Do you work in a toxic environment? No, we aren’t talking about the presence of radiation or chemicals. We mean emotionally toxic. These stressful workplaces make it difficult to excel and can even lead to physical and mental health problems.
Of course ,there’s the old “is it you or is it me?” debate at play here. Is your workplace actually toxic? Or are you just getting burned out?
It’s a complicated question. One Twitter poll run by Dice Insights found that 69% of respondents described their workplace as toxic. It’s hard to know how much stock to put in a Twitter poll. But more scientific approaches to the subject find equally sobering results.
For instance, one study of 40,000 workers at 125 major corporations found that only 27% of those surveyed would report harassment if they saw it. The same data set suggested that more than a quarter of employees (29%) have left a position due to a conflict at work. Those certainly seem like signs of widespread toxicity.
So how can you judge your own work situation? Here are a few signs to keep in mind as you decide whether your workplace is actually toxic:
Communication Is Almost Always Negative
Criticism is necessary to a dynamic work environment. How else can people improve and policies get updated? Still, the process should remain open, constructive, and sensitive.
An excess of negative communication can point to a toxic environment. Discussions should never include yelling or name calling. This applies to conversations both with your boss and with your coworkers.
Don’t be fooled into thinking people are just “airing out their differences.” And don’t listen to the excuse “we’re a family and families sometimes fight.” This form of discourse only slows progress and adds unnecessary stress. If you experience these forms of negative communication, take it as a warning sign.
You and Your Coworkers Lack Motivation
In the morning, you repeatedly hit the snooze bar. During your working hours, you check the clock constantly. You obsessively count your vacation days and find excuses to avoid your main tasks.
This sluggish atmosphere is more than the usual working blahs. A lack of motivation can point to deeper issues. Clearly, you and your coworkers aren’t invested in the company’s mission. That pervasive sense of depression signals a potentially toxic environment.
You Can’t Trust the Higher Ups
Don’t tell the VP of sales about the potential new client…they’ll just lose the sale. Don’t report anything to HR…it will just create a bunch of hassle and nothing will change. Don’t put in a requisition order for staples…it’s easier just to buy your own supplies.
Does this kind of dynamic seem familiar? Then you might need a change. Any team relies on trust and mutual respect. If you don’t have those, it represents a massive problem.
Your Best Coworkers Leave…Quickly
Every time someone with significant talent comes into the organization, they leave almost immediately. High turnover in general represents a red flag. A revolving door of high-quality coworkers is more like a crimson fireworks display.
Think about it. Your best coworkers have the most options. The moment they sense something is wrong with your company, they head for the door. It might be a signal for you to do the same.
You Dread Going to Work
Trust your gut. Do you spend the weekends excitedly thinking about the goals you’ll start working towards on Monday morning? Or do you spend the time wishing your weekend was longer? A dread of work is your subconscious telling you something.
Ready to escape a toxic environment? It can be a daunting task. No one wants to be out of work, even if they don’t like their current job. A top-ranked staffing firm, like PrideStaff, can help.
Contact PrideStaff today to find the perfect work environment for you.