Case StudyCompany Culture

Case study: Dealing with Toxicity in Your Organisation.

By April 26, 2024 No Comments
Dealing with toxicity

We regularly facilitate Strategy Development and Alignment workshops. One of the topics we talk about is Company Values. Very often, the leaders of the company explain that they have strong company values and a good culture.

This was also the case with an organisation we recently started working with. Later in the workshop, when we arrived at the SWOT, one of the weaknesses identified, was the aggressive way their Production Planner manifested himself in the organisation. Displaying irritable behaviour, commanding one-way communication (it was even expressed as “barking”) and being passive-aggressive when not talking. Even though everyone was subjected to this behaviour, it was never really addressed. “That is just the way he is”, was one of the statements.

Circling back to the company values, we asked the C-suite to explain to us what they were. Interestingly enough, the team could not articulate the company values and had to look them up on their website. Finally, when we had them listed on a flipchart, it appeared that the behaviour of the Production Planner violated three of the six company values. Aside from the fact that this is a perfect example of having company values that are not upheld in practice, it also illustrates that they are a key component in defining and securing a culture in a company. But this is only the beginning.

Ultimately it is very simple: toxic behaviour in an organisation cannot be tolerated!

It needs to be addressed. First in a respectful one-on-one. If that doesn’t improve the situation, more serious measures may need to be taken including ultimate dismissal.

Ignoring toxic behaviour drives talented employees away. Unfortunately, those who leave first are often the ones who can easily find other job opportunities – your most valuable employees.

The result of addressing this behaviour is all too familiar. After removing toxic individuals, organisations often experience a palpable sense of relief. Importantly, it sends a clear message that toxicity is unacceptable and that we aspire to foster a harmonious and supportive work environment.

If you suspect that employees are coming to work out of obligation rather than genuine enthusiasm, possibly impacting others negatively, please reach out to us. We can assist in cultivating the right spirit among your team or addressing underlying issues effectively.