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5 Signs That Your Workplace is Toxic.. 

 This Thursday, we will be having a launch evening for our HR Services at WhiteCollarBlue (Click here for details). When sitting down and discussing what topics we would present at the launch, we touched base on pain points for Human Resource departments – focussing on toxicity in the workplace - This is where today's blog comes from.

So what is a toxic workplace? In short, a toxic workplace is an environment where the atmosphere, people or work cause a negative impact on the rest of your life. Don’t get me wrong; every workplace can suck sometimes. But when you’re getting to the stage where it’s a Monday morning after an amazing weekend and you’re questioning what excuse you can use to get out of work, or your stomach is in knots at the thought of going to work.. you know something is not quite right.

Let’s breakdown 5 signs that your workplace is toxic. 

01: Follow My Lead 

What came first? The toxic leader or the toxic workplace? We aren’t sure, but what we do know is that both toxic leader and workplace go together. The hallmark characteristics of a toxic leader can look something like this; 

- Narcissism. 

- They are ‘all about’ themselves. 

- They view themselves as categorically brighter than people around them. 

- They are entitled to special treatment. 

- ‘Rules’ are beneath them. 

- A ‘do as I say, not what I do’ mentality. 

- They manipulate others. 

- So on and so on.. 

02: On Wednesdays We Wear Pink.. 

Does your office have a particular group or ‘clique’ that you’re in either or you’re not? Does this particular group of individuals hold a level of power in the office lunch room? Are you in the adult version of Mean Girls when you walk into work? If there is bullying, harassment or issues where your HR Department needs to get involved due to toxic colleagues in your workplace, you guessed it – your workplace may be toxic. 

03: What Are Policies? 

Every company or business should have their own Policies and Procedures – these should also be signed off on when an employee commences a new role. The standard policies and procedures are 

- Anti-Discrimination 

- Dress Code 

- Emergency & Evacuation 

- Employment Legislation 

- Grievance Complaints 

- Gross or Serious Misconduct 

- Social Media 

- Leave 

- Bullying and Harassment 

- Alcohol and Drug 

The reason for policies and procedures are to create a standard and also expectation but mainly to place accountability on people and their actions. If your workplace does not have policies and procedures, are there standards to be met? How do you know what’s expected of you on a professional level? From an HR point of view, without policies and procedures, on what basis are you making your decisions? Especially when it comes to Termination. On what grounds do you have to terminate someone without policies? How scary..  

04: Revolving Door 

Employee retention is a great sign of a toxic workplace. If your place of employment has what seems to be a revolving door with people coming and going, you need to be asking the question “WHY” – Why is there an issue with new staff ‘sticking’ is it a leadership problem? A cultural issue? What are you missing? Or, what are you avoiding acknowledging? 

05: Major Communication Problems 

Initial signs of a dysfunctional, toxic workplace are the prevalence of significant communication problem often across multiple areas between employees and their managers or superiors. Variations of communication problems can be; 

- Indirect Communication (sending messages through other people, employees) 

- Withholding information. 

- Giving false or misleading information. 

Positive communication is crucial in a healthy business because without effective communication, working together to accomplish goals, and meet visions is virtually impossible. 

So there we have some of the most common signs of a toxic workplace. Does your workplace tick any of these boxes?.. all of them?? 

On Friday, the blog will be focussed around 'How to fix a toxic workplace' - stay tuned! 

If you think that your business may be toxic or you would like to learn more about our HR Services, we welcome you to RSVP to our HR Services Launch being held in Parramatta this Thursday (the 14th of July) Click here for further information.

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