What is toxic conformity and how does it impact organizations?
Conformity in the workplace can be toxic when it leads to a culture where individuals prioritize group harmony over critical thinking and independent decision-making. This can result in a lack of innovation, creativity, and productivity, and can stifle individual contributions and perspectives.
Toxic conformity decreases job satisfaction, increases quiet quitting, and ultimately decreases employee retention.
So the question is, how do organizations create a culture of innovation, productivity, and diverse perspectives? While there is no one size fits all solution, it begins with creating safety in the workplace. Leaders may want to rely less on digital communication and more on “old fashioned” eyeball to eyeball communication styles. Listen for the sake of listening – not for the sake of responding.
Ray Dalio, Billionaire founder of Bridgewater Associates has intentionally created an environment of safety where colleagues VALUE and seek honest communication. We may say that we value honest communication but our behavior often contradicts when we retaliate and / or gas light and / or deny.
VonKohn Search Group is on a mission to help companies increase retention. One way, is to work towards significantly decreasing and ideally eradicating toxic conformity.