Is It You — Or Your Job?

By: Marilyn Fettner

How to know if you’re in a toxic work environment

We all have bad days, challenging weeks, and even disappointing months. That’s the nature of life, as well as a career. Typically, you can make it through, but with a toxic work environment, it’s like having a truckload of challenges on repeat, without a break — just like Groundhog’s Day.

Toxic work environments breed low morale, negativity, high turnover, and even bullying. Unfortunately, it doesn’t just end when the workday is over, it can follow you home — it can take over your conversations with loved ones and prevent you from sleeping.

Here are 5 signs you’re in a toxic work environment:

  1. There’s always drama
  2. Office cliques make it feel like high school all over again. They make what should be a friendly collaborative workplace into a hostile competition.
  3. Communication is poor
    1. Confusing or scattered communication makes it difficult to know the “real” expectations, in order for you to be successful. In fact, communication skills (including listening) are the most important skills – both for managers and employees – for organizations to be successful.
  4. Bad attitudes are tolerated and low morale is prevalent
    1. When you’re in meetings, most everyone is nervous, negative, and conveys a passive-aggressive attitude.
  5. There are little to no growth opportunities
    1. You’ve approached management or HR about a lack of recognition and growth opportunities, such as promotions, raises, and challenging assignments, but you’ve seen no changes.
  6. You’ve continued to work hard to make positive change wherever possible, but to no avail.
    1. You’re working hard to make positive improvements, but your work is ridiculed rather than recognized. 

Can toxicity happen virtually?

  • The short answer – absolutely! Just because you’re not face-to-face with your toxic coworkers, your toxic boss, or your overwhelming work culture, it does NOT mean toxicity vanishes into thin air. By the way – subordinates can also be toxic and undermine the authority of their managers.
  • Some managers and supervisors canfeel more out of control with a virtual workplace so they overcompensate – they may try to exert even more control, which is hard to achieve because of work being virtual.So some bosses may try to “lock” employees into their work by monitoring their computers.

Or is it you?? There is a chance it could be you!

  • One way to tell is to write down everything you are experiencing. Then put it away and look at it at a later time, when you’re calmer.
  • Ask yourself, what would you say to someone else, if they told you this was what they were dealing with at work?

Whether your workplace is toxic, or you are the toxic element, you’re still dealing with a high stress level – and coaching can make a difference!

Coaching can improve your ability to cope and help you achieve a healthier, and more positive and productive situation and outcome – contact Marilyn today!

I look forward to working with you on a customized Life and/or Career Coaching plan to help you define your priorities, set clear goals, and develop a plan to achieve them.