It’s completely normal to experience some levels of stress at work even on a good day. We want to perform well and are required to work hard to meet deadlines and deliver results. However, if going to work every day fills you with dread and makes you feel consistently stressed and drained you may be working in a toxic environment.
Toxic working environments make people ill (both physically and mentally), makes projects fail and will cause even the best employees to quit. For business leaders and managers, it’s vital to create a good company culture. For employees, it’s important that you’re working for a company that provides this and cares for your wellbeing.
“Culture is more important than vision. Some leaders have great vision, but have created a toxic culture where that vision will never happen.” – Phil Cooke
Here are seven warning signs that indicate you’re working in a toxic environment:
1. Disrespectful and belittling management
Your working relationship with your manager will have a big impact on how you feel at work. If you’re reporting to someone who thinks they are always right and doesn’t respect your opinion or expertise, this can become toxic.
2. Unreasonable pressure to get short term results at the expense of the long-term strategy
If you are consistently being put under pressure to deliver short term results, you’re putting yourself at risk of burning out. These results are also unlikely to be sustainable.
3. Inequality and unfairness
Managers that play favourites and don’t treat their team equally create toxic working environments.
4. Cliques, Gossip, and Rumours
If you’re working in a company culture where everyone seems to only be out for themselves, this should raise a red flag. A good company culture should enable employees to build genuine friendships and would not tolerate bullying and rife gossiping.
5. Lack of empathy, of appreciation, of support
You should be working for a company that appreciates your efforts and supports you in your professional development and life. Work-life balance is crucial to your happiness and health and it’s important that your employer helps you to create this and is empathetic when you need help.
Excessive control over teams and employees’ stifles creativity and creates a toxic environment.
7. Morally questionable environments, lack of integrity, encouragement of dishonesty
If you feel uncomfortable about the morals of your company, you won’t enjoy your work. Don’t let your integrity slide and move on if you’re working in a company with a dishonest culture.
In a toxic environment like those described above, no matter how great a vision and strategy the company has, they will not be executed well.