Bennett: 4 Signs of Toxic a Workplace and How to Overcome It

March 15, 2023
How to determine if your workplace has become toxic and what to do to fix it.

It doesn’t matter where you go or whom you speak with, the topic of “horrible” employees seems to come up. Whether it’s someone who received poor service on the consumer side or a business owner pulling their hair out over an employee problem, the root cause of all of it is universal.  

The first step to improving the idea of toxicity in the workplace is understanding that things are not like they used to be. Long gone are the “glory days” or the days when there was no shortage of workers and workers were willing to put up with anything because they needed a job. The days when employees didn’t care about a work-life balance or workplace are over, as they should be. 

Today, understand the positive impact engaged employees have across the board, and with that, we need to understand how deep the impact is of non-engaged and toxic employees. This applies to shop owners too. Studies show a huge difference and impact on a team when employees are under the influence of engaged and positive leaders vs non-engaged and toxic leadership. 

It's important to create and maintain a positive work environment for the well-being of employees, productivity, and business success. However, this doesn't happen naturally, and there are hazards associated with not creating one, such as high employee turnover, low morale, and a negative reputation. Turning your workplace into something positive has numerous advantages both for employees and your business. In this article, we'll discuss the potential dangers of not having such an environment and some of its many advantages when creating one for employees. 

Here are the 4 signs of a toxic workplace: 

1. High Turnover  

When employees are leaving the company at a high rate, it could indicate a toxic workplace. Unhappy staff may seek other employment opportunities, leaving your company with an ongoing need to replace staff. 

2. Low Employee Morale 

A toxic workplace can result in low employee morale, which negatively impacts productivity and performance. Disengaged or unhappy workers may not put forth the effort required to meet deadlines or produce quality work. Furthermore, low morale leads to increased absenteeism rates as well as a lack of commitment toward company goals and objectives. 

3. Conflict and Tension 

Toxic workplaces often exhibit conflict and tension among employees. This could include verbal or physical altercations, passive-aggressive behavior, as well as an overall lack of teamwork and collaboration. 

4. Micromanagement and Lack of Trust 

Micromanagement and a lack of trust between management and employees can create an unhealthy work environment. When employees feel like they're being watched over closely, it may lead to demotivation or disengagement. Furthermore, lack of communication makes resolving conflicts or dealing with workplace issues much harder due to miscommunication. 

As an employer, you understand the importance of your employees as the foundation of your company. Creating an encouraging work atmosphere that promotes productivity, motivation, and happiness at work is critical. Fortunately, there are ways to fix unhealthy work environments. Here are the 5 steps to overcome toxicity. 

1. Communicate Regularly and Openly  

Effective communication is the foundation of a healthy work environment. When you communicate regularly and openly with your employees, you build trust, boost morale, and ensure everyone's on the same page. To do this effectively, be always accessible and approachable, listen actively to feedback or concerns, and keep employees informed about company news/updates through regular meetings, email updates, or suggestion boxes. 

2. Set an Example  

As a small business owner, you are the face of your workplace culture. Your employees look up to you for guidance and take cues from what actions you take - so it's essential that you model these qualities yourself. Be punctual, respectful, and ethical always while prioritizing employee well-being by taking breaks, going home on time, and not micromanaging or overworking employees. 

3. Show Appreciation to Employees  

Recognize and reward your employees for their hard work and accomplishments, not only to boost morale but also to demonstrate how much you value their contributions to the business. There are many ways of showing appreciation such as providing positive feedback, acknowledging successes, celebrating milestones, and offering rewards or incentives like bonuses or extra vacation days as a token of your admiration and appreciation. 

4. Provide Opportunities for Growth and Development  

Your employees want to progress in their careers, so it is your duty to give them the chance. Provide training programs, mentorship, coaching, and feedback to help develop professionals. By investing in your employees' development as an employer, you create an encouraging work environment that promotes innovation and growth. 

5. Foster Teamwork and Collaboration  

Promote teamwork and collaboration in your workplace. This involves facilitating cross-functional projects, celebrating team successes, providing chances for team-building activities and social events, etc. When employees feel part of a collective unit, they tend to become more engaged and motivated to work effectively.  

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