If I had a dime for every time I’ve heard people brush off the idea of a positive work culture, I’d be hanging out on my own private island, sipping cocktails.
Seriously, so many people think that a positive work culture is just a bunch of hooey, with people running around smiling all day, whether they feel happy or not.
News flash: it’s not. If you think this is soft stuff, think again, because there’s a whole lotta
hard data to the contrary.
Let’s start by looking at what is often a typical work culture. Usually, it’s leaders trying to “fix” their staff by having them work on weaknesses, or simply being uncivil or disrespectful in how they treat their staff. Any of these sound familiar?
→ Being told your work is that of a kindergartner.
→ Being yelled at for doing a bad job in front of the whole team.
→ Having your work torn up in front of the team.
Ouch, ouch, and ouch.
Believe me, I’m no stranger to this type of disrespectful culture. I once worked at a company where it was standard practice to find someone hiding out in the copy room crying because they had been so severely berated by their boss.
Now, you might be thinking, so what? Those companies still get the work done.
Actually, that’s very true in my experience — that company was like a factory, just grinding out the product, regardless of how people felt. But they missed the bigger picture, which is that it was costing them way more than they realized.
There’s a ton of research on this, and most of it has been pioneered by the amazing Dr. Christine Porath. She has studied what she calls “incivility in the workplace,” which covers all manner of behaviors such as rudeness, mocking people, disrespect, belittling, and offensive jokes.
What she has found is that people who are disrespected at work are less motivated.
In a survey of business alumni students who were working in a range of industries and described being treated disrespectfully, 66% cut back their efforts at work, 80% lost work time because they were worrying about what happened, and 12% left…