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creativity column

Innovation will not grow in a toxic environment.

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Smart business owners today are always looking for new ways to attract top people to join their organizations. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to create a vibrant, creative and empowering workplace environment. As the workforce tightens and competition for exceptional workers intensifies, finding those candidates can prove challenging.

Margo Trott Mukkulainen, a Lehigh Valley-based creative marketing consultant and writer for myHR Partner’s myHR blog, agrees, “Every new addition to your team creates a new dynamic that will impact your workforce. The right person can move your company forward in new ways. They can and should have a positive influence in a way that grows your business, or at the very least maintain your success.”

In my career, I have experienced both. I’ve worked in environments where a healthy life/work balance was encouraged by the leadership, the work was creative and meaningful, and the employees were invited to take risks. I also have worked in toxic environments, and they will sap your energy, drain your soul and make it difficult just to get through the day.

“I have seen time and time again how one or two bad hiring decisions can derail an entire workplace. I have also seen how a good hire can go bad quickly if the workplace was a toxic one. The best workplaces are innovative enough to evolve to meet the needs of the customers, the company, and the employees. Part of that ‘secret sauce’ is knowing how critical the right hire is for every position — and knowing how to keep them happy within the organization,” Mukkulainen added.

Having even one toxic person poisoning the culture inside your company can prove costly. “The average cost-per-hire is over $4,100 and the average time it takes to fill a position is 42 days, according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s 2016 Human Capital Benchmarking Report. And the cost that making a bad hire can have on your company can be several tens of thousands of dollars,” Mukkulainen cautioned.

So, what does this all mean? Well, owners need to be open to set the conditions that create a culture where people cooperatively share their ideas, are not afraid to take risks, respect each other’s contributions, and have autonomy to solve customer issues without involving management. If you’re lucky enough to work in that type of environment, you will be more productive, have lower stress levels, and you will look forward to going to work every day. Consider this, have you ever found yourself getting anxious on a Sunday evening because you dread going in to work the next day? That’s a dead giveaway you’re not happy with your job, and you should seek new employment.

“People are more interested than ever in company cultures and employer brands, even when they are not job hunting, which is why developing these is crucial to building a healthy workforce. Hiring someone who does not fit into your company culture can set up a climate of stress and distraction for everyone. And your talent will flee if there’s too much negative drama,” Mukkulainen stressed.

The best companies know this and work hard at retaining and evolving their workplace cultures. Margo has written extensively about many of these issues on myHR Blog; you can find it here at… http://myhrpartnerinc.com/category/myhr-blog/

William ChildsComment