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    3 Replies Latest reply on Jan 18, 2010 9:52 PM by DebbyBlitzLoc

    Turn Dysfunctional Workplace into a Good Working Environment

    remmerich Newbie

      We've all been there. You walk into a bank, restaurant, or store and suddenly feel it, that vague sensation that all is not well. It drips from the ceilings and sits in puddles on the floor. The employees are lost in thought, unable to decide whether they'd rather be somewhere else or stay and kill each other. And you're the lucky one bathing in all the poison they can ladle up.




      I hope you've experienced the other side, too. You walk in the door and are gob smacked by a sense of well-being. This isn't just a place where people work, it's a place that WORKS. The employees want to be there and they want YOU to be there. You feel your brow relax, and the corners of your mouth head ever-so-slightly north. You don't wanna leave.


      So which of these do YOU work in?


      Now, which of these environments do you think YOUR employees rather work in?


      So you're wondering if that six-headed, chain-smoking, flatulent monster that's been "hiding" in the supply closet is the Beast we're talking about here.


      Here Are 9 Symptoms of a Dysfunctional Workplace:


      • 1. People say one thing and mean another
      • 2. People give lip service to new ideas, only to undercut them in private

      3. Defensiveness


      4. Saying you'll do something and then not doing it


      5. Chaos


      6. Deflection of feedback and blame


      7. People pretending they "missed the memo on that one"


      8 Refusal to deal with conflict


      9. Gossip and backstabbing


      When you think of a dysfunctional organization, you might picture a lot of screaming and yelling. But take a close look at this list. There's very little that has to do with raised voices, and the only mention of "conflict" is the failure to deal with it directly.


      You will have conflicts in the workplace. The key is to address it in a healthy and productive way. Yelling at someone isn't the best way to communicate displeasure, but it's a heck of a lot better than whispering behind that person's back, which gets us into the excruciating, crazy-making world of the passive-aggressive.


      If I had to nominate just one of thing from the list above as the most destructive symptom of the dysfunctional workplace, there's no contest. It's GOSSIP. A workplace full of whispered gossip is as painful and maddening as a buzzing mosquito at bedtime. It is destructive to the soul of your workplace and the souls of your people who never feel safe and always wonder who is talking behind their backs.


      When people gossip about others, you may as well have them bring baseball bats and beat each other. At least that will heal. If a happy and functional workplace is your goal, there are few more productive places to put your energy than the absolute elimination of gossip.


      How to End Gossip & Create a Happy Workplace Environment Where People Actually Want to Work


      Step one is to recognize that gossip is an attempt at communication-seriously screwed up communication, sure, but communication nonetheless. You can't eliminate the behavior without providing something to replace it-namely a good and healthy way of communicating.


      All Jack had to do was to go to Tom and say, "Dude, when you are late with that analysis, I end up on my knees to my boss because then my report is late. Please promise me you'll get that to me on time from now on." Reasonable. Direct. Easy.


      If Jack came to you with gossip, simply say, "Gee, it sounds like you need to talk to Tom directly so you can work this out." Lather, rinse and repeat until the person wakes up!


      Once you establish a zero-tolerance policy for talking behind another person's back, give your employees permission to address conflict head-on, out loud, courageously and honestly. Create a trusting and open environment and watch the dysfunctions in your workplace ebb away.


      The Next Step to Ending Workplace Dysfunctions: Build a Shared Vision

      Now you've recognized the symptoms and diagnosed the disease. Time for the cure.


      Most workplace dysfunctions amount to employees shooting their energy at each other because there's nothing else to aim for. What's needed is a single, shared vision.


      Everyone wants to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Everyone wants to feel productive and be happy. Give yourself and your team members a clear and positive picture of where you want to go as a group. Most of them will jump at the chance to be a part of it. When people align around a vision of great service, pettiness and dysfunctional workplace behaviors fall away and people become who they need to be to make it happen.


      Will there still be those who stubbornly hold on to their dysfunctions? I guarantee it. And for the sake of the rest of you, gently but firmly encourage those folks to find and follow their bliss elsewhere.


      Are you ready to do what it takes to end the dysfunctions and create a can-do culture in your workplace?


      Roxanne Emmerich is renowned for her ability to transform "ho-hum" workplaces into massive results-oriented "bring-it-on" environments. To discover how you can motivate employees, ignite their passion and catapult performance to new levels, check out her new book - Thank God It's Monday. Now, you can get a free sneak preview at:
        • Re: Turn Dysfunctional Workplace into a Good Working Environment
          businessSIR Adventurer
          I am in the loss prevention industry and know exaclty what you mean by this. Dysfunctional workplaces not only bring people down but businesses who keep this atmosphere rarely stay in business. I have handled hundreds of cases of employee theft in my career and the one thing they all have in common is that they do not care for or respect their workplace.

          Customer service and a fun atmosphere is the number one deterrent to theft by employees, damage to company fixtures and property by employees and workplace violence.

          Even large companies have morning meetings where they create games and goals for employees to participate in. Something simple such as music being played can create an atmosphere of fun and excitement not just for the employees but for the shoppers as well.

          One thing to do that will keep the employees busy and customer service high is keeping the cash register area clear when not in use. In many stores people behind the register with nothing to do tend to start trouble. Keep them out of the register and back areas and on the sales floor getting involved.
          • Re: Turn Dysfunctional Workplace into a Good Working Environment
            LUCKIEST Guide
            Dysfunctional Workplace, Interesting post.

            Who are you?? Go to Members page and share some info.

            Thanks, LUCKIEST
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            • Re: Turn Dysfunctional Workplace into a Good Working Environment
              DebbyBlitzLoc Adventurer
              Great advice! This is a very timely post as work place stress is at an all time high. Companies have had to downsize and eliminate positions but the work load hasn't gone away; it has been pushed onto those left standing. This can cause resentments, feelings of being taken advantage of and often times really eat away at team mentality.

              It is crucial that the lines of communication be opened at all levels of business. People need to feel as if they are being treated fairly and that their concerns are being heard. I believe this change in communication has to start at the top in order to impact those near the bottom of the ladder.