Toxic work culture is killing vibrant brands and top talents

Photo Courtesy

If micro-management thrives and there is no trust in your organisation, then you are looking down the barrel of a toxic work culture.

Toxic work culture has totally engulfed most work places especially in the mid-class countries where employers view employees as destitute beings. Employment is considered as a favour rather than an exchange venture hence killing employees desire to exploit their potentials towards building of an organisations brand.

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In a toxic culture, new ideas can’t thrive, people can’t be honest, bullying unfortunately occurs, leaders are given power that can go to their heads and fuel their egos, and an eerie feeling occurs at your company’s town hall/all hands when leaders ask for questions.

High performers, talented employees and even the loyal ones quit toxic work cultures. Most of them won’t hesitate to explore new opportunities selling the dream that the grass is greener. At the end of the day they have nothing to lose.

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Top performers know what they are bringing on the table and are also smart enough to realise that if they can perform well in a toxic work culture, they can thrive in a Culture First company that looks after its employees.

Here is how a toxic work culture looks like

The numbers of hours you work matter

Judging people by when they start work and how late they work is irrelevant. We all know that the number of hours we work has nothing to do with output.

You can be at your desk for 9-hours straight and be doing nothing other than surfing the web and complaining to your pals about the company you work for.

Culture First companies understand that output produces results and that on some days you will be productive, and on other days you may have suffered the loss of a loved one or be feeling unwell. Regardless, all that is taken into account is results.

Entrepreneurship is given a dirty look

Toxic work cultures hate entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs because they are scared to death that they are going to leave and steal their ideas.

Thriving work cultures take people that have experience owning a business and utilize them like their secret weapon. They promote entrepreneurship because they want people to feel as though it is their business and they can make decisions.

Working from home is seen as lazy

Management does not allow people to work from home because they want to watch them. Even during weekends the company insists on employees going to the office. To them working from home is considered unproductive.

Management Receives preferential treatment

Leaders are referred to as management and the front line staff are told that the company is cutting costs.

Meanwhile, the leaders are having deliciously catered for meals off silver plates, while the front line employees who earn peanuts are left to salivate.

In a non-toxic culture, management and staff are one and people are accountable. Sentences like “Management needs to do…” are not relevant because staff can make decisions and the two sides of the business are one.

Shaming low performances

People who are under-performing are called all sorts of nasty names and treated unfairly. They are seen as stupid or not good at their work. Shaming people won’t make them perform better; it will make them hate the leadership team and the company even more.

The appreciation that comes from being helped rather than shamed converts into long-term loyalty that rebuilds careers, and becomes the basis of a thriving culture.

Forcing staff to write reviews to cover up the toxicity

In a toxic work environment, the management forces the staff to write fluffy reviews to cover up the toxicity the bad ones.

You can’t hide toxicity for long it will eventual erupt, the best solution to change how your company treats its employees.

Work Values are rarely spoken of

A toxic work environment rarely speaks of the values which are written on their websites and painted everywhere.

The so called management, overlook the values and implement their own local arrangements that fits them.

In established work places, you can’t even be hired if you do not demonstrate highest forms of work values.

A rotating door policy

When people decide to leave or mention they are thinking of leaving, they are talked about as traitors.

Having people leave regularly is normal and acceptable in toxic work environments. There are no exit interviews or questions around why a particular leader has had so many people leave in a short space of time.

Each time, the excuse is “Johnny was crap, so it’s a good thing he is leaving.”

When you scour the company’s staff on LinkedIn, you see that staff don’t last long at the company.

Fixing the toxic work culture

If you want to find out if you’re nursing a toxic work culture,use one of the many employee engagement products to find out for yourself.

Tell the people in your company that you are going to be surveying them every three months and they can say whatever they want because it’s completely anonymous. After the first survey, watch the comments and feedback pour in. Keep encouraging your people to say what they think.

You will find out if the employees are happy working for your organization or it is just a forced relationship.

But, a toxic work culture can be fixed. Identify the problems of your company’s culture, own them, and then become obsessed with asking your people how you can change them. Then, implement the changes.

Fight toxic work cultures by making your company transform into being Culture First. It starts with people.

