Is your work place full of drama, personal battles among your colleagues, a boss who is disrespectful and even verbally abusive? Do you struggle to balance work and your social life? Or is your work too much you are always drained out? Maybe your workplace is toxic.
Different personalities of leaders, colleagues and the nature of your work influence your work environment positively or negatively.
You can have a nourishing workplace or a toxic workplace. The latter is pretty dangerous and suicidal to your productivity at work, your general mental health and your social life as a human being. Just like being in a toxic home environment.
This is how to tell you are in a toxic workplace.
1. Poor Communication.
Communication is a key process in life and plays a huge role in the efficiency of businesses and companies.
In a toxic workplace, the upward and downward communication is poor. There is a communication gap between the management and the employees and little communication among colleagues.
Another thing to note is when the communication in your work place lacks clarity and is not two way. There is little or no feedback from supervisors to their juniors about work done. When there is feedback, it’s given using harsh tones, humiliation and in a disrespectful manner. The feedback is negative and not constructive.
Poor communication in a workplace affects the efficiency and productivity of workers.
2. Cliques, Divisions & Exclusion among colleagues.
Division, exclusion and cliques in work places is very common and this has been known to cause miscommunication, disagreements and drama.
In-groups among colleagues in workplaces can be very toxic. The colleagues who are almost always together, they have inside jokes you don’t get, always chit chatting in the office and some even start gossips and rumors in the office.
These cliques do things by themselves and rarely include colleagues who are not in their cliques in doing projects and work assignments.
In workplaces with cliques, some colleagues are most likely to be excluded regardless of their experience and talent.
This exclusion can be dangerous in the workplace and is counterproductive.
3. Unhealthy Competition among colleagues.
Some competition in the work place is good as it pushes employees out of their comfort zones and work harder.
However, there is a competition that gets out of hand, unhealthy competition.
Unhealthy competition in the work place is signified by hate and aggressiveness among employees, badmouthing, regular fights and employees tearing down one another.
This can be a dangerous game to play as it affects the productivity of employees and the efficiency of a company.
4. Poor Leadership.
Managers and company leaders are in control of organizations and a company with poor leadership is en-route down the drain. Poor leadership has been known to the cause root of many issues in companies.
Poor leadership is identified through the presence of unsupportive managers and supervisors. We call them bad bosses.
Bad bosses make your days in the office a living hell. They are always negative, they do opposites of what they say, they cause friction and division among their employees, and they don’t listen to employees, always on the blame game and are disrespectful.
5. Unmotivated Colleagues.
This is one of the outstanding signs of a toxic workplace.
You might be a motivated employee but if your colleagues are not like you and are unmotivated, this is a sign of a toxic environment and it can take a toll on you.
Imagine doing projects with colleagues who don’t take their roles seriously and are not reliable and efficient.
You are the one doing most of the project work majorly because your colleague or two did not do their part. This can lead to a burn out over time if this happens in almost all projects.
The same way motivated colleagues inspire you, unmotivated colleagues can weigh you down.
As mentioned above, poor leadership plays a significant role in the efficiency and productivity of its subordinates. So, unmotivated employees might be a result of poor leadership and poor communication.
6. High Employee Turn Over.
You should be really be on the lookout for this one.
Does your company keep laying people off or firing employees constantly?
Are several people in the company making the tough decision of quitting their job?
If your answer is yes, this is a red flag. You might be next.
Regular firing, hiring, laying off and job quitting in a company is a sign of something amiss in the company.
Find out why this is happening by talking to ex-colleagues. It can be bad leadership or other toxic factors like lack of growth opportunities for employees in the company.
6. Work-life Balance Is Difficult.
This is very common in most work places. Employees are overburdened with a lot of work to a point that the other important parts of their lives such as their health, family life and social life are neglected.
In a toxic work environment, work-life balance is just a dream.
You have a lot of work that needs to get done, you work for long hours and you are almost always drained out. When you get home, instead of unwinding and reconnecting with family and friends, you have to do some work you carried home.
If you are always working beyond your limits, other important part of your life are struggling and the thought of going to work every morning dreads you, you are in a toxic work environment.
7. No Appreciation for Work Done.
Most employees can relate to this. You get work done but your boss does not recognize your efforts and does not appreciate your work.
A simple appreciation and recognition from your boss or manager for work you have done can really motivate you to be more productive and make you feel you are important to the organization.
You might be getting your money, but that’s just not about it or enough.
Most of the times, the feeling of connection and importance to the organization you are working for is what will keep you going most of the time.
8. Stifled growth & No Fulfillment.
Growth is a sign of moving forward. When you are in a toxic work environment, this will be hard to find.
You feel stagnant and your company does not offer room for improvement and learning opportunities. You don’t feel like you are getting better at what you do professionally and you are not making any step forward.
Slowed or stifled growth in your career is highly going to affect your fulfillment in what you do.
Fulfillment, joy and satisfaction in your work is very important. When you are fulfilled in your work, you are less stressed and more productive.
9. Your Salary Does Match Your Input.
This is a big one. Money or salary is a big motivator in a work place. Not just money but a salary that matches your input. A salary that matches the hours you put into working for an organization. A salary that matches the role you play in the company.
Be on the lookout for these signs especially the outstanding signs like Poor Leadership, Poor Communication, and Unhealthy competition among colleagues, Work-life balance strain, Stifled growth and Rapid employee turnover.
A Toxic work environment can negatively affect your work life, take a toll on your physical and mental health, and strain your social life.