There are many reasons employees leave their places of employment, but organizations should be highly concerned when employees leave because of poor relationships or a lack of respect. According to a recent study by Randstad, 38% of workers want to leave their jobs due to a toxic work culture or one where they feel they don’t fit in. An even larger group (58%) have left jobs, or are considering leaving, because of negative office politics. And 60% have left jobs, or are considering leaving, because they don't like their direct supervisors.
Signs of a toxic work culture range from dishonesty, to competition amongst employees, to rampant gossip. But if there are any red-flag behaviours from leaders (including senior leaders, managers, directors, and supervisors) – organizations must act quickly. Left unattended, a toxic culture will be harder and harder to shift and will have a direct impact on the bottom line or affect an organization’s ability to deliver on their promises to stakeholders.
A positive work culture starts at the top. Last month, our blog focused on how to create a ‘safe’ culture and reinforced the need for leaders to be role models for respectful behaviour. Here are some examples of behaviours that are red-flags and should be addressed swiftly:
1: Devaluing (or ignoring) the contribution of others
2: Telling others what to do or ordering people around
3: Making others feel stupid or unintelligent
4: Blaming others for mistakes
5: Yelling; being emotionally volatile and unpredictable
6: Complaining about employees
7: Talking about others behind their backs, rather than speaking to people directly
It takes courage and commitment to begin to change a toxic culture, including addressing red-flag behaviours. If you would like help in building a plan to shift your organization’s culture, please reach out to me.
P.S. If you haven’t yet seen it, please have a look at our new video about the Centre for Character Leadership's approach to building a 'character' culture, which encompasses both organizational culture and personal, authentic leadership.