We have all heard about toxic workplaces, and that term is enough to send shudders down anyone’s spine.

These working environments are the stuff of nightmares, where employees are depressed, stressed, anxious, and far from healthy. They are the furthest thing from productive, and most employees find a way out as soon as possible.

The thing is, not all toxicity is blatant. Sometimes, the rot is invisible to the naked eye, so how can you tell if your workplace is toxic?

Below are the top five ways to spot a toxic work environment before it is too late:

  1. Cosmetic Diversity

If the retail or front-line employees are diverse but the management teams are not – there is toxicity around.

True diversity and inclusion are not about making a company that looks diverse from the outside to make the business look good on paper. It is about equitable advancement and meaningful impact.

Companies with gender and ethnic diversity significantly outperform those without. Diversity balances out perspectives and brings fresh ideas to the table.

  1. High Turnover

One of the most obvious ways to tell when a workplace is toxic is by looking at the staff turnover in recent years.

High turnover is a clear indication that something is wrong. 

Everyone knows that most people do not leave a job – they leave a bad boss. Toxic bosses create environments that are unhealthy, foster unhappiness, and drive good people away.

These workplaces are not productive

When the only employees of an organization are the ones who are desperate for work or psychologically damaged on some level; there is a deep-rooted problem.

  1. Dictator Style Leadership

A positive and supportive workplace fosters a sense of belonging and feeling appreciated and valued.

No one can feel valued if there is a dictator-style leadership at the helm of the company. Employees are not robots and cannot be expected to function autonomously and without feelings. 

This style of leadership is old and outdated and frequently leads to discrimination. If you feel like you are being discriminated against or have been unfairly dismissed, contact HKM Employment Attorneys for advice on how best to handle the problem.

Unfair dismissal happens more often than most people realize, but it is far from an acceptable practice.

  1. Gossip

When employees do not feel seen and appreciated, their dissatisfaction and disappointment come out in the form of gossip and complaints.

Gossip happens when employees are not told enough about what is going on in the company - or when they are afraid to bring up their issues through the proper channels.

When employees are too scared to speak up for themselves, the company culture is dead in the water. No company can rule with an iron fist and still expect the employees to be happy – it simply is not possible.

  1. Conflicts Are Common

Conflicts are inevitable in the workplace, especially if two strong-willed personalities are involved. People disagree from time to time on how best to approach a challenge, and a difference of opinion is often healthy. 

The problem comes in when there is no productive end to the conflict. That is when the situation turns toxic. 

This is true in every industry. For example, conflicts are common in restaurants around shift timings, offs, and other related concerns. Therefore, owners often choose to provide conflict training for restaurant staff to ensure there are no such issues. This training helps make them empathetic and work towards solutions, promoting a healthier work environment. By addressing conflicts constructively, businesses can maintain a positive and productive atmosphere.

A toxic environment with unskilled or apathetic leaders prefers to ignore conflicts or turn them into arguments that need a clear winner.

To End

While there is a possibility that a toxic workplace can be reformed - it does not happen without significant effort and management wanting to make changes. 

Do not be fooled into thinking your workplace will improve without positive change being the driving force.