6 Signs of a Toxic Workplace

6 Signs of a Toxic Workplace

There's a reason why companies receive awards for their working conditions - staff are more likely to stick around, and organisations thrive. But if your company is starting to seem more like The Office or Mad Men, then it might be time to evaluate whether you’re operating in a toxic workplace. 

Check out these six signs of a toxic workplace:

1.    Those running the show resemble Nelson from the Simpsons. Sure, he’s great for a laugh (ha-ha), but having people in real life ready to criticise when someone suggests an idea is a sure-fire way to stifle creativity and innovation.  

2.    HR treats its employees like they’re Mike Ross from Suits. Employees feel like they can’t go to their HR department because they make their problems feel illegitimate. A good HR team advocates for its employees and pioneers company growth. 

3.    There are more obstacles than a Ninja Warrior course when getting something done. While obstacles can spur change, when no one wants to help you knock them down, motivation expires. 

4.    Your company is more focused on profits than Marty Byrde in Ozark. His life depends on generating profits, but his mistreatment of those around him always becomes a problem. Companies should put their staff first. Employees figure out where they stand fast, and if they aren’t valued, they aren’t going to stick around for long. 

5.    Staff are more miserable than Game of Thrones' Jon Snow when finding out who his parents are. There’s usually a reason why employees are miserable, whether it be low morale, office gossip, a lack of leadership or an emphasis on the job instead of a work-life balance. 

6.    Your colleagues have their LinkedIn “Let Recruiters Know You Are Open” signal turned on. If people aren’t happy, they’re going to be looking for a new job. The more employees who have this turned on, the more likely you have a toxic work environment. Also keep an eye out for those suddenly updating their profiles and sounding like Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation, unless you’ve got a killer employee advocacy program in place.

If you can relate to any of these points, you may have a toxic workplace on your hands. Breaking bad habits takes bold leadership, but long-term it will be effective.

What you can do: Get to know your staff or colleagues, appreciate people’s efforts, and set strong examples with value statements. Once you have a bit more emotional intelligence than the Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper, you can provide constructive feedback that staff take on board. 

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