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5 Tips for Identifying a Toxic Workplace

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For most people, the joy of climbing the corporate ladder is immeasurable.

You work hard to get rewarded with paid time off, promotions, and other incentives. The thrill of the chase is tangible, and so many people get hooked on that career high. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case.

Workplace conflict is natural: with that many personalities in one space, there are bound to be disagreements. As much as conflict is natural, escalated, and unresolved issues tend to fester into unbearable situations – making the workplace a hostile space to work in.

Once that festering takes hold, it is difficult to fix – and that workplace becomes toxic. To identify a toxic workplace, follow these five tips below:

1. Unhappy Employees

Toxic cultures often glorify and attempt to normalize a lack of boundaries – forcing more and more work onto each employee’s plate. Management will encourage employees to push themselves as far as possible, causing burnout and total exhaustion.

That will be visible on the faces of the people working there.

One of the biggest red flags when walking around a potential new workplace would be unhappy employees. 

2. Trust Issues

A telltale sign of toxicity in the workplace is a lack of trust between colleagues.

Management in toxic companies frequently micromanage their teams to the brink of insanity. The situation degrades into employees not knowing whether they are coming or going, or if they are even capable of handling the simplest of tasks.

A clear indication of this is if the management team’s desks or offices face employees’ desks – monitoring their every move.

Every employee deserves a happy and safe working environment.

3. Rumors

One of the most common signs of a toxic working environment is if the office grapevine is constantly working overtime. While office chit-chat is normal, vicious rumors are not – particularly if they lead to unfair dismissals.

If you feel like your job is constantly on the line and you might be unfairly dismissed soon, you are not alone and you can fight back – learn more here.

4. Glass Ceilings

Most toxic workplaces employ a strict promotions policy and reserve many of the best jobs for friends and family members. That kind of nepotism is rife in the worst companies and leads to other employees feeling like they have a glass ceiling over their heads.

When there is no room for career growth in a company, the most talented and skilled employees jump ship as soon as another opportunity comes their way. That leaves only the miserable, unsatisfied, and desperate employees to stay on, creating a zombie workforce of sad faces.

5. You Are Expected to Snitch

Toxic workplaces rely on psychological and emotional warfare.

It sounds extreme, but anyone who has ever experienced a workplace like this will know how much truth there is in that statement. Playing employees against each other and expecting them to snitch on their colleagues is commonplace.

Toxic managers need to know what is going on inside the company, otherwise, they risk losing control over their employees.

To End

Working in an environment like the above is soul-destroying and will age a person long before their time. It is never too late to escape and find a healthy workplace that rewards dedication and hard work.