More and more businesses these days are cottoning onto the idea that healthy corporate culture drives performance and profits. But what if leadership doesn’t know good culture indicators from their elbows? You might imagine that the red flags indicating that something is off would be blatant, but the cues telling you that your corporate culture has hit the skids can actually be pretty nuanced.
Yes, when a workplace is ingrained with habitual practices, it’s easy to miss the warning signals. So let’s examine the signs of a toxic work environment a little more closely. These are pointers that you can look for from the leadership perspective, or simply as a concerned member of the team. Check out our toxic workplace checklist so that you can claim a greater understanding of your organization’s current cultural state:
Red Flag #1: Runaway Employee Turnover
One of the first signs that your workplace is veering into toxicity is an escalation in employee turnover. You might not see clear signs on the office floor that things are going wrong, but if you’re getting a lot of notice letters or employees are getting laid off or fired at a faster rate than usual, don’t assume that this issue will correct automatically. There is a reason why your team is jumping ship, and those earning the ultimate discipline are likely not doing so in a vacuum.
Red Flag #2: Running Burnout Due to Poor Work-Life Balance
Next on our toxic workplace checklist, we find the gremlin of poor work-life-balance. If you notice that employees are exhibiting signs of burnout, it is likely that a lack of healthy work boundaries, unrealistic expectations, lack of recognition, and always-on-the-clock stress is to blame. Long gone is the era when leaders imagined that griding employees toward their targets would yield long-term results. Balance is essential if performance is to be optimized and sustainable.
Red Flag #3: Poor Communication and Mismanagement
Poor communication can have your teams running around in circles, looking productive but not getting much done. This might mean a lack of clarity around projects, inefficient siphons leading to duplicated efforts, frustrated employees who feel unheard, and micromanagement from leaders who overcompensate because they don’t know how to direct their teams effectively.
Red Flag #4: Cliques and Bullying Run Rife
Among sure signs of a toxic work environment is when things start to get passive aggressive, hostile, harassing, bullying, gossipy, cliquey, preferential, or selectively withholding. At best, these kinds of behaviors can trigger your greatest talent heading for the door. At worst, you can expect to see discrimination, sexual harassment, or bullying complaints landing on your desk, and potentially a downward slide towards litigation laid out before you. Clique-ish behavior should always be taken seriously, before it gets the chance to escalate.
Red Flag #5: Forward Movement Has Stalled
A lack of opportunity for progression, poor team morale, staff that feel underchallenged or overchallenged, an a lack of alignment between company values and the truth on the ground will all contribute to employees switching off in a big way. This can stifle growth, slam on the breaks, and even trigger a high-rev reverse away from your brand’s success. So don’t allow neglected corporate culture to erode what likely took years to build. Re-review this toxic workplace checklist and decide if further action needs to be taken.
What To Do When Concerned About Corporate Culture
Fixing corporate culture gone awry begins with understanding the why and how of it all. The best way to achieve this is with a comprehensive corporate culture audit. This process will serve-as a health check for your organization, bringing to light the toxic traits that are undermining your brand’s success and the wellbeing of your team.
It’s important to know, too, that these issues can arise across work-from-home teams just as readily as they do in a shared work environment. So turn to a skilled and trusted auditor from Lauth Investigations International to turn the tables on a toxic company culture. Learn more about the process or reach out to our corporate team today. A consultation is no-obligation and we’re ready to explain exactly how we can help.