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7 signs you have a toxic workplace – and how to fix it

Toxic Workplace
Toxic Workplace

Do you know that most employees leave their jobs because of the office culture, even when satisfied with the job? Surprising! Isn’t it?

A recent survey revealed that a toxic workplace is one of the top reasons for people hopping jobs. A good work culture ranks as the top requirement in several workplace surveys.

As Simon Sinek, the author of Start with Why said, ‘“Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.”


To help you build a culture that is not toxic, here are the 7 signs that can help you figure out if you are in a toxic workplace.

These are the top 7 signs which are prominent in a toxic workplace:

1.People stop communicating:When an employee feels out of place, they stop communicating. Sometimes, it is misunderstood as arrogance. This can be amongst the first few signs of toxicity at the workplace.


What can be done?
Corporations tend to make elaborate plans and schedules for every small or big task – be it a product launch, a board meeting, or even a conference room scheduling. However, in the midst of all this, a company forgets to make a communication plan. To get employees to communicate with each other, you need a clear plan with frequency as to how it will be done. The plan may include:
a-Communication frequency from top management, including top management
b-Feedback frequency from employees
c-Mode of communication – email, call, video call, chat, etc
d-Communicating expectations from managers to employees

2.You can sense the negativity:The second prominent sign in such an environment is negativity. Employees approach most aspects introduced to them negatively. Let it be in a competition, challenge, or even perks; you won’t find them happy.

This has got tougher to figure out and resolve with the hybrid work model coming into play due to the pandemic. However, HR professionals have adapted to the new working model and have found ways to combat negativity.

Dealing with negativity needs resolve by HR professionals. Participation from top management in a group activity or a get-together that encourages employee participation has been seen to deliver good results. Employees feel that the administration is willing to hear their views, which positively charges the environment.
3.The difference between the top management and lower subordinates:When it comes to building a culture that promotes inclusiveness, top management, and the HR department need to walk the talk.  If the employee feels that the top management and lower levels are two different worlds, you would never be able to create a positive culture and encourage innovation.

Remember that some issues can only be sorted with the help of the company’s top management rather than a middle-rung representative. A company where the top management is not within reach of its base-level employees may create toxicity and irreparable damage.

4.Gossip Mongering: A toxic work environment is full of gossip. Irrespective of what is true and what is not office gossip can dent a company’s reputation. Never take gossip lightly and take steps to create a culture that does not promote office gossip among employees.
5.Falling employee retention: Employees are considered the human capital of the company. You should figure out ways to check if the human capital is being appropriately nurtured.
Check office reports and analyze the retention ratio of the company in recent years. In case the retention ratio is below the industry average, you have a toxic work environment.

The solution to the falling retention ratio would require team engagement, assistance from top management, and clear steps promoting employee welfare from the HR department.

6. Zero Team Spirit: If every team member in your company is working just for the paycheck, then it’s time you take a hard look at the work culture. Team spirit drives most companies, and without collaboration, the team achieves only what is barely expected out of them.
An ideal solution can bring in team-based work projects which will promote collaboration among the team.
7. Check Work-Life Balance: Last but not least, if your employees are constantly on email and calls – even after work hours and on weekends, you have a toxic work culture. Check the work-life balance in your company and if employees have the time to take a break after work hours.

This can be corrected by drawing clear policies to promote work-life balance. Your employees shouldn’t feel guilty about taking a vacation or spending some time with their families.

A toxic work environment has the potential to inflict irreparable damage to your organization. To avoid this situation, you require proactive measures, appropriate workplace policies, and support from the top management.


You can get in touch with us at BYLD Group for domain expertise to assist you throughout the process and foster a healthy working environment free of toxicity.