Toxic work culture is killing vibrant brands and top talents

Photo Courtesy

If micro-management thrives and there is no trust in your organisation, then you are looking down the barrel of a toxic work culture.

Toxic work culture has totally engulfed most work places especially in the mid-class countries where employers view employees as destitute beings. Employment is considered as a favour rather than an exchange venture hence killing employees desire to exploit their potentials towards building of an organisations brand.

Image

In a toxic culture, new ideas can’t thrive, people can’t be honest, bullying unfortunately occurs, leaders are given power that can go to their heads and fuel their egos, and an eerie feeling occurs at your company’s town hall/all hands when leaders ask for questions.

High performers, talented employees and even the loyal ones quit toxic work cultures. Most of them won’t hesitate to explore new opportunities selling the dream that the grass is greener. At the end of the day they have nothing to lose.

Image

Top performers know what they are bringing on the table and are also smart enough to realise that if they can perform well in a toxic work culture, they can thrive in a Culture First company that looks after its employees.

Here is how a toxic work culture looks like

The numbers of hours you work matter

Judging people by when they start work and how late they work is irrelevant. We all know that the number of hours we work has nothing to do with output.

You can be at your desk for 9-hours straight and be doing nothing other than surfing the web and complaining to your pals about the company you work for.

Culture First companies understand that output produces results and that on some days you will be productive, and on other days you may have suffered the loss of a loved one or be feeling unwell. Regardless, all that is taken into account is results.

Entrepreneurship is given a dirty look

Toxic work cultures hate entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs because they are scared to death that they are going to leave and steal their ideas.

Thriving work cultures take people that have experience owning a business and utilize them like their secret weapon. They promote entrepreneurship because they want people to feel as though it is their business and they can make decisions.

Working from home is seen as lazy

Management does not allow people to work from home because they want to watch them. Even during weekends the company insists on employees going to the office. To them working from home is considered unproductive.

Management Receives preferential treatment

Leaders are referred to as management and the front line staff are told that the company is cutting costs.

Meanwhile, the leaders are having deliciously catered for meals off silver plates, while the front line employees who earn peanuts are left to salivate.

In a non-toxic culture, management and staff are one and people are accountable. Sentences like “Management needs to do…” are not relevant because staff can make decisions and the two sides of the business are one.

Shaming low performances

People who are under-performing are called all sorts of nasty names and treated unfairly. They are seen as stupid or not good at their work. Shaming people won’t make them perform better; it will make them hate the leadership team and the company even more.

The appreciation that comes from being helped rather than shamed converts into long-term loyalty that rebuilds careers, and becomes the basis of a thriving culture.

Forcing staff to write reviews to cover up the toxicity

In a toxic work environment, the management forces the staff to write fluffy reviews to cover up the toxicity the bad ones.

You can’t hide toxicity for long it will eventual erupt, the best solution to change how your company treats its employees.

Work Values are rarely spoken of

A toxic work environment rarely speaks of the values which are written on their websites and painted everywhere.

The so called management, overlook the values and implement their own local arrangements that fits them.

In established work places, you can’t even be hired if you do not demonstrate highest forms of work values.

A rotating door policy

When people decide to leave or mention they are thinking of leaving, they are talked about as traitors.

Having people leave regularly is normal and acceptable in toxic work environments. There are no exit interviews or questions around why a particular leader has had so many people leave in a short space of time.

Each time, the excuse is “Johnny was crap, so it’s a good thing he is leaving.”

When you scour the company’s staff on LinkedIn, you see that staff don’t last long at the company.

Fixing the toxic work culture

If you want to find out if you’re nursing a toxic work culture,use one of the many employee engagement products to find out for yourself.

Tell the people in your company that you are going to be surveying them every three months and they can say whatever they want because it’s completely anonymous. After the first survey, watch the comments and feedback pour in. Keep encouraging your people to say what they think.

You will find out if the employees are happy working for your organization or it is just a forced relationship.

But, a toxic work culture can be fixed. Identify the problems of your company’s culture, own them, and then become obsessed with asking your people how you can change them. Then, implement the changes.

Fight toxic work cultures by making your company transform into being Culture First. It starts with people.

