It is neither easy nor fun to work in a toxic work culture. However, if you are an employer, it may be time to take a look at your workplace culture. Having an open and trusting workplace culture helps develop your employees. Also, it makes it easier to communicate with them and enhances their overall performance.
Have you considered that the toxic culture of your company might be the cause of low productivity and high employee turnover?
Read ahead to know the 6 signs that show your company is suffering from a toxic work culture.
1. Lack of communication.
Healthy communication is crucial in any organization. A lack of communication — or ambiguous lines of communication — can lead to employees feeling confused about their roles and responsibilities within the organization, which in turn stunts organizational growth and effectiveness.
This type of environment breeds internal competition instead of collaboration and teamwork, which ultimately hurts business performance and productivity. Organizations should see such instances are examples of toxic work culture. If you notice your team members are not on the same page or acting out against each other, it could be because they’re not communicating properly with one another.
2. Employees always feel like they are walking on eggshells.
Employees always feel like they are walking on eggshells. They don't know what will set off the boss or when they'll be chewed out for something seemingly harmless.
If a manager or supervisor frequently threatens to fire people or acts angry and hostile, employees will naturally feel on edge. It’s important to get rid of supervisors who cause this type of stress within your company.
And Gossip and rumors are constant, and the reason why people have a hard time trusting each other.
3. Employees feel overworked and burnout.
If people regularly stay late or come in on weekends, there might be something wrong with your culture. A good company culture should encourage its employees to take breaks from work. Breaks can help people be more productive when they are working because they return refreshed.
Managers should also encourage employees to leave on time so that they can spend time with their families.Employees afraid of failure and punishment. And this is perhaps the worst symptom of an unhealthy or toxic company culture.
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4. There's no such thing as work-life balance.
Employees feel like they're treated like robots or cogs in a machine — not as people who have a passion for their jobs. They feel like they don't have any real say or control over their job responsibilities or how they get things done.
When you have a toxic workplace, you're going to be stressed out when you're at work and when you're at home. It's impossible to separate the two because either way, your mind is going to be occupied by what's happening in the office. You need to be able to strike a balance between your time at work and at home, and if you can't, it's a strong indicator that something is wrong.
Employees may experience anxiety attacks or maybe just feel like you're always on edge, but either way, it's taking a toll on your team’s mental health. Instead of being excited about getting up in the morning and going to work, they dread it.
5. Your HR department is caught in the middle of a power struggle.
A toxic work culture is a breeding ground for confusion, frustration, fear and anger — emotions that often translate into conflict between employees and their managers.
If there seems to be constant conflict between departments, chances are your employees aren't happy with their job or how the company is being managed. For example, one survey found that 78% of respondents had witnessed their HR team caught in the middle of disagreements between managers and staff.
What's worse: 46% said they'd seen HR make decisions based on favoritism or other personal factors rather than what was best for business. If this is happening at your company, it could lead to higher turnover and increasingly disgruntled employees. Your team members are frustrated with upper management.
6. Managers are unresponsive to employee needs.
Are employees getting the support you need? Do they feel like managers respond to their requests for help or feedback? If not, this could be a sign of a toxic work culture.
Employees need feedback on their work and an explanation of what's expected of them if they are to do their jobs well. If managers don't give clear directions and then don't offer feedback or praise when performance is good, it can leave employees feeling confused, uncertain and frustrated. A lack of communication also leads to a lack of trust between employees and managers, which is bad for everyone involved in the workplace.
If management is unresponsive, this can often lead to low employee morale and disengagement from the job at hand. When employees feel like they’re not getting the attention they deserve, they’re likely to become less productive and even burn out faster than those in a positive work culture..
To sum up
You can't fix a toxic culture if you're not willing to acknowledge it exists.
The first step to addressing this problem is recognizing what is actually causing the issue. The second step is educating your employees on how they too can help mitigate toxic work culture
"If you want to find out if your culture is toxic, talk to your employees," Brain Kropp, Vice president at Gartner said. "If you hear complaints from more than 10% of your employees after talking with them, there's a problem."
The signs of a toxic work culture can be obvious or subtle, but they all have one thing in common: they can make going to work feel like a nightmare to employees. Not only do the signs affect employees' quality of life, but they also have an impact on productivity, employee satisfaction and the overall health of your business. A toxic culture can be detrimental in the long run and impact employee engagement and productivity.
The bottom line is that your employees deserve a positive work culture. It is important managers should start fostering a positive work culture with everyday acts.