Having a well thought out business model and employees that are well qualified can make a huge impact on a business’s success. However, if the work environment becomes toxic, the productivity levels within your company can be deeply impacted. In fact, the energy put out by your employees and that which surrounds them can make or break an otherwise successful company. Here are a few tips on how to avoid cultivating a toxic work environment.
Open Allocation and Incentives
Allow your employees the opportunity to move around within to the company with ease to work with projects that are of interest to them. Don’t create a situation where it takes calling in a bunch of favors or schmoozing in order to get placed onto an interesting project team. This can create resentment amongst employees who may very well succeed if they were on a project that fit their interests and skill set if they have to play office politics instead.
Consider offering an incentive plan that allows all level of employees to have the opportunity to earn more based on the quality of work they do or as projects are completed. This allows more ownership in their work and less resentment towards others who may do less but earn more simply become they are upper level.
Grow With Intention
When your company hits a boom it is easy to continually add on to fill the office with bodies to cover all the bases. However, with each addition comes a new office dynamic. Allow your employees time to become familiar with new faces and processes before throwing in yet another group of personalities and roles. Be very clear about the culture you wish to cultivate within your walls and hire people who you believe complement that vision. Then, take your time and allow the employees to get settled into their place within the company.
Increase Energy Flow
Physically creating an energy flow within the work space can reduce a toxic environment exponentially. Utilize an open design concept with community spaces and remove walls that work more as barriers throughout the office. Even if you need to separate zones, you can create the illusion of openness with glass walls and transparent doorways. This not only brightens an area, but reduces the sense of secretiveness that can often encourage mistrust. This doesn’t mean you can’t still maintain a sense of privacy. Sliding doors and sound proofing can allow conversations to remain private while still generating a feel of “transparency” throughout the company.
A toxic work environment can cause negativity to escalate quickly and keep your employees from being able to focus productively on their work. With a few tweaks you can create a positive work environment resulting in employees who are happy and at their best.