June 17, 2022

What are the signs of a toxic work environment?

A bad work environment is one of the main causes of stress and mental health issues in the modern workplace. Despite what many people think, this can actually happen while working from home as well as at the office. This is why it’s so important for modern companies to pay attention to this problem. The area of Human Resources in particular has an important role for resolving this issue. 

However, not all companies offer a good work environment. In your case, how do you identify a negative working atmosphere? The answer to this question is key for modern professionals. At T2W we have many years of experience in talent management, so we can help you. In this article we will discuss some of the main signs of a toxic work environment. 

1. Negative leadership 

The boss is the most influential figure in the work life of employees. This is a person who plays a key role not only for their daily chores, but also in their comfort level at work. A good leader must be a person you can communicate with at any moment without fears. The leader presents the plan and motivates the team to follow it. However, not everybody has a good leader at work and that has consequences. 

In fact, a survey conducted on more than 3,000 workers in several professional fields showed that 82% of people would change jobs if they get a bad boss. This premise repeats in most of areas. For example, 73% of IT professionals would leave their job due to a bad boss, while in the healthcare field this rate increases to 88%. 

It’s often said that people don’t quit jobs, they quit bad bosses. There is much truth in that phrase. Negative leadership is one of the main causes behind a high turnover rate. Symptoms such as lack of communication, destructive criticism or micromanagement can negatively affect professional confidence, self-esteem and mental health. Needless to say, that is a sign of unhealthy work environment. 

2. Lack of a work/life balance 

Do you usually complete tasks after working hours? How often do you find yourself working late into the evening? That is not exactly a sign of a good work environment. Maybe you work from home, but now is normal for you to be assigned tasks or have meetings way past your working hours. 

Having to work occasionally a couple additional hours is always a possibility on any job, especially if you are in a field where there is in increase in workload during certain seasons. However, there is a problem when this turns into the regular work style and there isn’t flexibility in the working hours. That is one of the characteristics of a toxic work environment since it undermines the quality of life. 

There are several causes for this problem. In some cases, it is due to a workaholic boss. In other, this happens because there are some organizations that have completely normalized working past working hours. That is not positive. We all need to find balance between personal and professional life. The excess of work can make you lose that balance, cause excessive stress and affect your mental health. 

You might like: How to Deal with a Toxic Boss? 4 Key Aspects 

3. Excessive malicious gossiping 

Excessive malicious gossiping

In general, rumors and gossiping are inevitable in any organization. Sometimes it can be harmless since it allows people to keep up with what is going on internally in the company and as long as it doesn’t delve into personal lives. However, a line is crossed when the gossiping attacks a person in particular in a malicious way. That goes beyond just work gossiping and becomes personal. 

It’s inevitable to find maybe a couple coworkers creating malicious rumors on almost any organization. However, this turns into a problem when it becomes a popular habit among employees. For that reason, the company must focus on creating rules of behavior and a healthy organizational culture. If that is not the case, that is a sign of a bad work environment. 

4. High turnover rate 

Given all the characteristics we have just mentioned, is not a surprise that the result of these problems is a high turnover rate. The turnover rate is the percentage of employees that leave the company in a specific period of time. There can be several reasons for a person to leave an organization, not all of them are related to a bad working environment. 

However, out of all the factors that can cause a high turnover rate, the most common is a negative work environment. That can be due to a bad leadership, certain attitudes of coworkers, excessive workload, among other aspects. In the end, the result will always be the same: People don’t stay in the company for long and they leave looking for a work environment where they can feel comfortable. 

These are the main examples of a toxic work environment. Pay attention to the signs and you can avoid a lot of stress and troubles at work. 

At Talent2Win, we strive to align your company’s business objectives with the best Talent Acquisition strategies available. If you want to learn more about the services we offer, do not hesitate to contact us.  

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