Most people understand what makes up a healthy work culture. On the other hand, recognizing a toxic work culture can be tricky. Sometimes employees get comfortable in a seemingly fine work environment and realize over time some troubling red flags. Other times, an employee may begin in a healthy work culture environment that switches to an unhealthy one through a change of management or other factors. Below you will find signs of a toxic work environment and solutions to fix it.
1. Gender Inequality
Although the wage gap may be thinning with women earning 83% what men earn for the same job, there are still many establishments where women go underappreciated for simply being a woman. In a “man’s world” environment, the men make more money and are promoted more frequently. Maternity leave policies are unreasonable. Women are recognized for their appearance while men are recognized for their achievements. All of these behaviors point to an unbalanced, hostile work culture. These factors hurt the production of women employees and break down the overall morale of the office. It is on everyone in the company to support their women and treat them as equals to their male counterparts.
2. All Talk, No Change
In this type of toxic work culture, when employees voice concern, solutions are discussed but never implemented. In order for companies to flourish, superiors have to recognize the restraints of those below them. The legitimate concerns of employees should be a priority to their boss. Implement a protocol to investigate complaints. Check along the way to see if progress has been made on preventing the issue. Give employees resources to consult to and offer support.
3. No Solid Code of Conduct
The workspace is not a free-for-all. It’s important to put rules and expectations in a form of writing so no employee is left in the dark. How can one expect for employees to properly respect one another when there are no set standards? Without a thorough code of conduct, employees will slide by with excuses. Avoid this by making each individual feel safe and accountable for their actions. Establishing a proper code of conduct is a win for both sides.
4. Ugly Competition and No Support
The workspace should not be about rivalry. In a company, everyone needs to be playing for the same team. One person’s gain is not another’s loss. When everyone is working for the same goal, putting their heads together, and supporting one another, the outcome becomes something incredibly impressive. Each individual offers a unique range of talents that differ from the person next to them. By combining these abilities, a higher quality of work is accomplished. Innovation and collaboration is everything. No one can do that on their own. Encourage supporting habits.