Avoiding Topics or Behaviors that Foster a Negative Work Environment

Employees who work in a positive environment are happier, more effective, more efficient, and more fulfilled in what they do.  Conversely, a negative work environment can lead to higher turnover rates, low staff morale, and less productivity. As a manager, it is up to you to ensure you are cultivating a healthy work environment so that you can boost productivity among your employees.  Here are a few common behaviors to avoid, as they might contribute to a toxic work culture.

Not Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

Nothing is more frustrating than working tirelessly on a project just to have someone else step in and take all the credit for your hard work.  There are some employees who are willing to belittle their coworkers just to make themselves stand out. Likewise, there are those are willing to steal the limelight from their colleagues.  As a manger, it is up to you to ensure that everyone who contributed to a project gets the credit that he or she deserves. You need to spend time observing your team and asking for routine updates on their progress so you can be made aware of who is doing what.

Don’t Overdo it with the Competition

There is nothing wrong with a little friendly competition here and there.  It can actually be a great tool for motivating your employees and boosting productivity.  However, things can become problematic when you don’t handle the competition the right away.  While it is acceptable to recognize and praise the winners of the competition, you want to avoid ridiculing those who didn’t win and discouraging them.  You also want to avoid turning everything into a competition. Some people enjoy it but others might feel pressure when everything becomes a competition.  

Avoid Playing Favorites

Nothing will turn your staff on you faster than working for a manager who plays favorites.  This type of behavior causes the employees to lose respect for their manager and it incites bullying among team members.  It also forces the team members to form their own cliques, which eventually leads to total destruction of the team.

Not Practicing What You Preach

If you expect your employees to show up on time, adhere to dress codes, and follow company protocol, you better make sure you are doing it yourself.  It is so important to lead by example because your employees will be paying attention to your behavior. If you are penalizing your staff for showing up late and then you do so yourself, you begin to lose all credibility and you will end up with a bitter and resentful staff.

Not Listening to Your Employees

Employees want to feel valued and they want to know that their opinions and feelings matter.  This doesn’t mean you always have to agree with them, but employees oftentimes need someone to listen to them and it’s a leader’s job to do so.  Acknowledge your employee’s concerns and consider their ideas. Negativity often arises when employees don’t feel like they are being heard.