Is Negativity in Your Office Ruining Your Day-to-Day Operations?
One bad apple really can spoil the whole bunch – especially if that apple is a toxic employee. And if negativity in your office spreads and the problem multiplies, the impact on your organization can be devastating.
A recent Harvard University study of more than 50,000 employees concluded that toxic co-workers “engage in behavior that is harmful to an organization, including either its property or people.”
Contrary to assumptions, toxic workers are not always low-functioning employees. They can be talented, productive people who act in the worst way. In fact, the more educated and prestigious they are, the more negative they may be. As noted in the Harvard study report, such workers can generate enormous costs and liabilities for their companies. This comes in the form of lost customers, damaged morale and increased turnover, to name a few.
Here are five signs negativity in your office may be a threat:
- Gossip runs rampant. Gossip is one way toxic workers act out their unhappiness. They make it a point to put a negative spin on anything related to the company – and rely on each other for strength and safety. Keep a close eye on their whereabouts. They may go out of their way to befriend new hires or others who may be vulnerable to their tactics.
- Morale takes a nosedive. If you start to notice employees becoming demotivated or disengaged, this usually indicates a fear-based culture. The problem can be especially toxic if it is traced back to management. Workers should feel like much more than just cogs on a wheel. If this is allowed to continue, a higher turnover rate and the loss of good performers will be inevitable.
- Managers act like dictators, not leaders. Bosses become tyrants, as growing feelings of distrust make it less and less safe to disclose information or work in close collaboration. Job survival under a dictator mentality becomes day to day, due to the constant unpredictability of the company environment.
- The human touch is lost. People begin to feel like objects or numbers, rather than living, breathing, valuable company assets. Employees may feel pressured to compete against one another in an unhealthy manner, or to sacrifice their personal and family lives.
- People are literally sick of it. Toxic workplaces are stressful, and over time, people will break down and suffer physical, mental and emotional health issues as a result. As people become increasingly discouraged, you’ll notice a rise in anger, conflict, irritability and blowups, as well as more sick days, absenteeism and disability.
Are these signs hitting home?
For help dealing with negativity in your office – or wrapping your arms around the human capital issues that pose the toughest challenges for your HR team – consider partnering with Frontline Source Group. We’ll find a customized solution that meets your needs and keeps your business on track for competitive success. To get in touch with our staffing service in Denver, CO, click here. Contact us to find the branch nearest to you or read our related posts to learn more!