An official website of the United States government

Do’s and Don’ts of Workplace Culture
November 12, 2021

A graphic saying Do's and Don'ts of Creating a Healthy WorkplaceA toxic workplace can affect how employees interact with one another, how productive they are, and how they feel coming to work every day. According to a Harvard Business School study, nearly half of workers who experienced incivility in the workplace reduced their effort and made a choice to spend less time at work. Almost 40% of them intentionally decreased the quality of their work. A toxic work environment not only hinders your star employees, it also affects your bottom line. Use the infographic below to prevent toxicity in your workplace and retain employees. 

Don’t use poor communication skills.

Insufficient, scattered or confusing communication is the culprit in many toxic situations. Bad communication often leads to confusion and a lack of purpose for employees. Problems can arise and compound when everyone does not have consistent information. 

Do use clear and precise communication.

Create centralized processes for communicating with employees and foster a healthy team environment. Does your business have a department or point of contact to which employees can voice their concerns? If your employees were asked about company processes, would they all have the same answer? Make sure that company practices are clear, concise and consistent.   

Don’t engage in cliques, exclusion and gossipy behavior.

Favoritism, nepotism and general preferential treatment toward certain members of your staff will not only breed resentment and jealousy, but will also de-motivate the workers who do not fall into the favored categories. 

Do encourage team camaraderie.

It has been determined that rude workers have a stronger effect on an organization than civil workers.Team members who feel safe with their team members will be more likely to work harder, work more productively, and have a better work-life balance. 

Don’t take your leadership role too lightly.

Bad leadership can seep into every fiber of an organization. One bad leader can beget another, and so on. This generational hierarchy of poor leadership can lead to a toxic workplace. 

Do set the tone for your organization.

You can set the tone for your organization and make sure your leadership skills are up to par by using the YALI Network Leadership Planning Toolkit as a resource. Your leadership choices affect the entire organization; model good behavior. 

Don’t stifle growth.

If you are not offering mobility, learning opportunities, professional development or mentorship, employees might be tempted to leave to advance their professional growth. While you might be scared that your top performers will leave for competitors, it’s no secret that workplaces that invest in their employees see increased productivity and motivation.

Do emphasize passion.

You may not win a wage bidding war, but you can attract great talent if what your business does inspires passion. Coupled with perks, flexibility and learning opportunities, along with passionate enthusiasts matched to the right job, can help a team stay largely stable.

Don’t encourage overwork.

Is it typical for your employees to answer emails after the workday has ended? On weekends? You may be promoting a culture where employees are required to be on call at all times. While there will be times when employees are forced to work longer hours than usual, make sure that this is the exception rather than the rule. 

Do promote healthy work boundaries.

There should be explicit rules on when work can be conducted and emails exchanged, or you should promote a culture of implicit rules for acceptable work behavior. Having trouble thinking of what healthy workplace boundaries look like? Use our “5 Tips to Prevent Burnout in the Workplace” to get started.

Sources Used:
Career Contessa, Ten Signs You’re in a Toxic Work Environment
Patriot, 6 Signs of a Toxic Workplace
Hygger Blog, Signs of a Toxic Work Environment

Are you interested in business, marketing, and entrepreneurship? Learn how you can create, innovate, and prosper on the YALIEntrepreneurs page.