While we all desire for an ideal workplace wherein you can be highly productive during your work hours with good colleagues to work along with, however such ideal situations are far from real-life. An ideal workplace would be well managed by highly capable leaders with an open and fair supervision, who place professionalism and justice above all aspects.
However, in this unstable economic climate businesses are facing enormous issues and challenges that lead to higher tensions and productivity burnout. Employers’ ambition of making business a success requires employees to work in an optimal productive manner, improve their skill sets, take up bigger projects beyond their capabilities, even achieve goals and targets at the same time.
Unfortunately, increasing demand and expectations of employers are not always balanced and supported with actions to nurture and retain the employees. Some leaders lack skills to lead the business and fail in better decision-making skills, solutions and policies. Also, some managers often fail to create an effective workplace environment which is conducive, free of any conflicts and clashes among employees. Such conditions lead to a toxic workplace where people inside a company suffer.
HR managers and employers should know some of the signs of a toxic workplace as mentioned below:
Lack of Work-Life Balance
Most companies require employees to work on an average 40 hours per week. However, these lengthy working hours sometime seem not enough for employees and employers alike to accomplish tasks and get the job done. So they demand employees to work for extra hours more than the scheduled time, sometimes even on weekends without any recognition or appreciative compensation.
It is great to be highly productive, however employees are not robots. They require effective work-life balance for maintaining their state of emotional and physical well-being. Such toxic workplaces do not allow employees to thrive at peace, but they bring about suffering for the highly committed workforce.
Stacks of piled on tasks and duties keep the workers always busy, all day long. Beyond the heavy burden of regular duties, they still have to chase long-term targets and meet goals within a strict duration of time. Managers always add on to their ad-hoc responsibilities at unexpected time periods and employees are required to stay longer hours in the office to get the job done.
Unrealistic expectations lead to employees being stressed out. It is just a matter of time when these employees decide to quit the toxic workplace environment to find greener pastures elsewhere.
Two ways communication is important for smooth functioning of operations in a workplace. Employees should seek feedback about the job they are executing and steal a chance to speak up in case of any issues.
However, a toxic workplace might gladly ignore the importance and effectiveness of a smooth interaction. Employees are neglected, they are unsure about the results of their hard work with no periodic performance assessments in place. No feedback, suggestions and input is being provided to employees about their work performance.
On the other hand, employers always look at areas to pinpoint errors and mistakes. They do not value hard work and fail to appreciate employee contributions towards the growth of the business.
There are areas wherein leaders follow dysfunctional relationship with their employees in the form of favoritism at work, insincere communication, long-term grudge-holding, back-biting, pitting coworkers against each other and criticizing others before asking questions.
Leaders are positioned to manage the employees and make some needful change in management to achieve company goals and business objectives. However, it is not always easy to be a leader. Some of them exemplify immature style of leadership that can be quite disturbing and disrupting the workplace dynamics.
Certain bad behaviours and attitudes showcased on job such as temperamental outbursts, emotional reactions to situations, avoiding to get to the crux of matter in times of conflicts, unwillingness to listen to others, hypocritical, lack of morale and poor communication – all these lead to a toxic working environment.
Dealing with a toxic working environment needs patience, resilience and great efforts to overcome the challenges faced everyday. However, when employers and HR managers are unable to manage the issue at hand, intervention of a professional career advisor could help neutralize the effect of a toxic working environment on employee productivity.
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