5 Signs of a Toxic Workplace

Do you often find yourself thinking that your company may be a toxic workplace? Do you dread going into work each day? Then this blog post could help you identify 5 potential signs of a toxic workplace.

A toxic workplace culture and environment has been found to be one of the most common reasons why people leave their jobs in a study by MIT Sloan. They found that a toxic working environment was a much bigger predictor of employee resignation than compensation. This shows why it is so important for companies to create a positive and supportive environment where employees thrive in their careers. Not only will this result in employees staying at and growing with the company but improved mental health and employee wellbeing.

So, what are the 5 signs of a toxic workplace that you should be looking out for?

1. Lots of People are Leaving

Do you come in every day and it feels like yet another person has handed their notice in? Do your colleagues constantly talk about wanting to get out or are actively looking for new roles? If people always seem to be leaving, it can be a big sign of a toxic workplace. Usually, when people love the culture and work environment, they want to stay!

If you are looking for a new role and the management explain in your interview that they have worked their way up through the company and have stayed there a long time, this could be a good indicator of a good culture that encourages progression.


2. Bullying, Gossiping and a Negative Environment

A huge red flag and a definite sign of a toxic workplace is any bullying or gossiping. If people are constantly talking behind peoples backs and it is putting you on edge, this is not a good sign. Equally, if anyone is getting singled out by management in front of others and disciplined publicly or bullied, this is a really bad sign. If people also don’t seem upbeat or seem like they don’t want to be there each day, it could be a signal for you to leave the company. Another style of bullying could be in the form of employees backstabbing others in order to progress themselves.

No one should be bullied at work as this can have a huge impact on your mental health. If you feel like this section resonates with you, you can start by talking to someone you trust within management about how you might be feeling so that this has been flagged. Alternatively, you can also start looking at roles within some fantastic companies that really look after their staff.


3. Silo Working

Another sign of a toxic workplace is different teams or departments working in “silos”. Silo working is when people in these teams or departments work exclusively by themselves and do not include other teams in discussions, do not freely share information with other teams and actively work against other teams. Working in silos can cause a huge lack of creativity to occur within the workplace and stop the company from working on the same side. If teams are working collaboratively and positively, this can hugely help company performance and employee mentality.

If you are a leader and have identified silo working within your workplace, setting joint goals and incentives, sitting teams together and creating joint projects can really help tackle this. If you are an employee experiencing the negative effects of silo working, make sure to voice how you are feeling to management.


4. Micromanagement and Lack of Trust

Another potential red flag and indicator of a toxic workplace is micromanagement. If your manager is constantly watching what you are doing both in the office and at home, this could be a sign of micromanagement and potentially a sign of a toxic environment.

There is a fine line here however between good hands-on supportive management and micromanagement. The difference being that a good supportive manager may frequently check in on you to see if you need guidance and assistance and set great goals for career development. However, on the other hand a micromanager may be constantly looking to see if you are working and requesting updates on your progress in your projects too frequently.

If your manager is always needing to sign off on every piece of your work and doesn’t trust you to use your initiative, this is a big red flag that could lead to demotivation and lack of initiative. Managers should encourage you use initiative whilst getting your work done on time and praise and reward you when you are working well.


5. No Work-Life Balance

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is essential for good performance and avoiding burnout. If your team are frequently expected to work far past your contracted hours without additional pay, this could be a bad sign. Some companies try and justify this by saying it is just “part of the job”, but working long days can be seriously draining for staff and reduce productivity throughout the week.


Did any of the sections of this article resonate with you? Do you want to escape a toxic workplace? Then submit your CV to helen@journeyrecruitment.co.uk  today and speak to one of our amazing recruiters about some of the amazing roles we have.