The work climate: are you taking care of it?

For several years, companies have been using imagination and constantly pushing the boundaries to offer unparalleled working conditions to their employees. However, stress at work is still a hot topic, cases of professional burnout continue to increase and we realize that harassment and incivility are indeed present in our workplaces. Despite all the good will of managers, employees are not happier at work. Have we taken the wrong path?

It’s a very good idea to offer your employees access to a gym, a ping-pong table or even yoga classes, but never forget that you have to dive underwater to discover the hidden part of the iceberg. Jokes aside, if there is a deeper problem in the company, these initiatives will not work miracles. If your employees work in a toxic workplace, offering six weeks of vacation or an employee assistance program will not solve the toxicity problem. These initiatives are very good, but they circumvent the problem.

The impact of a toxic work climate is not to be taken lightly. Not only will your employees leave the company, but the still loyal survivors will remain disengaged and absent themselves often. Inaction in this situation leads to a loss of productivity which can jeopardize the sustainability of the company.

So, before going in search of the new trend, here are some possible solutions to take into consideration:

  1. Review your policies and define the notion of civility at work (in ADDITION to the harassment policy!);
  2. Analyze your internal communications practices and survey your employees often;
  3. Offer NLP coaching to your managers;
  4. Provide training to your employees on how to deal with different personality types;
  5. Educate your employees on the nuances between harassment and personality conflicts and identify who they can talk to about it;
  6. Act directly with problematic employees by taking administrative and/or disciplinary measures;
  7. Hire candidates who share your organizational values.

Does the work climate problem originate from management? It may be necessary to do some human and organizational introspection to prevent and repair damage. Know that the success of these solutions relies on the words and actions of senior management who must act as a model.

When you don’t take care of something, it often rots. Do you take care of the well-being and happiness of your employees?  Once the problem(s) are taken care of, you can then have fun at the ping-pong table!


Elyse Marineau

Organizational development consultant

Specialized in human resources

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