Iran issues arrest warrant for Donald Trump over killing of Qassem Soleimani

Iran has issued an arrest warrant and asked Interpol to help detain US President Donald Trump and others it believes carried out a drone strike that killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad, a local prosecutor reportedly says.

While Trump faces no danger of arrest, the charges underscore the heightened tensions between Iran and the United States since Trump unilaterally withdrew America from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.

Tehran prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr said Trump and more than 30 others whom Iran accuses of involvement in the January 3 strike that killed General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad face “murder and terrorism charges,” the state-run IRNA news agency reported on Monday.

Alqasimehr did not identify anyone else sought other than Trump, but stressed that Iran would continue to pursue his prosecution even after his presidency ends.

Interpol, based in Lyon, France, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Alqasimehr also was quoted as saying that Iran requested a “red notice” be put out for Trump and the others, which represents the highest level arrest request issued by Interpol.

Local authorities end up making the arrests on behalf of the country that request it. The notices cannot force countries to arrest or extradite suspects, but can put government leaders on the spot and limit suspects’ travel.

After receiving a request, Interpol meets by committee and discusses whether or not to share the information with its member states. Interpol has no requirement for making any of the notices public, though some do get published on its website.

It is almost certain Interpol would not grant Iran’s request as its guideline for notices forbids it from “undertaking any intervention or activities of a political” nature.

The US killed Soleimani, who oversaw the Revolutionary Guard’s expeditionary Quds Force, and others in the January strike near Baghdad International Airport.

It came after months of incidents raising tensions between the two countries and ultimately saw Iran retaliate with a ballistic missile strike targeting American troops in Iraq.

Photos: Celebrating World Giraffe Day on Fathers Day

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21st June is the northern hemisphere’s longest day of the year! It is therefore very appropriate that on this day we celebrate the planets longest-necked animal… the graceful giraffe!

This happens to be the Fathers Day, what a coincidence?

Giraffes tower over Africa’s plains. These tall animals are identified by their long necks, equally long and spindly legs, and spotted coats. Most giraffes have a tan, white or yellow coat that is spotted with brown, square shapes.  The world’s tallest animal can easily look into a second story window (like at Giraffe Manor in search of tasty treats). Its height to the “horn” tips averages 5.3 m (17.5 ft.) in males and 4.3 m (14 ft.) in females.

It is a less known fact that giraffe numbers all over Africa are under serious threat due to vanishing habitats and poaching. There are nine different subspecies of giraffe across Africa and there is growing evidence to suggest that some might be separate species in their own right. Six of the nine subspecies are endangered and their numbers are dropping every year. Three subspecies are found in Kenya, the Maasai Giraffe, the Rothschild’s Giraffe and the Reticulated Giraffe. The latter two are both highly endangered with fewer than 700 and 4000 left in the wild respectively.

Not only is it a worldwide celebration of these amazing and much-loved animals, but an annual event to raise support, create awareness and shed light on the challenges giraffe face in the wild. By supporting World Giraffe Day (WGD), you directly help save giraffe in Africa. With only approximately 111,000 giraffe remaining in the wild, the time is right to act NOW!

Zoos, schools, NGOs, governments, institutions, companies and conservation organisations around the world are hosting events on or around WGD to raise awareness and support for giraffe in the wild.

Giraffe Manor is one the most iconic hotels in the world but also plays a vital role in the conservation of Kenya’s Rothschild’s Giraffe. Before the Manor became a hotel it was a breeding centre for the highly endangered Rothschild’s Giraffe and it remains so to this day. It has played an integral part in the stabilisation of Rothschild’s Giraffe numbers and giraffes are frequently taken from the centre and released into the wild. The giraffes that come for breakfast are not pets but part of a very successful breeding programme, something that The Safari Collection is very proud to be a part of.

For each guest who stays at Giraffe Manor, The Safari Collection donates US$ 5 to AFEW, the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife who run the neighbouring Giraffe Centre and a number of important conservation programmes throughout Kenya. We are delighted to work with AFEW and congratulate them for their hard work and dedication to conserving such a magnificent species.

Here are a few tweets to mark world giraffe day:

Who will speak for Libya as Slave Trade escalates?

