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Workplace Enthusiasm - 17 August 2011

Most people think alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine are the main toxins with which we poison our body. But there’s more that we ingest – sometimes accidentally – that causes harm to our physical form. The pesticide residue on our fruit and vegetables is one; the chemicals found in processed foods is another; and the pollution we inhale on a busy street is one more.

The consequences of those toxins include lethargy, weight gain, de-motivation, and a lack of focus. That’s why people go on famous detox programs, like those offered at Absolute Sanctuary in Thailand. They see it as a cleansing process to purify the body not only from toxins, but also from stress and pent-up emotions.

There are toxins that poison the workplace, too, and they’re just as insidious with very similar consequences: a lack of enthusiasm, a stale corporate culture, a mundane work environment, and a dearth of energy. The three most common workplace toxins are:

  • Toxic People: Those whose behaviour – ranging from simple ridicule to extreme bullying – is inescapable by colleagues at work.
  • Toxic Processes: Those that are perceived by employees as unnecessary, irrelevant, cumbersome, or too difficult.
  • Toxic Purposes: Those that occur when there’s incongruence in values, a mismatch in ethics, or when people don’t have faith in a leader’s vision.

To cleanse your workplace of this toxicity, try the following detox methods.

Fasting: This is about elimination – what you can cut out. For example, it might be best to fire that intimidating employee; or scrap the reports that no one cares about or reads anymore; or stop communicating future plans and initiatives that never occur.

Vitamins: This is about substitution – what you can replace. For example, perhaps it’s time to rearrange employees’ responsibilities based on their strengths; or identify time-killing procedures and automate them; or ask employees this question: “if we could change one small thing in this team that would make you more engaged, what would it be?”

Massages: This is about adaptation – what you can amend. For example, this can include spending more time with your best performers as opposed to your lazy ones; or making an effort to include the reason ‘why’ when issuing an instruction; or identifying each employee’s talents and incorporating those into their job.

Toxicity at work is a major sapper of employee enthusiasm. And a much-needed detox is one key step towards turning any workplace into a sanctuary.

 

To download complimentary e-books on employee engagement, retention, and recruitment (valued at over $100), please click here.

 

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