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5 Rules That Lead to a Toxic Culture

Whether you've just entered the workforce, or you're near retirement, you probably still stress about the rules. Every office has tons of them, and they're usually easy enough to follow. However, there are so many unspoken and old fashioned rules that lead to an immensely toxic culture. And as the person in charge it’s essential for you to identify them before they undermine your entire operation.

1. Zip it when the boss is talking.

This toxic unspoken rule can create hostile work environments that lead to horrible employee retention, low work morale, and general disharmony. If your employees bring up issues to you, don't just shut them down. It's taking your hiree pool. Find ways to open up lines of communication and ensure that your employees are feeling heard.

2. Dressing for the part = getting the part.

While it's true that you and your employees should follow the dress code, you shouldn't only promote people who look the part. Promote those who are most qualified and those who are genuinely deserving of promotion. Be clear about what criteria you're looking for when promoting, and apply it to everyone - not just the most sharply dressed employee you have.

3. Don't encourage risks with no benefits.

Wanting your employees to use their judgment and take risks is fine. But be willing to let it go or do gentle reprimands when the risk doesn't pay off. Many employees are terrified to take risks because when they're good, it's great. But when it's bad, they get reamed.

4. Encourage open discussions.

The cliche of diehard bosses orating at a roomful of employees may still be around, but the actual practice is fading. That's because it kills success. Instead, open up the floor to discussions and ideas when you have a meeting, and make sure that everyone feels like they have a right to speak.

5. Talk yourself up to get ahead.

There is actually a little shred of truth in this, but how it is done matters a lot. Of course, you want to be seen as a go-to guy, a great leader. But no one wants to listen to you speak about yourself and how much better you are than everyone else. Make sure that you balance out showing you're competent with humility.

There are tons of ways you can improve your work culture. You can start by ditching some of these toxic habits if you notice them around the workplace!

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