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Why Non-Communicative Environments Become Toxic (And How To Move Forward)

Updated: Jun 14, 2019

When communication, collaboration, and forward movement are inhibited, problems that could easily be solved turn into consistent frustrations. Work frustrations usually involve problems that prevent an employee from doing their job well with sufficient ease. They know it can be better, but it isn’t better, and the experience of dealing with unnecessary difficulties and inefficiency is frustrating. Collaboration involves an open dialog about constant improvement and trouble-shooting, and when that's hindered work life can be miserable.

Sometimes work frustrations involve an employee’s perception that they are doing an unfair amount of work, and that their coworker is doing less than them. Sometimes this perception is accurate, sometimes it is not. Either way, it’s the lack of communication that allows frustrations to fester. Festering frustrations need an outlet, and if there isn’t an outlet that leads to solutions, the outlet is complaining.

The first thing to address in creating more profit, team building, and moving your company forward, is to look at what inhibits your employees from doing their job well, with sufficient ease. What unnecessary problems are getting in the way?? Toxic work environments are fueled by inefficient, wasteful systems that create frustrations. (Because it will always be frustrating to be forced to do your job poorly. Potentially, even, to be reprimanded when the true cause of the issue has not been addressed.) Don't just stop after treating the symptoms, and don't look to blame individuals before truly assessing - What is causing this? What are the root issues of the problems that face your company?

A manager’s dominant job, is to enable their staff to do their job well. They are managing a team. While trying to be positive always serves, it isn't about putting up with it. Flat-out ignoring problems leads to toxic environments, because it will always be frustrating to be forced to do your job with unnecessary difficulty. So how can you enable your staff to function with ease?

In opening up to facilitating for your staff, look for the core issue. When frustrations have really been festering, it’s easy for the staff to feel animosity, and unnecessary personal blame. What are the core issues creating the problems? So much improvement comes from asking the right questions. Don’t be afraid to directly ask what your staff’s greatest frustrations are. Many businesses try to manage from above, creating systems and rules without looking at the true work flow their employees endure. Without communication different departments blame and resent one another, and effectively getting through the day becomes difficult. Address their frustrations. Facilitate collaboration and understanding.  Use your imagination and start creating solutions. Let your staff feel heard and respected, and they will work even harder for you.  Most likely, they already know clever ways they can positively impact your business, and they're waiting for you to empower them to do so.  

At Highest Good Consulting, we excel at creating environments where every department can thrive. (Sometimes managers need help with their own frustrations too. Sometimes companies need foundational work to flourish.)  Let us help you address the problems your business faces, as we create communication structures that allow everyone to thrive. What if, this could even be fun?

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