The Dysfunctional Culture!
Shifting a dysfunctional culture is no easy task, it requires commitment, time and effort from leaders to move towards a positive workplace culture. The first step of any cultural change starts with being able to identify toxicity within your workplace. So, what are the 5 key tell-tale signs of workplace dysfunction?
1. Communication – It’s either not happening at all or it’s happening in the wrong way: Sidebar conversations, gossiping, a pass the parcel of emails all equal miscommunication which spreads dysfunction through teams and workplaces. Communication needs to come from leaders directly and early before anyone can misinterpret important messages and spread false information.
2. Negative Attitudes – Negativity spreads through organisations and teams incredibly fast. Turning up to meetings late, not paying attention or getting tasks done, not showing any real enthusiasm or team commitment and complaining to co-workers will have an impact on everyone’s attitude and performance. Leaders should deal with bad attitudes by listening, focusing on solutions and addressing the root cause of an individuals or teams negativity.
3. No Trust – a functional and positive workplace culture cannot be built in the absence of trust, both in co-workers and most importantly, leaders. A lack of trust sees employees second guessing intentions, decisions and assuming the worst leaving them afraid to ask for help. This breaks down the foundations of a high performing team. Good Leaders lead by example and create a trusting environment by being open and honest themselves.
4. Unresolved Conflict – this seems obvious, conflict is of course going to result in a dysfunctional culture, well not necessarily. Conflict in teams is unavoidable, it’s how it is handled and resolved that creates or avoids dysfunction setting in. Leaders need to intervene when necessary to support in effective conflict resolution, resentments within teams will otherwise continue to undermine a supportive and engaged workplace culture.
5. Loss of Talent – key talent will not put up with a dysfunctional culture as long as an underperformer would. There may be a number of reasons the best staff are continuing to move on, the easiest way to understand why is to ask, and not at the last possible chance in an exit interview. Smart leaders hold regular individual catch ups with their team, this supports engagement, builds trust and provides a forum for two-way feedback and communication.