Fog in the forest - toxic environment

Signs of a toxic company culture

How to identify if you have a toxic culture in your company

One of the risks of growing businesses is that they may become toxic workplaces. With the growth of your organisation you delegate different responsibilities to your managers and this includes managing your team. When you’re no longer in close relationships with your employees, you may find yourself in a situation where the atmosphere has changed and you feel that something isn’t quite right. This might be a sign that you have a toxic company culture. 

How to spot a toxic work environment

There are certain characteristics which can help you identify if you have a toxic company culture. Here is a list of those signs. 

Warning signs of a toxic company culture

1. Lack of communication

Pay attention to how well your team communicate with each other, how long it takes to get an email reply, etc. 

2. Lack of empathy

The signs of this are when people don’t help each other or don’t support each other.

3. High staff turnover

The rotating door syndrome may mean that you’re hiring mediocre people and the A-players don’t want to stay in such a team. It can also be a sign of a toxic company culture where people don’t want to stay. 

4. People not meeting goals or deadlines

When your employees underperform, this can be a sigh of their dissatisfaction with the workplace. This in turn leads to negativity in the workplace. 

5. People clocking out exactly at 5 pm

This shows that they aren’t committed or they want to escape the place as soon as they can. 

6. Asking for a pay increase

If many employees are asking for a pay rise or more perks, it indicates that they don’t feel appreciated or your reward system isn’t working. If they feel this way, they will become frustrated and the team morale will go down. 

7. Anxiety

When your team are experiencing a high level of stress for a long time, this will have an impact on the company culture.

8. Lack of alignment with values

The lack of common values and lack of alignment of the company mission and personal goals of your employees is another symptom of a toxic company culture. 

Final note

This is a quick overview of the possible signs of a toxic work culture. In the next articles we will talk about how to avoid creating a toxic company culture and building a positive work environment. 

Do you think you need to improve your company culture? How do you deal with signs of toxicity? Share your experience in the comments!

Books about company culture

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

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