Experience in a toxic workplace? The role of leaders in creating, perpetuating and transforming negative cultures.
An article out this week by Bianca Healy discusses toxic workplaces with as many as 9 out of 10 people indicating that they have had experience with either ‘toxic’ individuals or cultures. Certainly when conducting organisational investigations it is a term commonly used by all the stakeholders and it generates a great deal of emotion and strong opinions of what is and what isn’t ‘toxic’ behaviour.
Healey says, based on the research conducted by those surveyed that ”everything rises and falls on leadership.” Certainly leaders can ”set a tone” either through their own behaviours where they reinforce aggressive and manipulative conduct.
Or leaders can perpetuate toxic cultures by ignoring behaviours and failing to hold to account those team members who undermine workplace harmony and respectful attitudes. This unfortunately validates individual negative behaviours and leads to an entrenched culture which can be very damaging but also resistant to later efforts to improve workplace conduct and attitudes.
A real test of leadership is where you inherit a toxic workplace. Why can some leaders turn this around? I would love to hear your experiences of how this was done. What worked? What didn’t?
Click below for the Healey article:
HRM Debate: What are the best ways to fight toxic workplace culture?
ACIM Solutions offers a range of programs and services to manage and investigative ‘toxic’ workplace cultures. Please get in touch if you would like more information on investigating workplace bullying or short courses to upskill staff on emotional intelligence, resilience and leadership.