11 Oct So, which of these things actually harm workplace culture?
I recently came across an article detailing the problem of toxic workplace culture and ways to fix them. The subject matter was rather important, so I read it, but the author makes a number of claims that need to be clarified. The issue I am going to deal with now is the list of problems outlined by the author to be the causes of toxicity in the workplace.
Here is the list
- discriminatory beliefs
- treating employees as assets, not people
- information guarding (poor communication/unclear expectations)
- aggressive or hostile leadership styles
- belief that employees are lazy, stupid and/or expendable
- resentment of Authority
- lack of accountability
- lack of appreciation for (or recognition of) good work
So, let us start from the top.
The problem with this one is that it has no meaning. The phrase used here could mean anything from being a Nazi to saying that Radical Islamic Terror was the cause of 9/11. Further, saying that any particular behavior, or idea, might lead to harm is in fact a form of discrimination. By this logic, of saying that discrimination is evil, you are also disallowing anyone from saying that Nazism is evil. Logic is mathematical, blind. It doesn’t care about want you think, it only accounts for what is entered into the equation.
So, discriminatory beliefs are not necessarily a bad thing. Next.
Treating workers as assets
This only happens in movies. Or in Hollywood itself, a la Harvey Weinstein. Next.
It is usually necessary, as is a clear communication of goals. Find a balance, but don’t simply brand it as evil just because you don’t like it. Next.
Aggressive or hostile leadership
These are two different things. Aggressive leadership is important for things such as motivating workers and achieving production goals. Passivity can never see past its own behind.
Hostility, however, is something else entirely, and has no place in a cooperative environment. Competitive environments will have them by default and will exist no matter what you do. Counter it by means of corporate galas, events, etc.
It should not exist in your managers, however. See that it doesn’t. Next.
Belief that workers are lazy, stupid or expendable
Well, that depends. Fact or fiction? If these allegations are true, your employees are the problem and will need replacing. Them, or the folks in HR. If not, get rid of the ingrate managers. Next.
Resentment of authority
This is a problem and must be dealt with. Either there is some overbearing manager somewhere driving everyone nuts, or there’s a college twerp or community organizer stirring up trouble. Either way, you should have no tolerance for it. Next.
People who don’t know or aren’t sure what they want don’t belong in managerial positions. They need to shape up or ship out. Next.
Lack of accountability
This isn’t hard. Accountability is the only thing that keeps societies functioning. You want your company to function? See to it that it’s clean. Next.
Lack of appreciation and respect for your employees and their work
They need to see it, or it doesn’t exist. Keep that in mind.
Of course, people who don’t work for a living need to be reminded that cash is the most physical and transferable form of appreciation that we possess as a society. But that isn’t a discussion for now.