Telltale signs you’re in a toxic workplace or about to join one
Telltale signs you're in a toxic workplace or about to join one
Undermining – When an idea is shared in a meeting by you or another employee and met with derision, sarcasm, passive aggressive arm wrestling, or straight-out deflection this is undermining. The effect can be momentary or lasting imposter syndrome, self- doubtful behavior, stagnancy or complacency for fear of retribution. If this is repeated or recurrent, and efforts are made to connect with leadership or management and unmet an employee may consider leaving asap.
No freedom of creative thought leadership in all levels of leadership, or the shut down of creativity innovation and excitement of ideas are the results of a toxic workplace. The reason is creativity and thought leadership are harvested, nourished, cultivated traits of an inclusive, diverse, and healthily competitive environment. This environment can challenge weak leaders and toxic cultures.
Topdown leadership– The theme “my way or the highway”, is super old-fashioned in my view. Though it’s a method of success from the past century that only seemed to work. Top down leadership does not allow for collaboration, partnership, equality, inclusivity, inquiry and the commitment to the cultivation of new leaders ideas.
People are running out the door like a fire drill– There could be several reasons for people running out the door. Contrary to popular belief this is actually not the absolute telltale of a toxic work culture, but likely will become one if it doesn’t change. Employees could leave because of disorganization, lack of compensation, insufficient strategic business advantage or other issues that don’t necessarily reveal the presence of toxicity. Eventually these other reasons could lead to shut down, or toxicity but don’t necessarily indicate absolute toxic work cultures.
Being in continual conversation with leadership allows you to gauge if the organization is moving in the direction of sustainable growth or insurmountable decline.
The question to ask before making any decision to join or remain is: Can you grow here (in compensation, mission or learning) at this organization, aligning with the present culture?