When you think of the culture at your workplace, think of it like the quality of the water in the swimming pool that you all swim in together. The conditions of this water can be anywhere from radiantly healthy to toxic. 

Every single person contributes to the conditions in your pool just by being in it. And it’s how they’re being present in the pool that determines the water quality.

When people are gossiping, bullying, complaining, or just being in a bad mood around others, they are all basically peeing in the pool. These behaviours make the conditions at work just a little bit worse for everyone and the culture becomes a little bit more toxic.

However, when people are praising, appreciating, collaborating, accepting personal responsibility, and keeping their promises, they are all basically cleaning the water in the pool. These ways of being help make things at work just a little bit better for everyone and the culture gets healthier.

The balance between how many people are consistently “cleaning the pool” vs those “peeing in the pool” determines the overall health of your organization’s culture.

Every single person in your company is responsible for their contribution to the health of the culture at work. That includes YOU.

So, please, don’t pee in the pool. We all have to swim in it.

(Written by Trent Janisch)

If your organization appreciates the importance of enhancing the quality of work culture and employee engagement, please visit and check out The Foundation of Successful Teams™ training system.