If you are a manager or team leader, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that making your office more like a home will just “make people happy”. You might relax into this idea because you know that if the people are unhappy, they will just leave and find another job. However, this mentality can lead to problems when you create an environment that does not nurture productivity or a good work ethic. To avoid having your employees feel like prisoners in their workplace and ultimately leave for greener pastures, make sure your office culture is at least tolerated instead of actively disliked.
In a toxic office culture, there is no incentive for employees to work hard or achieve success because it feels futile and unappreciated.
Signs of a toxic work culture
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1) High staff turnover
If there is a high turnover of staff, you probably have a toxic work environment. True, some people are more suited to certain career paths than others. Some people may want to be in an office, while others prefer to be working remotely. If you have high turnover and no problems attracting talent (or retaining it), then the problem lies in your culture.
2) Employees report stress
If you notice that your employees are reporting high levels of stress, that’s a red flag. Stress is often a sign of a toxic work environment. A potential solution to this could be that you have a bad manager, but if everyone is stressed out and in danger of burning out, then it may be the way things are in your workplace.
3) Low morale
Low morale can also be caused by low productivity and poor teamwork. If you are struggling to keep up with the demands of your job, it could be because people tend to keep their heads down and put on a “professional appearance” at work. When people are afraid to take risks or feel like their colleagues aren’t working as hard, a toxic work environment can become apparent.
4) Conflicts between employees
Conflict is not necessarily a bad thing; many people choose to work in environments that motivate them. However, if you start to notice conflicts between staff members, it might be a sign that things are out of hand. You may want to think about how easy it is for people to get along at work and if you could improve this some by adding more social functions into your office.
5) Employees who no longer like their job
If people have started to dislike their job, this could be a sign of a toxic work environment. You might be in for some hard times if people are not enjoying their careers in your workplace. The reason people choose to leave is usually that there is an unpleasant atmosphere that they just can’t get used to. However, if you don’t have these problems, you may want to think about how you could make the office more appealing or break out of the mold that others are working in.
Your office culture must be at least tolerated by your employees so their introduction to the company doesn’t turn them away from the position. If you don’t think people can tolerate your work culture, then it’s time to reconsider it. In today’s competition for better-paying jobs, plenty of employees will just leave when they feel they can get something better elsewhere without giving notice.