We all want to have a harmonious work environment where everyone feels valuable. It’s normal to have a stressful workday from time to time. But what happens when things turn toxic, and people start to question their value in the workplace while others are deep in their power trip? Some problems might not even be that noticeable, but can be affecting the attitude and performance of your best employees.
According to Certified Professional Coach Lori Scherwin:
“A toxic work environment is any that makes you feel uncomfortable, unappreciated, or undervalued.”
While you may not know exactly how each employee is feeling or what may be happening in their personal lives, every employee plays a pivotal role in the overall work environment. And a large part of that comes down to the overall behavior in the workplace. Trust, encouragement, respect, and patience are the core values of a thriving work environment. It’s possible to achieve all four, no matter where you work.
Let’s change the “everyone is replaceable” philosophy to making sure everyone feels indispensable. Here are a few signs of a toxic work environment and how to fix it:
Sign 1: Lack Of Motivation
Some days, the bed feels more comfortable than the office chair, and you don’t want to get up. We all have those days, no matter what position we have in a company. But what isn’t normal is when your employees no longer feel motivated to go to work whatsoever. The lack of motivation might even be affecting their life outside of work, and they feel depressed or lonely. They might not also have a desire to engage in activities outside of the workplace.
Solution: Motivate Through Positivity
Employees want to feel motivated at work, as this motivation serves as fuel to get the job done. There are a few simple ways you can motivate them through positivity. Compliments, involvement with other team members, acknowledgment for their work, and letting them know you believe in them will go a long way.
Sign 2: Stressed… All. The. Time.
As mentioned above, having an occasional stressful day is entirely normal. But workplace stress should never get to a level where it affects your employees even after they’ve left the job. Anxiety appears in different ways, so it’s necessary to look for the signs. One person might be experiencing physical side effects (run-down looking, paying less attention to their appearance, etc.), while someone else might have a difficult time concentrating on the job. Another may have lost interest in work altogether. Stress is serious and must be paid attention to in the workplace.
Solution: Encourage Personal Health
People need to feel like they have value as actual human beings and not workhorses required to do their job. By encouraging their health, you show empathy towards the stresses they may be feeling. Figure out what might be stressing them out and suggest ways to improve their overall health. Perhaps it’s going for a midday walk or a few minutes of mindful meditation. There are so many different ways one can lessen or eliminate stress at the workplace. It all comes down to what works best for the individual.
Sign 4: Not Feeling Valued
Every day holds something new at a repair operation. Because of this, there may be days when some employees don’t feel valued. Perhaps there’s a conflict between employees or departments, or some other form of anxiety. Feeling undervalued is not always as apparent, so try to figure out what the root of the problem may be. Are their opinions and ideas being heard? Are people paying attention to them?
Solution: Celebrate Victories (Big or Small)
Whether it’s achieving the most sales that quarter or something a bit smaller, celebrate each victory that happens at the ( insert vertical). It’s essential for your team to feel valued at all times, regardless of how big or small their successes might be. Recognition for their accomplishments creates a connection between employer and employee. This is key to building employee engagement and making them feel important in the workplace.
Nobody wants to work in a toxic environment, which is why there are several ways to improve it that can benefit every employee. Try to figure out why someone is feeling a certain way and go from there. After all, when the car runs out of gas, what do you do? You fill it up, and it’s back on the road. The same thing applies to your team: fuel them with motivation, and they’ll be ready to go.