Who wants to be part of a work environment that has bad managers, unhappy workers, and is rife with gossip and innuendo on a daily basis? Hopefully, very few people if any at all. In his article, 6 toxic work habits that will kill your office culture Marcel Schwantes describes some of the reasons that can make some work cultures unbearable. We selected three out of the six reasons, in this article, which are signals that you should start looking for another job when you notice these dysfunctional patterns in your workplace.
“Negative cliques and gossipers
One clear sign of a toxic work environment is a group of disgruntled employees actively acting out their unhappiness. It’s easy to spot them–they’ll congregate in hush-hush circles around cubicles after meetings to put a negative spin on what just transpired.
They are quick to gossip, and even quicker to crucify leadership and company direction. They’re basically corporate teenagers whose time with the company is about to expire, and who now rely on each other for strength and safety. Keep a close eye out for their whereabouts; they may go out of their way to befriend new hires to vilify someone or something and spread their cancer.
The feeling of watching your back (for your manager’s whereabouts) is never a pleasant one. It means you either fear or loathe your manager, and facing him or her during the day probably means bad news because the exchange is never positive. This type of manager will create a toxic culture of distrust where it’s not safe to disclose information, offer input, or work in close collaboration. Job survival under a dictatorship is day-to-day, due to the unpredictability of the environment you’re in. Everybody is on his or her own. Trusting your peers is risky–they may really be your enemies. Trusting your manager is just corporate suicide. Consider updating your resume.
This example is quite astonishing if you find yourself sharing space with this toxic co-worker. They will go way out of their way to sabotage anything you’re trying to get done, putting obstacles in your way, and spreading rumors (see “Negative cliques and gossipers,” above). There’s usually a personal vendetta at work here. Perhaps you’re up for a promotion and your co-worker, who thinks he is more deserving, is not. Now he’s out to make your life miserable, and trying to spin a negative campaign against you. Now you’re left with covering your bases to protect yourself — writing more detailed emails than usual, CC’ing and BCC’ing more people than normal, documenting everything, and making backup copies of stuff in the event a false accusation comes your way.”
You can read the rest of the article on Inc.com. Basically, if you decide to continuing working for a company that has many of the toxic habits described above, you should take advantage the benefit plan-especially, if it includes therapy. The alternatives, are of course, to go about your work and ignore the dysfunction happening (might be difficult to do) around you, or to start actively looking for a new job to regain your sanity and well being.
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