Creating A Non-toxic Work Environment

The workplace is where we spend 80% of our day as employees. Our co-workers are people we spend most of our time with, even more than with family and friends. Hence, the workplace should be a place of energy, creativity and friendliness.

More than just the employer, it is imperative that staff members create an environment that is less confrontational and more engaging. Nobody thrives in an environment where there’s a lot of hate, back-biting, blame gaming, etc. Here are some ideas that help in ensuring that the work environment is not toxic.

  1. Do not encourage gossip: “He said, she said, they said…” should be avoided at all cost. When a colleague walks up to you to tell you about a co-worker, stop him/her in mid-sentence and request the presence of the person being discussed. This will discourage story telling.
  2. Always be fair: Never take sides or give judgment without hearing all sides to the story. When there is a problem, call all parties involved and have them share their own angle. Being fair also comes in handy when it is time to reward or punish. Never play favouritism.
  3. Never shoot down ideas: There are no stupid ideas. Always ensure that when someone puts up an idea, he/she is listened to. The thing with ideas is that it can be kept for an appropriate time. It can be dissected and analyzed for its merits and demerits. Parts of it can be discarded and other ideas added to it to make it what is worthwhile for the company.
  4. Reward good work: Ensure that all the people that participate in a project and made it work are adequately recognized and rewarded. Don’t alienate people because you do not like them for your own personal reasons – after all, that’s just your perception not necessarily the truth.

This list is by no means exhaustive. Is your work environment toxic or is it an ideal place to work?
Share with us your view of your workplace. Perhaps you have other ideas on how to make the workplace much better, so please, share.

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