All workplaces have some challenges and negative characteristics, so it can be difficult to determine if your workplace has a normal amount of challenges, is seriously dysfunctional, or possibly really toxic. Here are five signs that will help you determine the degree to which your work environment may be dangerous to your mental health.
1. Unhealthy Communication Patterns
An initial sign of a dysfunctional, toxic workplace is that there are significant problems in communication, and often across multiple areas—between employees and their supervisors, from management to supervisors, across departments, with suppliers, and even with customers.
Good leaders need to be able to vary their leadership style and move between the styles mentioned here in response to the prevailing situation. These styles used in combination should enable a far more effective leadership that delivers tangible improvements in team performance, but relies upon the judgement of the leader in selecting the most appropriate style.
This concept and the visual was taken from my new book which came out today called, The Future of Work: Attract New Talent, Build Better Leaders, and Create a Competitive Organization.
One of the things I have been writing about and have tried to make clear over the past few months is that work as we know it is dead and that the only way forward is to challenge convention around how we work, how we lead, and how we build our companies. Employees which were once thought of expendable cogs are the most valuable asset that any organization has. However, the employee from a decade ago isn’t the same as the employee who we are starting to see today. To help show that I wanted to share an image from my upcoming book which depicts how employees are evolving. It’s an easy way to see the past vs the future.
Despite the popularity of Maslow’s Hierarchy, there is not much recent data to support it. Contemporary science — specifically Dr. Edward Deci, hundreds of Self-Determination Theory researchers, and thousands of studies — instead points to three universal psychological needs. If you really want to advantage of this new science – rather than focusing on a pyramid of needs – you should focus on: autonomy, relatedness, and competence.
Some employers tend to underestimate the effect of their words and expressions on the morale of their workers. The truth is that what managers say and how they say it impacts employee engagement and loyalty, to the point when the supervisor's comments become the prime motive for leaving the company. Here are some examples of things responsible employers should never say to their workers.
Anyone who’s celebrated a significant work anniversary knows just how a company can change over the years—who has a seat at the table, what customers expect, the most coveted skills. But there’s just as much that stays the same: what your brand stands for, the shared lexicon, your unique culture. We use the term organizational DNA as a metaphor for the underlying organizational and cultural design factors that define an organization’s personality and determine whether it is strong or weak in executing strategy.
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