Are You Doing Enough To Improve The (Work) Environment?

By   /  
November 5, 2017
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Helping the environment is all about green fingers and cutting down CO2 emissions, right? Not entirely because, although maintaining the planet is essential, so is assisting your employees. A clever business understands productive workers are the foundation of success as efficient and consistent employees produce high-quality work every day. But, it isn’t just down to an individual to get out of the bed on the right side in the morning. Sure, their attitude plays a significant role, but so does the ethos of the company.

Sadly, some people feel intimidated and bullied at work. Others don’t get the support they need, while some get harassed. Hollywood isn’t the only industry where powerful men take advantage of the subordinates. Of course, your business wants to avoid these scenarios. However, it may be just another cog in the machine that is a toxic workplace.

How can you tell? Are there any signs? Yes, they are, and you can find a selection of them below.

Negative Body Language

Workers may not be filing complaints but it doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem. One way to tell is to look at the body language of the office. In a happy environment, people will be laughing, joking and bouncing around with a care in the world. Okay, so that is a bit of an exaggeration, but they won’t be slouched in their chairs afraid to speak. Negative body language says one thing: management is pushing the office too hard. The reason no one is laughing or joking is that they have to focus on getting results. If they don’t, they may fear for their job or, at the very least, a telling off from the boss. Only the company sets the agenda for the workplace. So, this is usually down to the people in charge not providing enough flexibility and causing stress.

Negative Feedback

Constructive criticism is necessary for growth. People who don’t understand their weaknesses can’t work on them and make them better. Still, employees have strengths as well as weaknesses. Concentrating on what they do wrong is a sure-fire sign the company is result-driven. Rather than focus on employees as a whole, it sees people as dispensable but indispensable parts of the money making process. A healthy environment is one which mixes positive and negative feedback. Yes, people need reminding of their failures at times but they also deserve a pat on the back too.

Too Much Bureaucracy

A certain level of micromanagement is vital to success. Of course, too much leads to growing frustration among the workforce. You may not shout at people or work them too hard, but it doesn’t mean the environment is a positive one. The reasons are trust and independence. Firstly, employees want an employer to show faith because it says they value them as workers. Secondly, workers need the freedom to get through the day. Adults are not kids and don’t deserve to get treated as such. Therefore, allowing them the flexibility to manage their workload and shift patterns is essential. Plus, it prevents boredom from gripping the office. When employees are bored, they start to lose focus on becoming inefficient.

No Claims

Where there is blame, there is a claim. It’s a motto the car industry swears by but one which doesn’t exist in the corporate sector. Yes, employees are holding their bosses to account more thanks to tighter labor laws. Still, many men and women feel afraid and don’t come forward with allegations. A lack of accusations may seem positive yet it provides evidence of an underlying atmosphere of intimidation. What are the steps to rectify the situation? A human resource recruitment agency can draft in new and independent people. Or, you can review the existing policies and make changes. Firstly, you need to understand there is a problem which needs addressing.

Bullying Culture

Now, a bullying culture is difficult to spot. It may seem easy, but the majority of people won’t stand for bullying. The problem comes when management doesn’t see it as crossing the line. A boss yelling at an employee just seems like a run of the mill day in the life of a manager. To the employee, it may be the third such incident that week which indicates the hierarchy is targeting its subordinates. The key is to look around the office and pick out anyone who may be a bully. Are they unbiased, good-natured people who want the best for the firm? Or, are they power mad sociopaths who love throwing their weight around the office? Depending on the answers, the office may have to change its stance on bullying. Don’t just focus on managers, either, because coworkers are just as bad.

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 No Balance Between Life And Work

Some industries require their employees to put in the hours on a weekly basis. However, they don’t expect them to work fifteen-hour shifts for seven days a week. It’s important to complete tasks but never at the expense of the people who are integral to growth. Companies which place zero emphases on the balance between life and work show no compassion for their employees. Instead, it paints them out to be terrible organizations that put money ahead of their workers’ well-being. People are not assets and should get treated as such. A positive work environment allows individuals to build their work around their life and not the other way around. For example, it may enable mums and dads to start later so they can get their kids to school. Or, it may provide extra vacation time other than the state allotted amount. Even regular breaks are signs that the bosses don’t want to overwork the staff.

Office Politics

Everyone knows what they are, so let’s focus on the telltale signs. There are lots, but the main one is promoting an unworthy candidate over another worker. Usually, it’s because the successful applicant greased the right contacts and kissed enough ass to win. Every promotion is controversial, but there need to be sound work-related reasons to overlook a qualified and experienced employee.

If any of the signs are systemic in your company, then you aren’t doing your bit for the environment. However, it’s never too late to make a change.

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