A toxic work environment often has repercussions without you even realizing it. Instead, it is the people closest to you in private life who will notice a change in your behavior and attitude.
Harmful work environments can manifest themselves in many ways, it is not always easy to identify them. But Gestion Succès and Sylvain Gingras, professional and personal development coach since 1995, are here to help.
Let’s get acquainted with the main signs of a toxic work environment.
12 signs of a toxic work environment
1. General lack of enthusiasm
One way to tell if your workplace is bad is to assess the energy and enthusiasm in the office. If you and your co-workers suffer from the “Sunday night blues,” you barely say hi to each other, or the good times just don’t exist, your workplace may not be fun.
2. You feel left out of the loop
Often, when employees are not communicating with each other, they fill the information void with rumours.
And if the employee does not have the latest information, he risks missing the deadline and getting reprimanded by his boss. Good communication at work is essential to do his job properly.
Finally, in some industries, ineffective communication not only leads to frustration but can also put the health and safety of employees at risk.
Organizations with poor communication strategies often create a negative work environment.
3. Results come before well-being
If outcomes are more important than your well-being, you may feel like you are ‘eliminated’, that you are unimportant. This indicates a lack of consideration for the personal needs of the employees.
Whether it’s ignoring the importance of work-life balance or a lack of sensitivity to family or personal situations, employers who fail to show empathy and don’t put their employees first risk building a reputation as a bad workplace.
4. Leaders are ‘invisible’
If invisible, a leader cannot be a leader: he may not promote the organization’s values or communicate its vision. When leadership at any level is invisible, communicative, or direct, employees tend to feel lonely, detached, and vulnerable.
Employees who try to ask their boss for help but get no response, get frustrated by the lack of communication. They feel that their boss does not support them or care about them.
This leads to fatigue and stress, which are negative symptoms of the work environment.
Read: “What is a leader?”, Our article that presents the basic qualities of a good team leader.
5. There is a lot of confusion in the company
When employees don’t know what’s going on or hear conflicting messages from team leaders, it leads to confusion. Imbalances also appear when roles are not clearly defined or when there are changes without clear goals.
In general, a work environment in which communication is ineffective or where there is a power struggle is certainly not healthy.
6. Unfair policy or unfair application of policy
Employee morale will suffer if they feel that the policies are unfair or that they are being treated unfairly. It could be the spoiled employee who can do no wrong, or someone who feels their complaints are being ignored.
Without fair policies or a work environment that favors some people, a toxic work culture quickly forms.
7. Employees stop caring about their jobs
When many employees regularly miss deadlines or meet their obligations less and less, whether voluntarily or not, the workplace becomes “unhealthy.”
However, it is rare for employees to start a job without a motive. But after a few years, it has become common for them to fall victim to a lack of will. Frustrated workers become apathetic and indulge in their routines.
If some of your employees are like this, it’s not necessarily their fault. On the other hand, it is likely to create a toxic work environment.
And if this is your case, then our article “How to get motivated at work” is for you!
8. Growing up or learning is impossible
Would you like to take on greater responsibilities or gain experience using new skills, but are being denied them or not keeping a promise?
When you’re denied the opportunity to grow or learn new things, it’s hard to feel involved. When you can’t achieve your career goals or realize your personal values, you end up being dissatisfied with your job. If this is also the case for your colleagues, it leads to negative professional behaviour.
9. Absenteeism or high staff turnover
Working in a toxic environment creates stress, and stress causes illness. Absenteeism is the result of sick, discontented or unmotivated workers. This leads to the departure of dissatisfied people.
Turnover is a sign that things are not going well in the organisation. People do not stay in a business for long if they are unhappy. If turnover is high at your workplace, the grass is surely greener elsewhere.
10. Your work is against your morals or values
Have you ever been asked to do something immoral? You may have been ordered to falsify numbers or lie to a customer.
When employees feel that their values or ethics are being challenged, it is hard to want to do their best and engage with the company.
11. Fear of failure
If you notice that you and your co-workers are not taking risks, it is likely due to fear of being reprimanded or criticized for their failure.
In a company culture that does not encourage failure but sees it as a problem to be avoided at all costs, employees have little incentive to try new things or suggest trying new things.
This often results in a lack of new ideas that ends up crippling the entire organization.
12. Difficulty falling asleep or getting out of bed in the morning
Do you find it difficult to sleep regularly? be cerfull. If it lasts for more than just a moment, this is your body’s way of telling you that you need to make a change. Stress at work has serious consequences for the lives of those affected. And even if you can work on this to mitigate it, sometimes changing the company is the only solution because it’s bad for your health