5 Reasons You May be in a Toxic Workplace (and 9 reasons to look for a new job)

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Unfortunately, too many people have experienced a toxic workplace. The feeling of dread as you wake up in the morning and the idea of calling in sick crosses your mind because you don’t want to interact with coworkers or management. It can be an awful feeling when coming into work feels like a chore. 

Check out the 5 ways a workplace can be toxic. See if you relate to any of them. 

Bullying is accepted.

Bullies exist because they are ignored. If you have a bully coworker, or worse a bully boss, run and find another job quickly! The damage from this experience can have a lasting impact.

Unfair or uneven workloads.

Do you have more to do than anyone else, for no reason? Sometimes work is not even and that happens in the best of places. There are times when the manager plays favorites and gives her faves a lighter load. You can approach your manager, calmly and stating the facts about the workload, it could have been an oversight.

People talk about each other more than work.

When gossip dominants, that means there are no r=standards for accountability and people are not focused on the most important thing at work. This sets up potential for conflict and bickering. 

Deadlines are missed.

When there is no accountability for meeting deadlines or accomplishing your targets then people stop trying and quality takes a back seat to socializing or slacking off.

Fear rules.

When intimidation is used to keep people in line, you know you are in a toxic work environment. If threats, even subtle threats, are used to keep people accountable then there is not room for conversation. Or if your boss is inconsistent and you never know what mood they will be in when they show up, it is time to polish up your resume. 

Toxic workplaces do not become this way over night. It is a process of ignoring the signs. This can be due to managers lack of training with conflict or managing people and it could be because the executive level does not place a high priority for respect at work. Either way, what happens when someone stays in that environment, is the urge to take action and be proactive disappears and you get stuck while stress takes over.

Being stuck is a vicious cycle, you can get angry at what is happening all around you and angry for yourself because you stayed.

And this digs the hole deeper. Recognize you are stuck and take action immediately. Action is the best antidote for being stuck.

The following are 9 reasons to seek out a healthy workplace:

  1. Positive communication
  2. High standards and strive for excellence
  3. Sense of humor
  4. Trust throughout the entire workplace
  5. Open and safe communication
  6. Collaboration is present making handling conflict easier
  7. Respect is the standard
  8. Appreciation and recognition flow freely
  9. Leadership is decisive and flexible

Healthy workplaces care for their workers and understand that work isn’t the only thing going on in their life. They also have strategies in place that make systems run smoothly and efficiently. Healthy workplaces have higher engagement with less people quitting and leaving gaps in workflow. 

Healthy and productive businesses attract the very best talent making it a reassuring place to work.

Choosing to leave a toxic workplace may seem like a tough decision, however I can promise you, the risk is far greater if you do not. It is hard to imagine working in a positive environment where your strengths are appreciated and utilized, however those places do exist. You are worth the risk and so is your future. 

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Where to next?

Dr. Cynthia Howard

Executive Coach  Performance Consultant  LSSBB

It takes resilience and agility to stay focused in these disruptive times. We want to help you get ahead of the challenges in this digital age with short practical tips. Go forward. Be your best

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