In the past decade or so, what has been considered acceptable in the workplace has changed immensely. More frequently you will hear about companies and their toxic workplace conditions. Many of these working environments are rampant with bullying and the number of people being affected by workplace bullying is slowly growing.

In a toxic workplace environment bullying often goes unnoticed since there are no formal rules. A toxic culture is especially damaging since it can be difficult to figure out if there are any specific causes. To repair a toxic workplace, here are four strategies employers can take to change their work culture and get employees more engaged.

Start By Accepting Responsibility

The first step in repairing a toxic culture starts with its leaders. Leaders will often ask their employees for feedback, but do nothing with that information. Until employee feedback is taking seriously a workplace culture overhaul can’t happen.

Leaders need to acknowledge the issues at hand and see the negative impact they have on the workplace. Understanding what toxic behaviors are prevalent, leaders are able to take action and define what’s appropriate and what is not. It’s up to the leadership team to set the standard for the office and cultivate a positive culture.

Don’t Hesitate to Hire a Third Party

To discover the root cause of toxic environment, it is a good idea to bring in a third party coach or facilitator.  One survey revealed that 70% of employees don’t trust their HR department. This lack of trust is the reason why investing in a third party is crucial step to repairing your culture.

A third party will understand what the desired culture is, assess the current culture, and develop a plan to stop and repair all toxic behaviors.

Create, Implement, and Uphold New Policies 

To disempower bullies and start the journey towards a better culture, take action and institute new policies and rules. Regardless of how big or small an issue is, don’t let it slide. When a manager lets something slide once, employees won’t take the new polices seriously and any toxic behavior will continue.

Foster a Safe Environment 

Leaders are in charge of creating an environment that is safe and enjoyable for their employees. To help cultivate a safe environment after a toxic workplace, try providing an anonymous whistle blower hotline. This will help encourage employees to come forward in case any negative behavior would arise in the future.