision will help unity to grow. 
  3. Invest in strong leaders and encourage them to coach others. Help the strong ones on your team to help the weaker ones. Maybe you have some new employees who are easily discouraged or overwhelmed. Instead of allowing them to become disgruntled and formulate a discussion group at the water cooler, have seasoned employees coach them and bring them along with positive energy. 

We know that leading people can be tricky! Leadership is never easy and dealing with toxic situations can sometimes become crippling. We want to continue to be a place of resource and support as you develop your talent. Be sure to download our “7 Warning Signs Your Workplace is Toxic” Checklist in our free leadership course here. If you are looking for more guidance, consider our Coaching services

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