How to Manage a Toxic Work Environment

June 1, 2022

There is nothing worse than spending eight hours at a place you despise. The way a toxic work environment affects people is well documented. A toxic workplace causes less productivity and even insomnia in the people who work in such an environment. This can also drain an employee's personal and professional life.  You may ask yourself how to manage a toxic work environment?

Well, It is sometimes difficult to tell if their company is toxic to work for as an employer. But, whether the CEO is in denial or is just missing some common signs, the result is usually the same, high turnover rates, failing quotas, and difficulty in attracting new talent. 

 So here in this article, we will see some common signs of a toxic work environment and see some ways we can fix them. 

How do we recognize we are in a toxic workplace?

Communication with your colleagues is a chore in a toxic workplace. 

All information you get from your manager or colleagues feels passive-aggressive and like a chore. 

When you get little or no information on doing your job correctly, then when things fall apart, you get blamed for it.

When you need to ask your colleagues for something, it feels like walking through hot coal to get it.

Off-hours communication, receiving messages or emails outside of working hours, and generally not respecting your leisure time. 

Employees are forming exclusive groups and exclude people on purpose.

When you constantly feel like you are being excluded from a group of people, despite being on the same project.

Despite their abilities, employers favor a particular group of people when handing out bonuses or projects.

When people focus their energies on workplace drama more than the actual work.

A work culture that neglects employees and only worships metrics.

stressfull work enviroment youbelee

When employees constantly feel unappreciated for their work and dedication and feel neglected. 

When workers feel they might get fired at a moment's notice and feel no job security.

When employees are constantly being micromanaged.

When workers feel like they contribute nothing, their decisions don't matter, and they are powerless to change that feeling. 

A toxic workplace will leave you emotionally and physically exhausted. 

Despite working hard and pouring everything you have, you feel emotionally and physically exhausted with no reward at all.

When the work you do doesn't feel challenging at all and makes you feel underused and unmotivated.

When you work in a highly stressful work environment for a long time without little to no reward.

When it feels like you are constantly just working without any brakes at all.

How do we end the cycle and detoxify a workplace?

Once we have recognized all the signs of a toxic work environment, there are a few things we can do to end the cycle and detoxify it.

The easiest and quickest way to manage a toxic work environment is just to leave it. Sometimes that is not so easy to do as some people have invested a lot of time and effort into their jobs. They might also find it challenging to switch jobs as change anxiety is natural. If you don't plan to leave, then the first thing to do is identify the most toxic colleagues you have and avoid contact with them as much as possible. Next, find people who feel the same way you do and form friendships. If that doesn't work, then try to explore new hobbies, anything that will effectively take the stress away and put you in a relaxing mood. Also, document everything you do. Every email, every text message, because if you need to file a complaint, all the evidence will come in handy. 

end the cycle and detixify a workplace

If, however, you are the employer, then a good start is to give your employees some breathing room. The best way to encourage and empower your employees is to provide them with some free time to pursue any project they want during working hours. Ask questions, and do anonymous surveys. Make sure people feel comfortable voicing their complaints. Only then will you be able to do something about it. It would help if you adequately rewarded your employees, whether for achieving their quotas or contributing positively to the work environment. It doesn't matter for what. Just try to make your employees feel more appreciated

Conclusion

A toxic work environment is a broken work environment. And whether you work in HR or not, it is of the utmost importance to have a solid and healthy workplace. High turnover rates hurt companies and put a strain on their HR department, leaving them to neglect the needs of existing employees and focus only on new hires. Recent studies show that toxic work culture is driving "the great resignation" in the US and should cause you to worry about your workplace. So act now and manage a toxic work environment before it is too late. 

act now youbelee

On a related topic check out our article on managing boomerang employees!

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