Five signs you're in a toxic workplace

15 February 2023

Hc

A toxic workplace is one where employees find it difficult to progress their careers internally and feel stuck in a rut. This is often due to the negative actions and ethos of the company’s management team and sometimes a result of the company culture itself.

Toxic workplaces are breeding grounds for feelings of negativity, substandard productivity and generally low morale. When subjected to a toxic workplace, employees can, over time, begin to see a decline in their physical and mental health.

Signs of a toxic workplace

Of course, we all have bad days, hard weeks and sometimes even difficult months at work. A toxic workplace is one where you encounter these challenging scenarios on repeat every week, month or year without a break.

A 2022 Work and Wellbeing survey uncovered that 18% of workers would describe their workplace as “somewhat or very toxic.” Additionally, 30% of employees experienced harassment or abuse in their company or outside of it. This shows that toxic workplaces may be more commonplace than we think.

Several factors contribute to a workplace turning toxic, and they rarely happen overnight.

Below we have highlighted some of the main red flags to look out for that indicate your workplace has turned toxic:

1. Non-existent communication

Do you find yourself working hard but never receiving feedback for your efforts? Employees who do not receive feedback or recognition for their work may struggle to understand how they are performing. This can lead to a lack of focus and lower levels of productivity.

Clear communication in the workplace is essential between management and employees. Without communication, employees will lack clarity in their job roles and may be confused about what is expected of them.

2. Poor leadership

Bad company leadership can affect every aspect of an organisation. Bad managers come in a variety of forms. You may have a manager who undermines you, micromanages everything you do, and constantly corrects your work. It can leave employees feeling unable to do their job. Another type of manager might never accept responsibility for their actions and continuously passes the blame, or they might not respect your boundaries by emailing you at all hours of the day or night.

How an organisation’s leader conducts themselves often sets the tone for the whole team.

3. Unmotivated employees

Even when you start a job with masses of enthusiasm and drive, if your workplace is full of unmotivated, negative employees, it will take its toll on you.

In a workplace where employees are engaged, you will be motivated to do better and work harder. The opposite is true for a toxic workplace which will wear you down. Unmotivated employees are usually a result of other problems within the organisation, such as poor leadership.

4. No opportunities for growth or development

If your employer doesn’t address your needs for career development, it’s likely they never will. Growth and development opportunities allow employees to feel valued and motivated. Without development prospects, employees are likely to feel undervalued and unappreciated no matter how hard they work.

5. High employee turnover

High turnover of workers is one of the surest signs of a toxic workplace. Leaving a job is rarely a decision that employees will make lightly. So if several employees have chosen to leave in a short space of time, this should be a red flag that something isn’t quite right.

Conclusion

If you suspect that your workplace may be toxic, it is essential to take action to address the situation and create a healthy and productive work environment for you and your employees. If you are an employee looking to leave a toxic work environment, our recruiters can help you look for a new position with a Payments organisation with a healthy culture and opportunities for employee growth.

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