A toxic work environment can be defined as any work setting where the atmosphere negatively impacts employees and causes disruption to their career growth. If you are in a toxic work environment, it is essential to identify it early on so you can take the proper steps to mitigate any damage it may cause to your mental health or workplace development.
Here are five signs you need to get out of that toxic environment and find a new job:
Most employees say bad communication is one of the top indicators of a bad or stressful work environment. Employees feel left out when they don’t know what’s going on. They tend to fill voids with assumptions and misinformation. Communication is the root cause of bad organizations—or good organizations operating poorly. Bad communication often leads to confusion and a lack of purpose for employees.
Every team has occasional conflicts or disagreements; it’s part of working collaboratively. But if those conflicts are constant—or particularly mean-spirited—it could be a red flag that the work environment has gone toxic. All that conflict can make it harder for teams to collaborate—and make it harder to move forward on the team and organizational goals.
Producing results is an important part of running a sustainable business. But when those results come at the expense of the team, for example, being forced to work unrealistic schedules in order to hit a quarterly goal, a sign of toxic work culture. If you realize your culture is too results-oriented, it’s important to take steps to bring things back into balance.
When you or your team is scared to speak their mind or make mistakes, innovation is impossible, which can make you less competitive. Plus, if employees feel like they can’t speak up or try new things at work without the fear of repercussions, eventually, they’re going to get sick of walking on eggshells—and bring their voice and ideas elsewhere.
If you feel like you can have a conversation with your leadership about the issues you’re having and not face retaliation, have that conversation. Approach leadership candidly and explain your experience to them. This should be a conversation with the intended end goal being a mutually beneficial solution. If that’s not an option you’d even consider, then it’s time to find a way out of that toxic work environment.
You are stressed out more often than not. You’re tense all of the time, you’re snapping at your family and you feel like no matter what you do the stress just doesn’t let up. Being invested in your career is a great thing, but not if it’s to the point of jeopardizing your health.
One last warning sign worth mentioning is disengagement. You show up, go through the motions and you go home. You’re no longer trying to overachieve or come up with new ideas, you’re just there to do your job and get your paycheck.
These signs have more to do with the organization itself than with you. They are often things that change over time that you may not agree with or things you had no way of knowing during your interviews. In many of these situations, you might still love your job so you’ll have to really evaluate the situation to determine whether or not it’s worth it to stay.
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