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modern-day Slave trade: Photo Courtesy

Who will raise the alarm to stop slave trade in Libya? When will the #BlackLivesMatter revolution hit the streets of Libya?

Slave trade,the terrible bit of history of which most people learnt in school is still taking place in Libya. Imagine in 2020 it’s still happening.

Libya, a country in the Northern part of Africa, has become a complete mess since the toppling and the death of its once famous leader Colonel Gaddafi in 2011 . Libya has been a hotbed of terrorism and chaos for a while . This is no longer news for many people. But recently a fresh and shocking development has been reported to be re-occurring in Libya.

'They don't know my name': Inside Libya's migrant detention facilities

The capture and the selling of human beings like commodities also known as slave trade have been reported to be going on in Libya today. This has caused a lot of uproar in the international community but the various major events of 2020 seems to be drowning out the uproar.

According to a Russian reporter,Murad Gazdiev, blacks are being sold for $200 per head in the Slave market.

Slavery may seem like a relic of history. But according to the U.N.’s International Labor Organization (ILO), there are more than three times as many people in forced servitude today as were captured and sold during the 350-year span of the transatlantic slave trade. What the ILO calls “the new slavery” takes in 25 million people in debt bondage and 15 million in forced marriage. As an illicit industry, it is one of the world’s most lucrative, earning criminal networks $150 billion a year, just behind drug smuggling and weapons trafficking.

The trade might be most visible in Libya, where aid organizations and journalists have documented actual slave auctions. But now it is seeping into southern Europe too—in particular Italy, where vulnerable migrants are being forced to toil unpaid in the fields picking tomatoes, olives and citrus fruits and trafficked into prostitution rings.

This slave trade has attracted a lot of reaction online. Most people are calling for a united front to end modern day human auction. Here are some reactions:

However , some interventions by different governments, human rights groups and individuals are being launched to end the slave trade in Libya and bring back sanity.

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Although some people still point fingers at the former US President for whatever is happening in Libya.

Day of the African Child

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Photo Courtesy: African Children

On June 16, 1976, nearly ten thousand black students from Soweto, South Africa, marched the streets to protest the poor quality of their education. They marched as a way to demonstrate their disapproval of the Black Education Act, which segregated students based on their race.

Hundreds of innocent students were shot by security forces. And in the 2 weeks of protest that followed, dubbed the Soweto Uprising, more than a hundred students were killed and thousands were badly injured.

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Since 1991, the Day of the African Child has been celebrated on June 16 to commemorate those killed during the Soweto Uprising in South Africa, and to recognize the courage of the students who marched for their right to an education.

The day of the African Child was designated by the African Union and is commemorated every year.

This year’s theme is ‘Access to a Child-Friendly Justice System in Africa’ as adopted by the African Union Executive Council, during its 34th Ordinary Session, held on 07 – 08 February 2019.

Unlike other years where the event is usually characterised with a lot of hype, it takes a low key mode with the event being held through a webinar.

The commemoration aims to examine the elements of a child-friendly justice system, including the application of a child rights-based approach and use the four principles of children’s rights as a tool for realising access to a child-friendly justice system in Africa. The Webinar also aims at creating a platform for dialogue among children, policymakers, organisations working on children’s rights, and the academics on the major challenges in ensuring equal access to child-friendly justice to all groups of children in Africa. It will further serves as an experience sharing forum where positive trends, mechanisms, and structures in Member States will be discussed.

Different countries in Africa and organisation also jump in the theme to address different problems facing the African child at community levels. All the initiatives are meant to put a smile on an African Child.

In Kenya, the focus for this year is to create awareness on the challenges faced by the African child which including early/forced marriages and female genital mutilation.

Injecting Momentum to prevention of gender based violence during COVID-19

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It is possible to bring to an end the headache of gender based violence in our societies especially during a crisis or a pandemic. Most cases of gender based violence have been skyrocketing during different epidemics and COVID-19 is not an exceptional.

World Health Organization has reported that  35% of women around the world have already experienced some form of sexual and gender-based violence in their lifetime. During a crisis like COVID-19, the numbers escalate to 70%.

