A toxic work culture affects every aspect of your company—you, your employees, the work, the product, everything. Toxicity in the workplace spreads at disastrous speeds so you want to be able to catch it before it even starts. That means being able to identify the effects and their causes early on.
Here are some of the worst effects of a toxic work culture and how they’re holding your team back.
The Line Between Managers and Employees
A toxic work culture creates a kind of line between managers and employees. It puts each into their own bubble with very little interaction which is deadly to effective communication in the workplace.
“When they [managers and employees] do interact, it’s a one-way communication in which the manager tells the underling what to do. There’s no other give-and-take conversation or collaboration between management and everybody else.” – Forbes
This lack of give-and-take makes real communication between leaders and their teams hard to come by. Without proper communication, it won’t be long until your team falls apart.
A Lack of Transparency
A lack of transparency is another effect of a toxic work culture. If people are never open about how they’re feeling—especially when they’re unhappy—they tend to feel they need to fake being chirpy all the time. This quickly leads to burnout and disdain for the job.
“Be Authentic – It drives me nuts when people put on a game face, or a professional voice, etc. I’ve always found that when people are REALLY themselves, they resonate with everyone around them. My energy vibrates when I’m being me. I become a magnet, and I know it.” – Cameron Herold
Being open about your feelings creates an environment suited for people to lift each other up and spread happiness—essentially creating a thriving workplace.
There is No Community
A toxic work culture can ruin any sense of community between your team—whereas comradery is an essential component of a productive team. It’s how things get done effectively and it keeps people feeling like they belong and matter in their job.
“The final sign of a toxic workplace is that there is no community. The few people who laugh and joke with one another get suspicious sideways looks from people who are too afraid to let their hair down. Outspoken employees and non-traditional thinkers don’t last long. They get disgusted and leave or they are invited to leave when their style clashes with the status quo.” – Forbes
A lack of community makes way for a cut-throat work environment which is very harmful to productivity over time. When there is a sense of community in the workplace it benefits everyone.
No One Goes the Extra Mile
Everyone begins to do the bare minimum to get the job done when they’re in a toxic work culture. People don’t feel engaged or needed so they don’t want to do more than what’s required.
“There’s a big difference in output among employees going the extra mile versus those just doing the minimum to get by, or in other words, “covering their asses.” This gap is felt at every level, from customer service to partnerships with key suppliers, and all the way up to senior organizational leaders.” – Inc
If no one is willing to go the extra mile then that puts your company at a standstill. To be successful you need a team that’s willing to push for more.
A toxic work culture can be detrimental to your company’s success, so it’s beneficial to you and your company to cultivate a healthy work culture.
The Harvard Business Review has a list of the characteristics of a healthy and positive workplace so that you know what to strive for:
- Caring for, being interested in, and maintaining responsibility for colleagues as friends.
- Providing support for one another, including offering kindness and compassion when others are struggling.
- Avoiding blame and forgive mistakes.
- Inspiring one another at work.
- Emphasizing the meaningfulness of the work.
- Treating one another with respect, gratitude, trust, and integrity.
If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send an email, and my team will get in touch with you!