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5 Ways Employers Can Prevent Harassment & a Toxic Workplace

Why Employers Should Prevent Harassment and a Toxic Workplace and Five Ways to Prevent it

Running an organization is tough enough without having to deal with the constant headaches that can arise. There are more than a few situations that arise that can cause major stress, and that is not even involving the ones that require an employment lawyer.

One of those scenarios involves a toxic workplace. We have all heard of them and many of us have worked in one ourselves. But, there are repercussions to be felt from the employer for those environments.

In particularly toxic settings where harassment is a regular occurrence, it could potentially lead to legal issues for that organization. Those can be costly to say the least, which is why preventing a toxic workplace is important. Here are a few ways that a workplace can prevent creating a toxic atmosphere.

1. Encourage Team Sharing

Part of the reason for a toxic environment is competition. When people are all vying for a certain number of spots, it can create the kind of competition that soon develops into a toxic environment. So, the idea should be to encourage competition without it becoming a detriment.

It should mean rewarding those who go above and beyond but not creating the feeling of there being “losers.” It should be about reducing resentment and driving morale forward. Remember, to create success, you want your employees to be motivated, not discouraged.

A great way to encourage success could be having the top performers mentor those who are struggling. This encourages teamwork, allows a potentially positive environment to emerge, and encourages everyone to come together as a cohesive unit.

2. Give Credit Where It Is Due

One of the leading factors in a hostile or toxic workplace is in the way that management treats employees. Most often, in cases that require an employment lawyer, there is a situation when an employee feels like they have not been getting the credit that they feel they are due.

It is important to ensure that those participating in a project are given the credit for their role. Even if that role is considered to be largely insignificant, that boost in morale can be enough to drive them to bigger and better.

More importantly, by giving them credit, you can help to avoid those negative feelings that develop into a negative, toxic environment. The goal is to get everyone working together, but that can’t happen without providing the necessary positive encouragement.

3. Management Should Lead by Example

It is tough to develop a positive workplace environment when the issues start at the top. How many times have we heard of a workplace where rules for employees are enforced to the letter but those in managerial roles seemingly do what they want?

Establishing a positive workplace starts at the top. If there are rules in place, management has to be held accountable as well. Moreover, management should be leading the charge against those toxic issues that permeate workplaces.

If a manager criticizes or punishes a staff member, plays favourites or lays blame at the feet of specific employees, it is only a matter of time before that festers into a negative situation. Management should lead, not throw people under the bus.

4. No Playing Favourites

Speaking of, one of the leading factors in a toxic workplace is the clear playing of favourites by management. A team leader should be objective with the greater benefit of the company being at the forefront of their mind.

But when a manager plays favourites and makes scapegoats out of other employees, it can foster jealousy and anger. That is the perfect cocktail for a toxic work environment. Not only that, but it can bring on bullying of the scapegoat staff members and lead to factions sprouting.

When those two factors come into play, it can be the point of no return. Factions and bullying can lead down a slippery slope that only ends with legal action coming into play.

5. Mutual Feedback

We have heard more than a few examples of companies where management provides feedback and it is rarely constructive or beneficial. But what would go a long way is allowing for mutual constructive feedback between management and employees.

This allows both parties to know, with respect, where they can stand to improve and where they excel. It is a way to assess the situation and see what strengths can be accentuated and what weaknesses can be addressed.

The key is to keep it constructive and allow for engagement back and forth. When employees feel like they are only being criticized and can’t communicate issues with management, it can lead to dissention in the office quickly. Offering mutual feedback is the progressive way of running an office these days.