How many times have you suspected that the culture of a workgroup is directly or indirectly contributing to a toxic workplace, characterized by grievances, allegations of abuse or chronic conflict? Commonly, these types of situations tend to linger, requiring a constant infusion of Human Resource time and energy. If you have experienced this…you are probably not alone.
The choices are few, either provide the necessary training on respectful workplace practices; manage each incident as it arises, or conduct an “Environmental Review” with the goal of understanding the root cause.
Environmental Reviews also referred to as "Situational Assessments", involve the entire work unit or particular subgroup if problems are more localized. It requires individual meetings with targeted employees, line management and senior leaders depending on the scope of the problem. The purpose is to gather the various perspectives on the issue(s)-of-concern, past efforts to address them and possible remedies. Quite often, depending on the chronicity of the problem, employees are hesitant to speak openly; however, with the assurance of confidentiality, the results can be quite revealing and often constructive.
Once individual input is collected, collated and analyzed, a report is generated for management, with a summary provided to employees, outlining significant themes along with recommendations.
Recommendations are of limited value unless there is a concrete plan for implementation. To this end, we craft workable strategies with the host organization and the union that can be both monitored and quickly evaluated. We take the time to present our recommendations to both management and employees, ensuring that their questions are answered, which often secures their cooperation.
As with most of our activities, we encourage a written plan that can be measured and judged based on a desired outcome.
“My colleagues and I are grateful that you could spend some time with us last week. We learned much from you and wish you all the best in your important work.”
Association of Management
Administrative & Professional Crown Employees of Ontario
"Your willing assistance, personal experience and advice allowed us to get off on the right foot and we very much appreciate your help!"
"Following your presentation, there was much discussion among the employees. They felt the coping strategies offered will be of great value during the upcoming transitional period of change."