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However, we still have a shot to get rid of this evil in our society. Thanks to the efforts of feminist activists around the world, there has been a rapid uptake of initiatives that aim to prevent violence against women and girls (VAWG) by major donors, UN agencies, and other global stakeholders.

To prevent gender based violence, we have highlighted some measures which authorities can implement:

-Governments must ensure the protection of women and girls right from the beginning of an epidemic. However, a top-down approach is not enough. Prevention and mitigation initiatives need to be integrated across sectors.

-Research has found independent women’s groups to be the single most important factor in addressing violence against women and girls. In light of this, women and girls should be involved in the development and delivery of services during COVID-19. And comprehensive data on the gendered impact of COVID-19 should be collected.

-All protective services for women and girls must be classified as “essential” during any disaster. Domestic violence hotlines, safe spaces, sexual and reproductive health services, referral pathways, and justice mechanisms are necessary in pre-pandemic times, and even more important in crisis.

-Governments should identify organisations already focused on sexual and gender-based violence and give them the tools and resources to continue supporting women and girls during the pandemic. Since social distancing limits screening opportunities, these organisations should explore alternate entry ways for women to access care, especially in places like supermarkets and pharmacies.

-As hospitals and clinics deal with infected patients, the health sector should collaborate with gender-violence organisations to deliver services creatively and strengthen referral pathways in accordance with virus mitigation measures.

-High-quality clinical care for survivors should be accessible at all times. Community gatekeepers including religious, traditional, women, and youth leaders should play a key role in both virus and violence mitigation initiatives. They can also serve as early warning and alert groups within the community.

-Front-line workers should be trained to recognise and safely refer cases of sexual and gender-based violence. And women should be aware of the increased risk during times of crisis, and where to access help.

Increasing cases of Sexual and Gender based violence during COVID-19

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Illustration of Gender based violence: Photo Courtesy

The COVID-19 pandemic has severely disrupted the normal functioning of populations around the world and continues to proliferate indiscriminately.

COVID-19 threatens the health of all, but women and girls are adversely affected. The very measures taken to protect populations and keep health systems afloat leave women and girls especially vulnerable to violence.

Sexual and gender based violence is one of the consequences of COVID-19. As governments implement health policies such as lockdown and quarantine measures, most people are confined with their abusers.

COVID-19 has exacerbated existing inequalities for women and girls, as well as discrimination of other marginalized groups including LGBTQ+ people, people living with disabilities, older people, migrants, refugees and those in extreme poverty.

This has made it harder for health workers to appropriately screen cases of gender based violence as most health facilities are overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases.

In Kenya, cases of sexual, gender-based and domestic violence have increased significantly since the country began its response to the virus. In China, domestic violence reports nearly doubled after cities were put under lockdown, with 90% related to the epidemic.

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Helpline calls of distress have increased in France, Lebanon, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa among many other countries.

According to the World Health Organisation, 35% of women around the world have already experienced some form of sexual and gender-based violence in their lifetime. In some crisis settings, this number skyrocketed to more than 70%.

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Women Protesting against gender based violence: Photo Courtesy

Most governments have been carried away with COVID-19 response, leaving the independent women group single most factor in addressing sexual and gender based violence.

To ensure that the society maintains its gender sanity the government must put some punitive measures to end sexual and gender based violence .

All protective services for women and girls must be classified as “essential” during any disaster. Domestic violence hotlines, safe spaces, sexual and reproductive health services, referral pathways, and justice mechanisms are necessary in pre-pandemic times, and even more important in crisis.

Governments should identify organisations already focused on sexual and gender-based violence and give them the tools and resources to continue supporting women and girls during the pandemic. Since social distancing limits screening opportunities, these organisations should explore alternate entry ways for women to access care, especially in places like supermarkets and pharmacies.

As hospitals and clinics deal with infected patients, the health sector should collaborate with gender-violence organisations to deliver services creatively and strengthen referral pathways in accordance with virus mitigation measures.

High-quality clinical care for survivors should be accessible at all times. Community gatekeepers including religious, traditional, women, and youth leaders should play a key role in both virus and violence mitigation initiatives. They can also serve as early warning and alert groups within the community.