The values of a company are defined by their work culture, which represents the DNA of the company. Most of the employees that achieve success develop in an upright environment that keeps them motivated. But if values are not respected in the organization, the dynamics and agreements are violated, and people are mistreated, it will eventually become a toxic work environment.
Toxic work environments can be defined as any workspace where the system, the atmosphere, people’s attitude, or the combination of all these elements negatively affect the lives of employees. Oleg Vishnepolsky, CTO at DailyMail Online, Metro.Co.Uk and international team specialist, highlights some signs of a toxic environment:
- Inequality, injustice and favoritism.
- Pressure to obtain results in the short term.
- Lack of empathy, appreciation, and support.
- Excessive management control.
- Lack of honesty from the bosses.
The objectives of a company will never be fulfilled in an environment with these traits. Much less will the vision of the organization be elevated. Without leadership and satisfaction, and a role model, the worst will happen: workers will end up frustrated and look for a new job.
Signs of a toxic work environment
In toxic work environments, professionals do not achieve their full potential. Far from becoming a space for growth, employees are forced to meet unimportant goals. Besides, it must be noted that a hostile work environment has negative consequences on health that can affect the worker's life. For example, the stress that comes from pressure causes insomnia, a sense of alertness, acceleration of heartbeat, anxiety, etc.
There are characteristics of a toxic work environment:
- Illness of employees. Hostile workplaces cause exhaustion, fatigue, and health disorders due to stress.
- Negative leadership. Bosses always demand that everyone agrees with them or be granted the reason. They just expect everyone to follow their rules.
- Lack of motivation. Workers are not happy. There are no constructive or optimistic conversations.
- Little effective communication. The information necessary to fulfil the work objectives does not flow. There are no positive comments.
- High rotation. The most severe consequence is the resignation of the best talent, who do not see a future in the company.
Good employees run away from lousy bosses
A manager must be a leader by nature. Beyond achievements, one of their functions is to maintain harmony in their department following the principles and mission of the company. On the contrary, bad bosses deteriorate the work environment and are capable of destroying a good working group. In this sense, under their management employees run away and the rest who stay lose their motivation.
Behind bad management, there is a bad boss. Many of them focus on following orders from their superiors and do not defend the people under their command. Their own privileges are above all.
On the other hand, we find managers with superiority complex incapable of establishing genuine relationships with their workgroup. They even believe that the departments or the organization spin around them.
In general, bad bosses encourage toxic work environments, and this phrase exists for them: "Workers do not quit their positions but their bosses".
The following are some features of the bad bosses:
- They take credit for the work of others.
- They show little appreciation and do not give recognition to their staff.
- They are unreliable.
- Their management is not clear or realistic.
- They are always unwell or avoid difficult conversations.
- Their emotional intelligence is low.
- They are unable to listen and respond to comments.
- They do not lead by example.
Many companies make the mistake of not adequately monitoring the work environment in the departments. Instead, successful companies are responsible for monitoring that the practices are aligned with the values, beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes that define the organization.
Unlike toxic work environments, positive culture attracts the best talent, drives commitment, affects employee satisfaction and, consequently, improves the overall performance of the company.