Construction is often a high stress working environment. Many of the jobs can be physically demanding, with quick turnarounds and rotating staff. For all of these reasons, if you are not careful, a toxic workplace culture is likely to arise.
Effective communication is the first step in addressing any signs of a toxic work culture, and to ensuring that your staff feels confident and appreciated. It is critical that these tactics are evenly enforced across all levels of the company – if employees do not see upper management taking these tactics to heart, neither will they.
Clear directions and objectives
One of the biggest reasons that dissatisfaction or upset can arise in workplace environments is because employees are kept in the dark. You cannot expect employees to meet certain expectations if they do not know what those expectations are. If you are implementing a new decision, make sure that this is communicated to the full staff – after all, you want everyone to feel ownership and responsibility for the decision. Any given instructions should be clear and direct, and employees should have ample time to ask any questions that they may have before starting a job.
Helpful and actionable feedback
If you want your employees to grow and learn, you need to be giving them helpful feedback on a regular basis. All criticism should be constructive and team members should have a clear understanding of the steps that they need to take in order to improve. At the same time, make sure that they also know the things that they are doing well. In addition to individual feedback, it is also important that group feedback is given. This will help dispel any competition within the company and refocus on the importance of collaboration and teamwork.
Fair and respectful language
This should go without saying. Each and every employee should be treated with respect. If you want your employees to be respectful to one another, then they need to see this same behavior come from their managers and supervisors. Being rude or disrespectful – to anyone – is something that should never be tolerated. Make sure that offenders are appropriately disciplined and let team members know that using this type of language will have negative consequences.
Implementing these communication tactics:
As mentioned earlier, the above tactics need to be implemented evenly across the workplace. Signs of favoritism or narcissistic leadership will almost always contribute to a toxic work culture. If you want your employees to bring their best attitude to work, it is important that you take the necessary steps to create an environment that is conducive for them to do so.