How Franchise Business Owners can Prevent a Toxic Work Environment

How Franchise Business Owners can Prevent a Toxic Work Environment

A Cure for Emotional Leakage and Other Negative Workplace Behaviors

It’s a simple rule in business: Happy employees lead to happy customers. According to a report from MIT Sloan Management Review, a toxic corporate culture is 10.4 times more powerful than compensation in predicting a company’s attrition rate. A toxic work culture can involve many negative workplace behaviors like gossip, unhealthy boundaries, negativity, and emotional leakage. Few things are more unfair and damaging than emotionally leaking a negative experience on someone who wasn’t involved. And yet, unfortunately, it happens every day.

What is Emotional Leakage?

You — or your employees — may be in a bad mood from an argument, a flat tire, or from breaking a favorite item, but that shouldn’t leak into your business. People always remember how you treated them and how you made them feel. Emotional leakage is a no-no in customer service. Franchise business owners can stop emotional leakage and other types of negative workplace behaviors by following the tips below for preventing a toxic work environment.

10 Tips to Preventing a Toxic Work Environment

  1. Foster open communication: Encourage employees to voice their opinions and concerns without fear of retribution. Create channels for feedback and make it clear that all feedback is valued and will be taken seriously.
  2. Lead by example: Set a positive example for your team by demonstrating respect, kindness, and professionalism in all of your interactions with others.
  3. Hire the right people: Hire employees who align with the company culture and values. Look for individuals who are team players, positive, and respectful.
  4. Create clear expectations: Define clear expectations for all employees, including their roles and responsibilities, and set clear boundaries around acceptable behavior.
  5. Promote work-life balance: Encourage employees to take breaks and prioritize their well-being. Provide opportunities for team building and socialization outside of work.
  6. Offer support and resources: Provide access to resources for mental health, stress management, and conflict resolution.
  7. Address conflict proactively: Address conflicts as they arise and seek to resolve them through mediation or other means.
  8. Provide regular feedback: Provide feedback on job performance regularly, both positive and constructive. This will help employees understand what they’re doing well and where they can improve.
  9. Encourage professional development: Encourage employees to pursue professional development opportunities, such as training, workshops, or mentorship programs.
  10. Recognize and reward positive behavior: Recognize and reward positive behavior and contributions to the team. This will promote a positive culture and motivate employees to continue performing at their best

A toxic work environment can ruin a business. By taking steps toward preventing a negative culture, franchise business owners can create a healthy and productive workplace culture that benefits everyone involved.  

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Nancy Friedman is Founder and Chairman of the The Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training. A former franchisor, she is expert on customer service and is a frequent keynote speaker talking about customer services best practices. Her real-world, hands-on tips, ideas, skills, and techniques help both franchisors and franchisees take their businesses to the next level.
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