A toxic work environment is detrimental to a company’s success. When toxicity reigns, morale falls, productivity tumbles, and turnover skyrockets. That uncertainty can worsen the situation, causing long-term damage that can harm a company’s reputation, both as an employer and as a goods or service provider.
Addressing toxicity in the workplace is essential. However, to do so effectively, you need to know when a problem is brewing. By looking out for certain red flags, you can nip issues in the bud before they lead to a toxic environment. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here are some signs of a toxic workplace on the rise.
Underperformers Aren’t Addressed
If your management team isn’t addressing underperformers, your company could be well on its way to becoming toxic. When employees fail to meet expectations consistently, they don’t just hinder their own performance; they can negatively impact an entire team. Others may have to make up for the underperformer’s shortcomings, causing them to become overburdened. Resentment also builds, damaging morale.
In some cases, not addressing underperformers gives other employees the impression that performance doesn’t matter. There’s little incentive to perform, as those who aren’t are not being addressed. In turn, productivity can start to fall across the entire team.
Ideally, you want to make sure that subpar performances are handled immediately. That way, coaching, training, and other approaches can be used to get the underperformer back on target quickly.
A “Do More with Less” Mindset
While resource management is essential for any business, the environment can quickly turn toxic if your company begins to adopt a “do more with less” mindset. Employees need the right tools to do their job effectively. If they are being denied access to critical resources but are being told to enhance their performance, frustration will build quickly. Many will believe that they’re being set up to fail, which can cause serious morale declines and increases in turnover.
Make sure that any cost-cutting measures don’t involve removing crucial resources. IF a change is going to make the employee’s job harder, it may not be a wise change.
No Clear Promotion Criteria
How promotion decisions are made can be a sign of a toxic environment. If there aren’t any clear criteria for advancing, that gives managers enough room to play favorites, which can be detrimental to morale.
If any promotions – or a lack thereof – seem unfair, negatively impacted employees may begin to doubt whether their efforts matter. Once they start feeling undervalued, a variety of poor outcomes can occur. Some may stop trying, causing performance declines. Others may start taking action to get noticed, some of which may involve harming other employees in an attempt to get ahead.
Suppose you want to avoid that situation, set firm, formal promotion criteria. This ensures all employees know exactly what it takes to move up, adding a degree of transparency to the equation.
Then, make sure your managers follow the criteria. That way, they can’t play favorites, intentionally or incidentally.
Ultimately, all of the issues could be signs of a toxic work environment. Using the tips above, you can help avoid those situations, ensuring your culture stays strong and positive.
If you’d like to learn more, The Advance Group staff want to hear from you. Contact us today.