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I’ve recently had a number of “Workplace Survival” findings come across my line of sight. I’m struck with the “starkness” of the terms used to describe or define workplace conditions and worker behaviors that can be “defined and described” in relation to this “survival mode” condition. Let’s dare to learn something that we hope doesn’t describe our workplace.

I’ve written before about how experts explain and determine whether a group of people perform as a dysfunctional or functional team. All agree that “trust across the participants” is the foundational characteristic. To the degree that the trust is higher or lower is the foundational indicator of the unhealthy or the healthy environment of workplace conditions. How do you assess the “Trust” level where you work?

Look around your department (or company). How prevalent are “hidden agendas”? Is turnover higher than “the norm”? (You do remember that exit interviews say workers “leave bosses” over “leave the company”. Right?) How about “sense of loyalty”? Does a sense of loyalty exist in either direction? (I’m not going to define “loyalty”. Use your definition.)

How about some more “survival mode” considerations? Researchers include “missed appointments”. A rise in missed appointments (with external and internal customers), gets identified…with hindsight. And, do meetings get canceled more often than not, or attendance at meetings has become an “if convenient” issue. And, two other common indicators…have people become more combative with each other? And, are people who once got along are now overheard talking about “looking around”? “Not for nothing”, these conditions, symptoms and descriptions are far from “healthy”. Do these conditions exist at a lower level or are they prevalent and really hard to ignore?

So, what might you do? Well, here is a suggested Action List…that will be fleshed out in the next newsletters. (IKR, thank goodness.) In no rank order:

- Call it out for what it is…a toxic condition.

- Create a corrective plan…this is not a situation where an A for effort will be acceptable.

- Understand “Successes” and “Non-successes”.

- Take Action and Engage others.


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