3 Tips for Dealing with a Toxic Workplace
There’s a difference between a dead-end job and one that is purely toxic. A toxic work environment can seriously affect your physical and mental health, even becoming dangerous to your well-being. When you work in a toxic environment, you face a slew of discouraging and challenging situations on a daily -- or even hourly -- basis. If only you had to deal with one inappropriate coworker or a bad boss, your days might be easier to manage. But when you’re facing a soul-sucking, constantly stressful and degrading situation at work, it’s time to take action. Below are three signs of a toxic workplace and what you can do to improve your happiness and productivity to make the best of a bad situation. (Click here to tweet this list.)
1. Unclear policies and proceduresUnhealthy companies don’t prioritize policies and procedures. Either processes don’t exist, the ones that do are poorly documented or they simply aren’t followed. Does your workplace have one of the following symptoms?
- Communication between departments is sporadic and incomplete (or non-existent)
- You company lacks written, standardized procedures of how things are supposed to get done
- The procedures you’re supposed to follow are so ancient, they’re no longer applicable
- Your company has policies or procedures, but you’ve never seen anyone actually follow them
2. Dysfunctional coworkers"Dys" means problem, and dysfunctional people have serious difficulties functioning in daily life. Dysfunctional colleagues wind up creating more work for you. They often need to be “rescued” because they didn’t get their work done, or the quality was so poor, their work had to be redone -- by you. Do you work alongside colleagues who do the following?
- They blame others and make excuses, rarely accepting responsibility for their actions
- They withhold or distort information and communicate indirectly through others
- They have a sense of entitlement, believing they should receive raises and promotion in spite of their inconsistent performance
- They’re masters of creating conflict and tension within the workplace
3. Toxic leadersToxic leaders have several common characteristics. Does this sound like your boss or management team?
- While they may be totally competent (in a technical sense), their motives are impure
- They’re totally focused on their interests and achievements and use others to get what they want
- They manipulate others, often using shame or anger
- They take credit for others’ work
- They rarely, if ever, accept responsibility when something goes wrong
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