Turn the Tide, Create High Performing Work Environments | Author: Dr. Kathy Obear

March 14, 2016

If there were a secret that would save you tens of thousands of dollars or more in your business every year, would you be interested? Did you know that changing just one thing about your organization could reduce employee turnover, maximize the productivity of your employees, and even increase customer satisfaction and loyalty?


Your organization’s workplace climate is created by various things, including the expectations of management, the way employees treat each other, the amount of pressure and competition in the environment, and the way mistakes and problems are handled. A climate can be positive – friendly, relaxed, respectful, inviting, inclusive, and encouraging. Or it can be negative – toxic, harmful, angry, exclusive, and extremely high-pressure. The environment in which your employees are expected to work – especially the way they are treated by their co-workers and management – significantly affects their attitudes, and therefore, their productivity, creativity, and loyalty. Customers also feel the climate of an organization, affecting their satisfaction and even their willingness to give you their business.

Consider these statistics. Seventy percent of employees in the U.S., and 87% world-wide, are dissatisfied and disengaged in the workplace, according to Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workplace Report. One of the most critical issues causing this dissatisfaction is the climate of the workplace. In an article published by Harvard Business Review in 2013, Christine Porath, Associate Professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and Christine Pearson, Professor of Global Leadership at Thunderbird School of Global Management, discussed incivility in the workplace – which is largely responsible for a negative, toxic working environment. They found that among workers who’ve been on the receiving end of incivility:

  • 80% lost work time worrying about the incident
  • 78% said that their commitment to the organization declined
  • 66% said that their performance declined
  • 63% lost work time avoiding the offender
  • 48% intentionally decreased their work effort
  • 47% intentionally decreased the time spent at work
  • 38% intentionally decreased the quality of their work
  • 25% admitted to taking their frustration out on customers
  • 12% said that they left their job because of the uncivil treatment

The cost of a toxic workplace is clear. But the benefits of a positive workplace go beyond just eliminating these costs. Satisfied employees results in:

  • Better engagement
  • Improved team work
  • More effective communication and collaboration
  • Increased innovation
  • Willingness to make personal sacrifices
  • Loyalty to their company and its products
  • Better organization reputation

A good, productive climate in the workplace attracts top talent. Overcoming a negative, toxic environment and creating a positive, inclusive workplace is one of the single most important steps to building a better business.

Obviously it is up to executives, managers, and team leaders to be proactive in creating a positive work climate. There will be unavoidable conflicts and interpersonal relationship problems as teams of individuals work together. Leaders need the skills to leverage these conflicts in positive, engaging ways. Employees need tools to understand why their buttons get pushed in the first place and why they most often react unproductively. They need strategies to minimize feeling triggered in difficult situations in the future and opportunities to develop the capacity to provide critical leadership to resolve unproductive conflicts to help teams and individuals refocus on organizational goals.

That is the purpose of my book, Turn the Tide: Rise Above Toxic, Difficult Situations in the Workplace. This fast-read is a rich source of practical, accessible, and proven tools to help leaders, managers, and employees create and maintain environments of respect, productivity, and high-performance.

I have been researching, training, and writing about navigating difficult situations in the workplace for 25 years. As a trainer, consultant, speaker, and coach I’ve helped thousands of individuals and organizations rise above toxic workplace situations and create more productive, inclusive work environments that unleash the power, passion, and creativity of every employee. Many books and trainings provide tips to “manage difficult people.” If we only focus on identifying the few extremely dysfunctional employees in work environments, we miss the reality that all of us, at some point in our careers, do and say things that are unproductive and disruptive in the workplace. The key is to skill-up all employees with the tools to not only engage others in difficult situations, but also to change any of their own behaviors that may be contributing to the unproductive dynamics.

My book Turn the Tide: Rise Above Toxic, Difficult Situations in the Workplace goes beyond dealing with the surface behaviors to help readers understand the underlying issues that fuel unproductive reactions and learn to interrupt the “Triggering Event Cycle” before negative behaviors undermine productivity and teamwork.

You can’t afford to ignore toxic behavior any longer. Begin today to establish a positive, supportive work environment. Intentionally build a culture of respect and inclusion and reap the benefits of engaged, motivated employees who are invested in the success of your organization.

As a thank you for reading my blog, please download a free PDF of my book, Turn The Tide from my website, www.drkathyobear.com/book-pdf. The ebook is also available on Amazon.

And if you would to schedule a free Strategy Session with me, please visit www.drkathyobear.com/complimentary-session.

Kathy Obear, Ed.D., Alliance for Change Consulting and Coaching
In writing her book, Turn the Tide: Rise Above Toxic, Difficult Situations in the Workplace, Dr. Kathy Obear pulled from her 30 years of experience as an organizational development consultant and trainer as well as her experiences as a Certified Life Coach and Executive Coach. Dr. Obear is the Co-Founder of the Social Justice Training Institute (www.sjti.org) and is regarded as an expert at training leaders and facilitators to navigate difficult dialogues and triggering events in the workplace. 

Comments are closed.