Are you thinking of quitting your job? If you are, you must be experiencing any of the signs that you are in a toxic work environment. If you see any instances of these in your work place; then it is time to rethink your career strategy. Being in a toxic work place for too long will definitely affect your occupational wellness.
Using Fear to Manipulate
Bullying, threatening and other manipulative behavior is a definite sign of a toxic work place. You may find a coworker or even a supervisor using fear to control you or a coworker. If this happens, be sure to document such incidents and report to higher authority.
One way fear is used to manipulate employees is when they are required to achieve almost impossible tasks or quotas. If they fail to meet said requirement, they will lose their job. This is especially prevalent in sales jobs where you are required to reach certain sales amounts or quotas. However, these tasks should be given ample time to be accomplished. Training and other learning methods should also be provided to the employee to do a better job. A healthy work place should provide you with the opportunity to learn and grow.
Discrimination Through Cliques
Naturally, there will always be coworkers who work better together or a team who prefer to work with each other. If teams discriminate against new colleagues or other coworkers from other departments; then it contributes to an unhealthy work environment.
It is okay to form teams that bond together so they can work more effectively as a team. Not being open to working with others or excluding new employees from your team; has a negative effect on the whole company culture. Different teams contribute to the health of the whole company in different ways. Everyone’s contribution is important. New colleagues can also contribute new ideas or new ways of doing things.
Encouraging Unhealthy Competition
One of the side effects of having unhealthy cliques in the work place is unhealthy competition. Teams from the same department who have the same goal may engage in healthy competition. This brings out the best in every member. This also makes everyone feel good in doing their best to achieve their individual as well as team goals.
In a toxic work place; teams may resort to hiding information from other teams. They may even sabotage other teams’ efforts in order to achieve their own goals. This usually results from fear of losing their jobs if they don’t achieve their targets. Such an environment is not only stressful for everyone but for the whole company in the long term. This fosters aggression and even encourages fear tactics and the creation of toxic cliques. A healthy company should foster a culture of unity and helping each other.
Indecisive Leaders or Management
Higher ups usually approve certain processes and decisions in a team. In a healthy system, the process of approving proposals, requests, and other documents and processes, should not take too long. This shows a smooth flow of communication between managers and subordinates. It is a sign of a healthy system in place in the work place.
When the process of getting anything approved by higher management takes too long, or requires too many signatures, or even takes a lot of meetings to decide on; it may be a sign of a toxic work environment. Having indecisive leaders or a complicated management communication process ends up delaying projects. It also makes the tasks of employees frustrating. Employees usually end up feeling that they can’t get anything done. Because of this, they may also end up not trying to make good proposals or suggestions since they won’t get a timely or favorable feedback anyway.
If any of these signs are in your work place, then it is time to review your options. Unless you are in a leadership position that allows you to make major changes in the work place, it may be time to find another job. You might also consider finally pursuing your passion and starting your own business. In the meantime, be sure to take care of your mental and emotional health. Don’t let you toxic work place or toxic colleagues get to you and ruin your day or your future prospects.