It’s not usually the intention of most leaders to deliberately create a fear-based culture amongst themselves and their employees, but the truth remains: If you don’t actively work to pursue a culture that empowers your people, a default culture falls into place, and it’s typically based on fear.
People in business often say that you should only measure what “matters” — oftentimes this just creates a fixation on revenue and profits. As you’ll soon learn from this article, turning a blind eye to a toxic workplace culture can have many damaging long term effects, and definitely isn’t the wisest move for anyone in a leadership position who wishes to keep their job.
There’s a huge difference in output among employees being willing to do more than is expected of them vs. employees who just do the minimum to get by and cover their asses, so to speak. This inconsistency is felt at all levels — from customer service to partnerships with suppliers to senior organisational leaders.
It really all comes down to employee engagement. Organisations that have cottoned on to this are investing exorbitant sums of money into this area every year, and growing.
Research shows that companies that invest in culture (in other words, fostering a culture whereby people truly want to come to work), technology (as in the company provides all necessary tools required to do the job efficiently and effectively), and physical areas (such as having a nice and pleasant place to work) have more profit and revenue. These companies were also on the slightly smaller side, suggesting higher levels of productivity and innovation.
In my experience – details matter; and a toxic workplace culture really kills people’s desire to go beyond what is merely expected of them.
Recent research suggests that the average lifespan of a CEO leading a large market cap company is around 5 years, and their failure rate within the first year and a half can be as high as a whopping 75%!
Why is this? Well, of course the chief job is sure as hell not easy, but frequent turnover in top leadership positions can really cost your company a massive amount of time and money. The team will very quickly lose their sense of direction, and executives will be forced to make time to find and replace that role, which is obviously a monumentally important task.
As a leader, leaving a toxic culture to fester affects job security, as well as having a serious impact on shareholder value.
A toxic workplace affects everyone in negative ways. Research has proven that overly-stressful working environments increase the rate of employees missing days of work, and leads to them getting sick more often.
Not to mention the financial consequences of employee absenteeism. Productivity losses from missed work can cost your business crazy amounts of money.
Remember that your workplace culture has a direct effect on the health of your employees. And it definitely doesn’t take an expert to tell you that healthier employees will be more productive employees.
This point is related to the reputation of your company. Best believe that when employees leave positions, they talk to other people in their fields of expertise. Negative word of mouth will detriment your ability to recruit the best talent out there, and sites like Glassdoor – which share anonymous feedback – can really be a killer for your organisation.
The consequences of careless and unsavoury behaviour catch up with everyone at the end of the day. With an abundance of research pointing to the massive need for a supportive workplace culture and environment, this is a topic that can no longer be ignored by leadership faculties within organisations.
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