The Tribe Has Spoken

By Greg Haag | 0 comments
A recent episode of the TV show Survivor is making quite the buzz. No, the latest winner wasn’t announced. It’s because one of the contestants had an angry outburst that has viewers talking, and in some cases laughing, about what happened.
In case you didn’t see it, there was a point where a contestant got upset and dumped his team’s supply of rice and beans onto the sand. Their entire food supply was gone like that. As you can imagine, this didn’t sit well with his teammates. They forfeited their challenge so they could have a chance to vote him off immediately, which they did.  
This episode highlights the importance of having a workplace culture that values respectful interactions. How many of you have dealt with an angry outburst like this at work? What was done about it?
  The thing about Survivor is that you can vote someone off the island. You can’t do that at work, as much as you’d like to. You spend 40 hours a week (or more) at work, so you need to find a way to work with everyone, even those individuals who exhibit disruptive, threatening, violent, or inappropriate behavior at times. When the tribe speaks, what are they saying about the people in your organization?      
And what do you do since you’re not on a reality show? Here are some tips to help you get started:
  • Develop policies and procedures that establish boundaries for what is acceptable behavior and what is not. There are plenty of online resources available, and we also have templates for sale as well. 
  • Deliver training on the policies and procedures and make them easily accessible. Everyone needs to be on the same page.
  • Make sure all employees know what the consequences are for noncompliance. If there is no follow-through, this sends the wrong message and negative behaviors may continue.
  • Provide training so employees have the skills necessary to intervene when unacceptable behavior is exhibited. This gives employees confidence in handling conflicts and increases job satisfaction and performance.
  • Establish a means for employees to report inappropriate behaviors and receive timely responses. If it’s difficult to report something or reports aren’t responded to, future incidents may go unreported.
It’s important to build a workplace culture that values civility. The Prepare Training® program’s core message is to promote a culture of Respect, Service, and Safety at Work®. Whether you use the Prepare Training® program or not, you need to do something. People function at their best in environments that are respectful.  
Some people seem to think that the workplace is a game with winners and losers, and they will try to win at all costs. If they don’t get their way they’ll bully or they’ll sabotage a project or a person’s performance if they think it’ll score them points, or if they think it will prevent someone else from scoring points. This type of behavior may be funny on TV, but it ain’t so funny when it’s happening at your workplace.       
Take action to create a positive working climate and you will see results!

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