3 Signs Of A Toxic Work Environment

Toxic work environments can ravage your confidence and create self-doubt! And yet, what can you do about it?

With all the changes, layoffs, and downsizing that is happening in businesses large and small these days, it can quickly lead to a toxic workplace culture. Even businesses that once had a positive culture can head south quickly when so many changes are happening, which can have a negative impact on the mindsets and morale of your team.

Operating daily in a negative work environment for too long can quickly take a massive toll on your confidence, leading to self-doubt, and anxiety, and even creating debilitating imposter syndrome.

Here are the top 3 characteristics of today’s toxic work environment and what you can do as a leader to start making positive changes.

1. Lack of Support and Recognition

One of the most common characteristics of a toxic environment is the lack of support and recognition from managers and executive teams. So many employees are being asked to do twice as much with half the people power.

As humans, having positive feedback or reinforcement for the work we’re doing is important. Nature hates a vacuum so without it, employees tend to start making up negative things about their performance based on inaccurate assumptions and misinterpretations. Often leading to self-doubt, second-guessing themselves, and developing a case of imposter syndrome. A feeling that they are a fraud, despite their expertise and accolades.

These feelings then get intensified by compounded performance pressure they put on themselves leading to higher rates of anxiety, stress, and a variety of physical illnesses when it goes on for too long.

What can leaders do differently?

2. Poor Communication and Leadership

When executives and managers are unclear about company expectations or fail to effectively communicate with their team, this quickly can lead to confusion and frustration.

This can also create increased stress, anxiety, and self-doubt when employees feel like they aren’t meeting the expectations based on assumptions without an effective feedback loop. This leaves them wondering how to improve or which direction to take which can easily fester into spinning in circles with a lack of purpose or internal drive.

What can leaders do differently?

3. Hostile and Competitive Culture

When colleagues are pitted against each other or work in an environment where competition and aggressive practices are condoned and valued over collaboration and teamwork, it can create a very toxic workplace. These tactics can cause employees to feel isolated and unsupported, which can quickly manifest as anxiety, fear, and insecurity.

Additionally, this kind of competitive culture can easily contribute to imposter syndrome when employees feel like they have to continuously prove their value and worth, even as high achievers.

What can leaders do differently?

Given that we spend so much of our waking lives at work or engaged with work, doesn’t it make sense to create the healthiest and most productive environment possible?

Imagine if everyone on your team felt like they were seen, heard, and valued for their ideas, and contributions…

How could that positively impact your team’s morale, productivity, and even the bottom line?

It is possible.

By addressing these issues head-on, employers can hand-craft a positive work environment that promotes employee well-being, creates a loyal team, and builds a collaborative environment of confident employees.

If you’re interested in bringing more dignity, productivity, and collaboration to your team, then let’s chat.

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