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Concerned About a Toxic Work Culture? Focus on Workplace Wellness

How Does Workplace Wellness Impact My Business?

Before I start, let’s make it clear that I’m sure your business doesn’t have a toxic work culture. Rather, the point of this article is to identify signs of a toxic workplace and explain how you’d fix it. After all, workplace wellness is a critical part of an organization’s success. See, a toxic work culture covers such a broad range of human behaviours and physical environments that it’s easy to miss. In fact, people stuck in a toxic workplace often don’t actually realize it. Like the metaphorical frog in a pan of water that’s slowly brought to the boil, few notice there’s a growing problem—or even a danger—until it’s much too late. And the end result? Collapsed morale, flatlining productivity, colossal employee turnover, and little-to-no business success. All employers must avoid that situation by paying attention to workplace wellness. Here’s what to look out for.

Is it Really Just “Banter”?

One of the first places to look at, and one of the likeliest to reveal elements of a toxic culture, is how your employees behave. Of course, bullying and harassment create a distressing working environment, but sometimes it can be subtle: a type of aggression that crosses the line but gets shrugged off as “banter.” Make sure you have a zero tolerance approach to bullying and harassment, and make your employees undergo mandatory training that explains your company’s stance. To stop such toxic behaviours, it’s vital to have reliable grievance or personal harassment procedures so that you can address complaints in a serious and professional manner.

Busy… or Drowning?

High workloads, unrealistic expectations, and pressure from managers can be root causes of a toxic workplace culture. Combat it by reviewing your team’s to-do lists and look to share the work out fairly. Also, if you employ managers, encourage them to watch out for struggling employees and give them the support they need. Finally, it’s important to remember reducing excessive workloads gives you the chance to keep stress levels low and productivity high.

Think Healthy

Embrace your responsibility to the physical and mental wellbeing of your staff. In other words, ensure you have policies outlining your organization’s commitment to offering support during times of ill health.

Proactive Prevention

To avoid every chance of a toxic workplace culture developing, take proactive steps towards creating a working environment focused on workplace wellness. Start with inexpensive perks. A few examples are sweet treats, a team meal, or even financial incentives for top-performing staff.  Sometimes it doesn’t take a lot to boost morale, so it needn’t be expensive.

And the Outcome?

You keep your business—and your people—in a happier, healthier and more productive state. Read more about Peninsula’s approach to employee management.