There are “bad” work environments – places that lack a sense of community identity or camaraderie – and then there are “toxic” work environments.
Toxic work environments are the places where things have gotten so bad that the culture is literally dangerous to your mental and emotional health. These are the places that you need to escape right away!
But how do you know if your workplace is truly toxic, or if you’re just going through a negative workplace stretch? This recent Business Insider article did a nice job of identifying 5 signs that your workplace is indeed toxic:
- Major problems in communication.
- Inconsistency in following policies and procedures.
- One or more toxic leaders in the system.
- A lot of negative communication is occurring (and in many different ways).
- Your work is affecting your health negatively – physically, emotionally and relationally.
You definitely need to read the article to get more context around each warning sign.
But remember – identifying the signs is just the beginning. If you are in a toxic work environment, you can’t ignore it. Don’t stick your head in the sand and pretend
everything is good when there are clear signs of problems that don’t just go
away on their own.
Talk to a mentor, a Career Coach, or a manager about how you can positively impact change – and if they don’t listen, it’s probably time to start looking elsewhere.