Who wants to work in a hostile work environment where emotional intelligence and empathetic leadership are conspicuous by their absence? Toxic and unhealthy work environments provide companies with more costs than benefits.
What will I read about in this article?
- What makes a work environment hostile?
- The costs of a hostile work environment
- How to foster leadership based on emotional intelligence
What makes a work environment hostile?
We could answer this question simply by responding: a lack of emotional intelligence and empathetic leadership. A topic we addressed in this article. But it really encompasses much more than that.
According to the All Voices platform, a digital tool aimed at preventing such work environments, a hostile work environment is classified as a workplace where supervisors or co-workers regularly create or carry out discriminatory behaviour against others. In most cases, the recipient of this misconduct presents this act as abusive or intimidating, which affects their performance and motivation at work.
The costs of a hostile work environment for the organisation
“What are we going to do? “. Some companies are reluctant to take action against toxic figures in their workforce because they’re high achievers, or simply because it’s not so easy to detect or demonstrate these reprehensible behaviours. But in reality, having such people in an organisation entails more costs than benefits.
Research has shown that toxic cultures cost US companies almost $50 billion a year.
In fact, the toxic culture was the main attrition factor that led to thousands of people resigning from their jobs during the first six months of the Great Resignation.
Hostile work environments can be very stressful and can lead to decreased productivity and become a burden on workers’ mental health. Because of this, many people end up leaving a company and looking for better opportunities in other, friendlier places.
How to foster leadership based on emotional intelligence that ends hostility
It’s essential that company leaders take responsibility for analysing the impact of tolerating toxic behaviours. Even if the people practising them achieve good results, they’re damaging the organisational culture of the company.
According to the Harvard Business Review, there are five strategies leaders can follow to ensure that these hostile profiles do not drive away their best employees.
* Establish a no-tolerance policy. Companies need to address cases where toxic behaviour is identified and take action in order to stop it.
* Take an honest look at the organisational culture. It’s important for managers to know what’s really going on in the company: how do people in the company feel, and do they take action when complaints of toxic behaviour come in? Talking to employees, conducting surveys, using emotional intelligence and exercising empathetic leadership are all essential to this point.
* Establish an efficient feedback or complaints system. Reporting inappropriate behaviour, whether racism, sexism or even sexual harassment, leaves many people with the daunting task of having to file complaints based on undocumented accusations, subtle retaliation and witnesses who are reluctant to speak up. Providing anonymous reporting opportunities can help employees feel confident that they will not be penalised for speaking up.
* Check that the company’s values are actually being followed. If an organisation is firmly committed to making inclusion, respect and tolerance part of its culture, it should analyse whether they’re present in all processes. From the recruitment of new talent, to the setting of objectives, to the management of work teams.
* Speak out against injustice or toxic behaviour. Leaders have a lot of power when it comes to promoting one behaviour or another. If they keep quiet, others will understand that this is the right attitude to take. But if they point out toxic behaviour, others will understand that this is the way to go.
Taking care of the company’s organisational culture means developing leadership based on emotional intelligence, in order to take care of the well-being of the people within the corporation.