Negative Work Environments

negative work environments

The majority of the professionals can state that having worked for two or more different companies was the same, although these companies might have been in different industries, or in different countries, or with many other differences between them, and still the professional would claim that having worked for them was the SAME just because they felt EQUALLY bad while being part of each of them. This is not very helpful, because, in the case of complex organizations, One Size Fits All doesn’t apply, and different Negative Work environments don’t have the same root cause, not to mention that even for two cases with the same Root cause, there are very few chances that the required solution will be the same.

So, first of all, when evaluating and diagnosing a Negative Work environment, we need to understand that there are several ways in which an environment can be negative, and I have captured them in the video below (3 minutes from my Webinar on Negative Work environments).

After we know in which way the Work Environment is Negative, it is good to assess whether it is also dysfunctional, and in which way this negativity affects the results.

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Further, we evaluate the root causes for the dysfunctionality, and in this step, by far the biggest mistake some change agents do, is listing down all the possible things that might affect negatively that particular state of affairs and then handing over to the middle management a plan to improve the organization on all of those points. This is wrong because it is overwhelming. No organization has enough resources to take that approach, so you need an expert that can highlight the low-hanging fruits and the things that will require relatively little intervention, little energy, and little adjustment but will deliver great improvements, and will have set the organization on a positive improvement spiral.

The best metaphor I can think of would be from the human body that gets scratched and the scratch is very painful and unpleasant. It is not necessarily from the outside to fabricate new skin, new cells, and new capillary blood vessels, and recreate the bonds with the old skin in order to fix it. It is enough just to remove the source of the scratch, disinfect, and maybe put a Band-Aid on it and the rest will be solved naturally by the body (in most of the cases, as there can be also the von Willebrand’s disease and that’s more complex). In the same way for the very complex System called an Organization, once you have correctly identified the root cause of the pain, have removed it, and gave the clear signal that healing is enabled, it will do so on its own. (With this metaphor, I’m not advocating for unwise delegation, unwise leadership expectations, or laissez-faire management. Leadership is an essential factor in the health of an organization and it requires its special attention. )

Remember, the fact that an Organization is a very complex system doesn’t mean that “fixing” it should be very complicated. The fact that an Organization is such a complex system means also that it has the capacity to “heal” itself much faster, IF and ONLY IF we understand how GROUP BEHAVIOR works, what is the main blockage currently, and how to release that blockage in the most natural and efficient manner for the group.

If you feel your Organization is a Negative Work Environment reach out as by the end of February 2021 there is a considerable discount on the Service of Tackling Chaos in the Organization.

About George Lupascu-Pruna

About George Lupascu-Pruna

George is a practitioner on Group behavior, Cultural Differences, and Organizational Culture, working in various projects to solve group or inter-groups challenges.
Aside from his work on Organizational Development and Cultural Differences, he also writes articles like this on Societal challenges in various countries in the world.
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