A toxic workplace can make you dread going to work. Between gossiping and passive-aggressive communication, there can be hardly any space for professionalism. It can drain your energy and make it difficult to do your best work for the company. A manager’s responsibility is to address any unhealthy office behaviours and create a strong company culture. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen, and some companies can become difficult to work within.
Here are the red flags of a toxic work environment.
Bullying And Poor Leadership
Flyer specialist instantprint surveyed 1,000 UK workers to identify the signs of a toxic workplace. A whopping 46% of respondents said bullying is the most toxic workplace trait, followed by passive-aggressive communications (45.5%), cliques (37.3%) and favouritism (35.3%). It can be incredibly frustrating when your boss blatantly favours some employees over others. Managers must monitor their behaviour to provide an example for their team and avoid these undesirable traits filtering down.
Fortunately, some cities in the UK are less likely to exhibit these toxic behaviours. Southampton, London and Bristol house some of the healthiest offices in the UK, according to the instantprint survey. The worst locations were Newcastle, Leeds and Sheffield.
Lack Of Teamwork
Every workplace features these red flags from time to time – whether there is a brief failure in communication or a rumour going around about the next employee promotion. A toxic workplace, however, experiences these red flags on repeat and without a break.
There can be a constant feeling of competition, low morale, unrest, stress and negativity. This can leave employees feeling unmotivated and, frankly, exhausted. Some will overwork themselves to stay on top of the competition but a good team should work together and support one another.
High Staff Turnover
You may notice that the team is constantly changing as new hires come and go. A high staff turnover rate is a good indicator of poor company culture and, in some cases, a toxic environment.
instantprint found that almost 70% of respondents had worked in a toxic environment at some point in their career. Over half said such an atmosphere was enough to make them leave the company and switch jobs. A toxic workplace can have a huge impact on employee wellbeing and make it difficult to go to work every day.
Poor communication is often at the heart of a toxic workplace. A lack of clarity around work tasks can lead to issues with collaboration and working with external clients. Passive-aggressive interactions can turn constructive feedback into malicious comments. Out-of-hours messaging makes it difficult for employees to achieve a work-life balance. Communication impacts how a company functions day-to-day, so it needs to be carried out in the right manner.
If you notice any of the above traits, look to implement changes to the work culture as soon as possible to ensure your company avoids becoming toxic.