HR Management & Compliance, Talent

Toxic Impact of Rude Bosses Part II: Role of the Leader

In yesterday’s post, we discussed the significant and negative impacts a toxic boss can have on an organization. From bringing down department and company morale and productivity to increasing turnover to setting a bad example for other employees and other leaders, toxic bosses are bad news for any organization, and they can’t simply be tolerated. Leaders need to take action.
As S. Chris Edmonds writes for SmartBrief, “[t]he cold, hard truth is that bad actors do not exist without sanction. This person’s bad behavior has been tolerated for years, and now the company is losing good players because of it.”
Leaders play an important role in spotting, defusing, and, in some cases, parting ways with toxic bosses. They can send a strong message that toxic behaviors will not be tolerated in the workforce. Here’s how:

Set Expectations

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From the start, leaders in organizations need to set expectations around what kind of behavior is unacceptable in the workplace. That certainly applies to toxic management styles.

Lead by Example

Tolerating toxic managers within one’s organization sets a bad example, even if such behaviors are not explicitly condoned. Inaction speaks louder than words! As we discussed in yesterday’s post, one of the most damaging things a toxic manager does is set a bad example for the rest of the organization. To combat toxic behavior, effective leaders should set an example for appropriate management style and behavior. These, also, are the leaders who should be recognized and rewarded, again sending a signal to others about the type of behavior that will be rewarded and what is not acceptable.

Ear to the Ground

Leaders can’t have their heads in the sand. Oftentimes, employees are hesitant to go over their boss’ head to report what they feel is bad behavior. Consequently, the behavior goes on. Because employees can’t be counted on to call their boss’ behaviors out, it’s extremely important for leaders to have an ear to the ground to make sure they can identify and address toxic situations.

Hold Bosses Accountable

Awareness is useless without action and accountability. Leaders need to make sure the employees in their organizations have a safe and respectful workplace. That means holding poor-behaving bosses accountable.
Toxic bosses are a reality for many employees; they shouldn’t be. In a yesterday’s post, we discussed the negative impacts such managers have on their organizations. Here we looked at the role the company’s leaders have to deal with such actors. Are your leaders following these practices?

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