Rebuilding trust in a toxic workplace environment

Everyone wants to work happily and harmoniously.  Everyone wants to go to work and go back home satisfied, after the time is up and would be eager to face the next day with an open arm for the next day challenges.

It all depends on the workplace relationship and trust among the institution workforce.

Everyone dream of making the long-lasting work culture to be shared graciously.

But there are spoilers who will try to create their own ‘bad toxic culture’ and championing them which would diminish the good relationship and trust for others to hold on.

Toxic workplaces are inescapable and costly.

It is said that 1in 5 employees are bullied at work and 61% of employees are aware of workplace bullying (Workplace Bullying Institute, 2017).

Many of the workers or employees know that their workplace is toxic, and yet many are unable to react as they do not have the support of the ‘integrity team’ assigned to help and handled the issues.

Workers and employees are advised not to take problems and issues into their own hands and should channel their problems to the proper channel.

Though some brave and smart employees do brought up their grievances to the right proper channel, many had their issues overturned by ‘dictators of the governors’.

The signs of a toxic culture and workplace can be seen easily, when employees are not seen performing as well, many complaints were send to higher authorities or a number even starting to leave or moving out from the institutions.

Once you notice a problem, it’s a process to rebuild trust and restore your workplace to health.

Many leaders of the office will never admit the problems, their mistakes and not acknowledge that he/she is the cause of the problems. Thus the first step to an unhealthy culture is shown.

One can sense and feel toxicity when walking into an office, it is apparent.

Most employees will not speak of and admit when there’s a problem.

Many would want the leadership to speak up and communicate to the team, for it’s their duty and responsibilities to make things better and seek feedback in doing so.

A good idea is to assemble a wise and experience team but it’s just too difficult to get such a team as ‘cronyism, viruses and toxics’ are mostly picked to be in the team.

“Toxic” is a broad term that can be used to cover many forms of bad behavior or conditions.

Many would understand the issues that are affecting toxic culture, but yet many would not be satisfied and happy with the appropriate action taken.

Just like the ‘toxic incidents’ in Johor and Selangor, everyone seems to know the issues that your organization is facing, and you can take corrective action that will truly matter.

The toxicity is the result of an employee or practice; you can work to retrain or remove the employee or rethink the practice.

It is the process likens to restoring a human body to health.

“The most efficient way to detoxify and really reestablish harmony is to identify which ‘organ system’ or, in this case, which section of your company needs the most support, and want to change the environment or support the elimination of that toxic load,”

Restorative justice, which is typically conducted with a trained facilitator, also helps prevent the recurrence of damaging behavior.

But no one seems to trust the trained qualified facilitators assigned though restorative practices help them learn to repair the harm done.

Think about adding values like transparency or integrity, and if you’re going to just say, ‘Things are going to be different,’ people aren’t going to believe you,”

People want to know that the organization has their best interests at heart.

Authentic, transparent communication about the steps the organization is taking will go a long way toward helping employees understand that leaders are serious about change.

Establishing ways for employees to communicate their feelings to leadership will help the organization track progress and identify areas that need attention

The process will likely require a lot of communication and revisiting various steps along the way.

Making the investment in turning around a toxic environment and restoring trust is worth doing though who knows when it will be.

Azizi Ahmad is a senior educator Sat, Mar 16, 1:38 PM


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