Are You Encouraging a Positive Work Culture?

This article, “No Time to Be Nice” ran in the NY Times last week and talks about the consequences of bad behavior at work.

If you’ve experienced a toxic environment or boss, you’re familiar with the toll it takes. Everything from feeling uninspired, under-appreciated, and stressed out to serious health problems, and even errors and mistakes on the job.

Ultimately, you have to decide how to fix it or pull the plug. But what if you’re the one contributing to the toxicity?

You may not even be aware you’re doing it. “Incivility often grows out of ignorance, not malice,” says the article. Here’s a look at the major offenses that cause employees to become disenchanted.

These are the rude behaviors by bosses most often cited in a recent survey, in descending order of frequency.

• Interrupts people

• Is judgmental of those who are different

• Pays little attention to or shows little interest in others’ opinions

• Takes the best and leaves the worst tasks for others

• Fails to pass along necessary information

• Neglects saying please or thank you

• Talks down to people

• Takes too much credit for things

• Swears

• Puts others down

 

See anything here that sounds familiar? (I admit to one or two… swearing at least!) Again, you might not be doing them intentionally. Maybe it’s as innocuous as responding to emails during a meeting, or multi-tasking when talking to colleagues. But these actions suggest to employees that they’re not important.

 

People behave badly for any number of reasons. The researchers in this article found that “over half of them claim it is because they are overloaded, and more than 40 percent say they have no time to be nice.” Others are concerned that nice behavior will be seen as weak or incompetent, or that they’ll be taken advantage of.

 

Seems crazy to impair workplace performance and drive employees out the door just because you’re trying to save time or are worried about perceptions. The fixes are so simple: Put down your cell phone, praise contributions, smile, listen…

 

Read the full article, here.

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