5 Symptoms of a Toxic Organisation

In a time where organisations are struggling against a sluggish economy, investing in employees with a focus on team building is even more critical to sustain a profitable and healthy business.

Not every organisation can afford to offer a playground-like environment for its employees (Google) or an on-site culinary team that caters to the ravishing appetites of its workers with free gourmet meals (Facebook). But even the smallest of companies can use team building events to create a healthy workplace environment that fosters innovation, creativity and engagement.

Symptoms of Toxic Organisation

These events are designed to establish a sense of solidarity, confidence and cohesiveness that encourages team members to work toward an equal goal.

Regular team building exercises increase engagement and strengthen relationships among employees, which is critical in developing motivated employees whose goals align with the overall objectives of an organisation.

Without these key elements in place, you’ll have an ailing organisation suffering poor profits.

What are the symptoms of an unhealthy organisation?

1 – Hostile Staff

Psychologically damaging work environments can cultivate outrageous behaviour in employees, allowing them to become unhinged at minor moments of panic.

Consider the United States warehouse worker who shot and killed eight co-workers, and then himself, after losing his job; or the epic meltdown of the flight attendant, who once the plane landed, quit his job over the address system, grabbed two beers, deployed the evacuation slide and made a memorable exit.

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These are extreme circumstances but there are numerous employees who suffer daily emotional damage due to a poor workplace environment.

2 – Increased Absenteeism

Excessive absenteeism can be due to low morale, burnout or stress, depression, disengagement, poor working conditions or serious illness. This can lead to decreased productivity, which can be financially harmful to an organisation. Companies have to consider the cost of re-staffing, decreased office moral and payable health benefits.

3 – Disengagement

Image Courtesy of Gallup – How to Tackle U.S. Employees’ Stagnating Engagement

Studies show that employee engagement has an overall impact on the bottom line.

Gallup writes in a 2013 report on workplace disengagement that employee engagement “…Is strongly connected to business outcomes (that are) essential to an organisation’s financial success, including productivity, profitability, and customer engagement.”

Yet disengagement is a worldwide epidemic. Another Gallup study shows that 63% of employees worldwide are disengaged, meaning “they lack motivation and are less likely to invest discretionary effort in organisational goals or outcomes.” Also, 24% are actively disengaged, or unhappy, unproductive and likely to spread negativity among team members.

These unmotivated individuals are crippling the potentially paramount success of organisations.

4 – Difficulty Retaining Top Talent

Employee retention is a primary measure of organisational health. There is a popular saying: “People quit their boss, not their jobs.”

But the competition for top talent is fierce and retaining those superstars is an even greater challenge. High turnover rates, with training, re-staffing and a damaged reputation, can be costly to a business.

Employees need to understand the value of their contributions to the company’s success. Each worker should be treated with dignity and respect in an environment that supports excellence. This includes having pride and confidence in a product or service offered.

5 – Lack of Communication

team communication

Effective communication is critical at every level of the organisation. Employees need to be aware of decisions, or included in conversations, that will impact the success of their individual tasks.

Communicating is not exclusive to weekly memos or boardroom meetings – it means being receptive to suggestions and opinions, and asking for feedback.

All of the above can be costly to a brand and experts recommend correcting the issues with training, coaching or team building. Exercises harness the power of play to engage employees and better understand one another while working more effectively as a team to transform a struggling organisation. Contact Total Team Building today and let us help create a fun and engaging culture within your team.




Employee Engagement The Key To Happiness And Organisational Performance.

There’s a good reason Google received almost 1.3 million applications from people hoping to gain employment with the tech giant.

Google’s philosophy is to “create the happiest, most productive workplace in the world,” company spokesman Jordan Newman told the New York Times.

team happiness and organisational performance

For the sixth consecutive year, Google leads the pack as number one on Fortune’s list, the 100 Best Companies to Work For.

Beyond the bounty of perks offered to Googlers, it’s a happy environment that ignites creativity, cultivates innovation, and most importantly, boosts productivity.

Teams are the foundation of its success and the Internet juggernaut spares no expense at keeping its employees happy. It even has a People Operations department with experts whose jobs are to ensure employees stay happy and engaged.

Team building is part of Google’s culture. Having fun together fosters a sense of unity and among employees and creates that engaging environment that people enjoy.

Engaged workplaces are more profitable, have positive customer feedback and a higher rate of employee retention.

Happiness = Success

In a comprehensive analysis of 225 studies, researchers Sonja Lyubomirsky, Laura King, and Ed Diener found a strong connection between happiness and success. The research that combines neuroscience, management studies and the bottom lines of international organizations shows that happiness and positivity in the workplace results in:

  • 3 times more creativity
  • 31% more productivity
  • 10 times more engagement

“People who cultivate a positive mind-set perform better in the face of challenge. I call this the “happiness advantage”—every business outcome shows improvement when the brain is positive,” Shawn Achor, best selling author and psychologist, writes in Positive Intelligence, published in the Harvard Business Review (HBR).

Engaged employees are psychologically invested in the organization and care about its overall success. Disengaged employees just don’t care.

The cost of disengagement can cripple an organization’s level of performance. According to Gallup, How to Tackle U.S. Employees’ Stagnating Engagement, actively disengaged people cost the American economy up to $550 billion per year in lost productivity.

It’s not that surprising.

In a lifetime, people spend an average of 90,000 hours at work – that’s almost 11 years of continuous days in an office. Crestfallen workers, trapped in an unhappy environment, are more likely to produce disappointing results.

Creating that positive work environment that engages employees is key to happiness and organizational performance.

Team building is a great way to maximize employee engagement. If co-workers recognize each other’s strengths and learn to collaborate as a team to reach an equal goal, chances are they will feel more connected and communicate more effectively.

A 2010 study in the International Journal of Business Management shows that employee engagement is mostly found in high growth companies.

The study, Employee Engagement, the Key to Improving Performance, reports a: “positive relationship between employee engagement and organizational performance outcomes: employee retention, productivity, profitability, customer loyalty and safety. Research also indicates that the more engaged employees are, the more likely their employer is to exceed the industry average in its revenue growth.”

Google, a dominant force in the tech industry, is proof. The brand is less than 20 years old and generates more than $45 billion annually.

Perhaps you remember the following story that clearly demonstrates the Google culture: building teams with highly-engaged people who are fully committed to the company’s overall performance and growth.

In 2002, co-founder Larry Page is famously known for posting a printout of results from Google AdWords in a kitchen at Google that said: “THESE ADS SUCK.”

Instead of blasting, reprimanding or firing the AdWords team, Page had full confidence that the talented team would correct the problem.

The HBR writes in The Google Way of Attacking Problems: “In most companies, this would be seen as cruel — an arrogant executive publicly humiliating his hapless employees for shoddy work — but not at Google. In fact, his unusual act was a show of confidence, defining a tough problem that he knew his talented engineers would want to solve.”

Page was right. He understood his employees and knew how to motivate innovation. By Monday morning, “a group of engineers sent out an email with a solution that not only resolved the AdWords problem, but helped transform Google into a major money machine,” HBR writes.

Motivate Your Team

Is your company looking to create that environment that boosts engagement, promotes innovation and maximizes productivity? Discover the internal motivators of your team and understand how their values align with the overall goals of your organization.

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If your looking to motivate your staff or would like them to be more actively engaged so they connect, communicate and collaborate then let us design a unique program that taps into the key motivators of your workforce with fun, engaging team building events. Give Total Team Building A Call Today.