Fostering a Non-Toxic Work Environment

“Great things are never done by one person. They’re done by a team.” -Steve Jobs

It is likely that you have experienced a toxic work environment. As an entrepreneur, who is the face and leader of your business and brand, it is imperative that you foster and build a space where your employees feel valued, appreciated, and respected. Therefore, today, we want to chat about some ways you can create a non-toxic work environment, ensuring that your employees look forward to coming to their jobs each day. 

What is work toxicity? 

The term, work toxicity, refers to a place of work that is marked by significant personal conflicts between those who work there. The impact of a toxic work environment can take its toll on a person’s mental health and impact their well-being, both personally and professionally. 

“Employees in toxic environments arethree times more likely to experience harm to their mental health than those in healthy workplaces.”

Wellable 

Signs of a toxic work environment can include the following: 

  • Not being heard or acknowledged 
  • Bullying or harassment 
  • Gossip and rumors 
  • Favouritism 
  • Negative leadership 
  • Lack of support 
  • High employee turnover 
  • Low morale  
  • Discrimination 
  • Poor communication 

Tips to foster a healthy work environment 

There are several ways you can build a workplace where workers feel valued and appreciated. Let’s discuss a few of them: 

Encourage communication 

Promoting and encouraging open communication amongst all your staff is key to a successful business or organization. Ensure your employees feel like their voice is heard and valued, even when you don’t agree. Assist in open communication as a leader by creating opportunities for staff to voice their ideas, concerns, and opinions.  

Encourage constructive criticism and feedback and be an active listener when someone is voicing their thoughts. The more comfortable your workers feel in expressing themselves, the more productive and effective they will be in their role or position. 

Promote inclusivity and diversity 

It is key to ensure that your policies and procedures are inclusive and diverse. Consider the language you use, the education and training you provide to your employees to promote inclusion and diversity, and lead by example in the way you treat, accept, and celebrate different cultures and people.  

By creating a diverse workplace, you foster an environment that values the thoughts, opinions, and ideas of people with a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. It is this uniqueness that can benefit your business, and bring innovation and creation to the world. 

Prioritize work-life balance 

With more people working remotely, and seeking to find a healthy balance of work and life, it is imperative to be open and flexible with your employees. Ensure that expectations are clearly established, but remember that life doesn’t operate on a schedule. Therefore, be open minded when unexpected situations arise, and be willing to accommodate as needed. Promote vacation days, breaks and respect the boundaries of your workers’ hours.  

Deal with conflict immediately 

If you have fostered and environment where people are encouraged to communicate, and feel safe in doing so, they are more likely to come to you when conflict arises. Ensure you have proper policies and procedures in place to deal with these situations effectively, and communicate those to your employees. Provide access to mediation, and work swiftly to find a solution that resolves the issue amicably.  

Remember, as a business owner, you are only as strong as your team! Therefore, ensure it is one that will work for you, and not against you by creating an environment where everyone thrives. 

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