8 Definitive Signs of a Toxic Workplace

8 Definitive Signs of a Toxic Workplace

We stay in our workplace more hours than anywhere else. You get to mingle with your boss every day for 8 hours (or more) even topping your interaction with your spouse or children.


And sometimes it's not about your workload. Did you ever feel happy with what you're doing but you begrudgingly hate the workplace. You can't stand the sneering of your officemates. You are not allowed to give your opinions. And there's so much animosity in the air.


The Company Culture is just plainly toxic.  If you want to be happy, you should find work you don't have to disgust per diem.


Company Culture


Company Culture is an important component of your overall happiness. Not everyone is just there for the money. I mean, we only have one life to live, why spend the most of it poisoned in a toxic environment?


And if you're the business owner, fostering such a culture is a ticking time bomb that will bring down your company.


According to a study from Harvard, even highly talented individuals will hamper the growth of your business if they engage in harmful behavior. Avoiding toxic workers will spur revenue growth and attract other highly talented individuals.


So how do you know? Here are 8 definitive signs of a toxic workplace.


The Vision and Mission Statement are Just 'Wall Art'


The Vision and Mission Statement are Just 'Wall Art'

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Every company should have a vision and mission statement. These simple statements resonate the kind of value each individual should uphold. But a toxic workplace just has this wonderfully weaved words for display. A beautiful decor on the company walls. Period.


Find out if your coworkers now this. Heck, do you even know it without looking it up? Can you see the actions of your company going towards this goal? Is it evident in their reward and recognition systems?


If the answer is a no, the real company culture might be different from the facade they want to show.


Toxic Leadership


Toxic Leadership

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Do you squirm when your boss approaches you? Like a looming death God ready to eat you alive. It's like a deity who never made a mistake. The all-powerful. The motto: "There is only one way, and that is my way."


Even Frank Sinatra would be displeased. If your superiors are narcissistic, disrespectful, and arrogant, expect a hostile environment. The negativity will trickle down.


The cutthroat and downright toxic leadership may bring results in the short-term, but it will hamper the growth of the company in the long run.


Gossip Monger Infested


Gossip Monger Infested

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One aspect that will surely be hit is communication. Toxic environments don’t foster proper communication. And the worse ones are plagued with passive-aggressive talk.


Gossip Mongers are all over the place. These employees group up to vent out their unhappiness in the company. Everything will be made negative. They shout to crucify leadership. Probably even the shirt color in the interdepartmental sports fest has political and frantic conspiracy theories.


Beware. This cancer might even spread to your new hires.


Fear of Speaking Up


Fear of Speaking Up

Image Credit: The SMU Blog


Team members should communicate well to collaborate well. And we all know that this is a precedent to reach the company's long-term goals.


But toxic environments don't encourage this. You fear to say your mind. Positive and constructive feedback will not be heard. As a result, good ideas will not upgrade to great ones.


To properly contribute, each employee should genuinely feel a sense of ownership in the company's mission. Without communicating their ideas and thoughts, how can they give out their all?


High-employee Turnover Despite Good Pay and Benefits


High-employee Turnover Despite Good Pay and Benefits

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And speaking of disgruntled employees. Everyone is talking about a job change. People eating lunch, people drinking coffee, or just *insert random thing* everywhere. It's the favorite talk piece, even beating Kylie Jenner's Billionaire status!


This is not a good sign. How long does the typical employee last? One year? Two Years? And you can't help but wonder, the pay is good and the benefits are competitive as well, why are people leaving?


This clearly shouts toxicity.  And if you're management is not doing anything about it, you better think twice already.


There Are So Many Rules But the "Favorites" Get Exempted


There Are So Many Rules But the "Favorites" Get Exempted

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Rules and policies are essential to any organization. You can't point to everyone the dos and don'ts in all instances.


But if there are so many strict rules in place without flexibility as to the circumstances, how can employees think outside the box? It severely hinders creativity.


And the funny thing about this, there are favorites who get exempted for all these rules. The punishments are different for different people. What would you feel if this happens?


Fairness in performance metrics and accountability should be established to avoid this toxic foreboding.


Work is Worship: What is Personal Time?


Work is Worship: What is Personal Time?

Image Credit: iStock


Well, you can't avoid extra work from time to time. There might be important deadlines that need to be met once in a while. But what if this happens normally?


Work is like worship. What is personal time?


Be wary because overwork will break you. You must find the time to relax. 'Me time' is important. So ask your superiors about it. If nothing changed, you might want to consider 'me time' elsewhere.


Appreciation is a Rare Commodity


Appreciation is a Rare Commodity

Image Credit: Shutterstock


More than the money, the feeling of being valued and appreciated is food for the soul. And in fact, it ranks way higher for your overall happiness.


Everyone deserves the accolades if they did a job well done. Can you still remember the last time you were praised for good work? How about a simple thank you, or just a pat on the back? If you don't even know if such exist, you are in a toxic culture. Find work that appreciates you.


Does this apply to your workplace? How do you cope up with your toxic environment? Let us know! Better adjust accordingly.  Good luck!



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