When researching and collecting data about toxic workplaces, which eventually led to his co-authoring the book Rising Above a Toxic Workplace, Paul White discovered three distinct symptoms of a toxic workplace:
- Lack of systems. Organizations simply did not have established procedures in place that guide employees’ actions and behaviors.
- No accountability. Problem employees create conflict and don’t take accountability for their actions.
- Bad leaders. Managers either mistreat employees or cause problems because of their lack of communication and conflict skills.
Takeaway: You can take steps to make your team—and ultimately organization—less toxic. Establish procedures and rules for your team, and then hold your employees and yourself accountable for following them.
— Adapted from “Is Your Workplace Toxic? Wichita Psychologist Paul White Has Some Advice,” Emily Behlmann, Wichita Business Journal, www.bizjournals.com.