All Articles Leadership Management Don’t let a bad actor erode workplace trust and respect

Don’t let a bad actor erode workplace trust and respect

If values don't matter as much as results, you'll allow bad actors to gain power -- and drive away talent.

2 min read




One of the most frustrating dynamics in any workplace is a rude, dismissive, mean player who behaves badly, every day.

We’ve all seen it happen, and we’ve seen the impact. A leader I’m coaching described this exact scenario in her workplace. This bad actor’s mean behavior has been tolerated for over a decade. The behavior has gotten worse recently, and 10 talented, engaged players have changed jobs or left the company in the past year to get away from this bad actor and the miserable work environment he’s created.

My coaching client does not supervise this player but she wanted to know, once and for all, how the organization can fix it.

The cold, hard truth is that bad actors do not exist without sanction. This person’s bad behavior has been tolerated for years, and now the company is losing good players because of it.

In today’s three-minute Culture Leadership Charge video episode created exclusively for SmartBrief readers, I explain how senior leaders can create sanity in their work environment by making values — how people treat each other at work — as important as results. By defining values in observable, tangible, measurable terms, then modeling, coaching, and holding others accountable for those desirable behaviors, senior leaders can create workplace civility in every interaction.

You’ll never build a purposeful, positive, productive work culture by tolerating bad actors. By demanding civil behaviors from everyone, your work culture will restore trust and respect.

Subscribe to my free twice-a-month newsletter. Subscribers enjoy free resources including a preview of my Amazon best-seller, “The Culture Engine,” which helps team and company leaders create a powerful, purposeful, positive, productive work environment.

And, subscribe to my YouTube channel, where you’ll find more short, crisp, and clear episodes of my “Culture Leadership Charge” video series.

If you enjoyed this article, sign up for SmartBrief’s daily email newsletter on being a better, smarter leader, as well as our twice-weekly newsletter for HR executives.. We also have more than 200 industry-focused newsletters, all free to sign up.