Toxic work environments can lead to poor performance, low morale, lack of quality in work produced and an overall unhealthy situation for everyone. Correcting a number of common issues that lead to toxic work environment can be a lot of work, but can be easier if you know the contributing factors.
Signs Your Work Environment Is Toxic:
There are a number of signs that can be easily telling if a workplace is toxic or not but these are some of the top three warning signs that the work environment is toxic.
Illness- Physical and even emotional illnesses can be a sign of a toxic work environment. If there is a rise of illnesses in the workplace than chances are the environment could be aiding in this. Illnesses can range from anxiety, depression, cardiovascular problems to an increase in colds, headaches/migraines and stomach upsets. All these can be brought on and increased with high levels of stress.
Lack Of Leadership- When a work place is overseen by immature individuals or has little to no guidelines in place this can lead to a number of toxic scenarios. Not having the proper leadership in place tends to lead to an unwillingness for team members to listen, cooperate and work as a unified force. There is usually a great deal of miscommunication, low support or morale among the workplace, which can be the result of not have a true leader in place.
Segregation- It is not uncommon for many workplaces to have a few ‘cliques’; but when these become a prominent fixture in the workplace this can lead to a number of toxic situations. When the work place becomes too divided there is:
- more favoritism,
- bullying and
- a lack of teamwork.
Illness, Lack of Leadership and Segregation are all warning signs, however it is noted that they each directly impact the quality and quantity of work produced as well.
How To Turn A Toxic Environment Into A Healthy One:
Detoxing a work environment will take effort on all parties but, IT STARTS AT THE TOP. The main thing any healthy work environment has is a strong, reliable and model leader. The person who is placed as a supervisor, manager or team leader needs to be able to promote cohesion and group efforts from all individuals. There should be a strong set of guidelines to help promote a healthy work environment. Some things that can be done to promote a healthier work environment include:
- Having a Strategic Planning Process that Guides the Agencies Direction
- Regular Performance Evaluation For ALL Staff Members
- Hold Regular Staff Meetings To Review Tasks & Work On Team Building Exercises
- Implement A System To Ensure Accountability & Quality Assurance
- Develop A Guideline For Workplaces Ethics
- Open The Lines Of Communication at At ALL Levels
- Creating A Training Policy
- Having A Process for Utilizing Staff Expertise
- Add Fun & Spice To The Workplace
Working in a toxic workplace can be extremely difficult if you are at what some would consider the lower level of the business where you have limited to no say or control of how the workplace operates. If you are in this position where no one is addressing these issues and there is no sign of change in the near future it may be best to seek out a new workplace. Toxic work environments can spill over into your personal lives so correcting them or taking yourself out of one is crucial for your own health and well-being.
To ensure that you don’t lose all of your staff in a mass exodus and or to just ensure that you are doing the work to ensure that your staff have the Healthy Workplace they desire and deserve, tune in next week for our blog on “How Having a Healthy Work Environment Improves Your Performance, Power & Presence.”