Working is a part of life. At least for most of us. The nature of work has changed so much in my lifetime. There used to be jobs that were literally hazardous to your health. There are still a few that are in dangerous places or those that require putting yourself knowingly in harms way.
I’m not talking about that today. Most of us now work in a climate-controlled building that’s physically safe. We probably sit too much and move too little but that’s not the health concern I’m addressing.
If you’re working in a toxic work environment, you are damaging your health and well-being.
Here are a few signs to watch for.
- Are you working for a person or person(s) that feel the rules they impose on you don’t apply to them? Is it forbidden to disagree with management? If so, you are likely dealing with a narcissistic person or people who enjoy ruling with a feeling of entitlement.
- Is gossip rampant? Are you and your co-workers constantly outraged at the challenges and demands you deal with each day? It may feel good to vent now and then, but if this is going on daily, it’s a morale buster and leads to feelings of frustration. The negative energy is hard to overcome.
- Are you expected to know things without being told? If there is a lack of transparency around your responsibilities and how you’ll be evaluated, then it’s impossible to know if your work is valued. It can lead to burnout. If you feel that your best work isn’t acknowledged it’s hard to motivate yourself to actually do your best. That’s self-defeating and in the long run detrimental to your career and your self-worth.
- Are rules and expectations inconsistent? Does it seem that some of your co-workers can get by coming in late or leaving early while others can’t? Are policies about time off or vacations constantly changing? That’s a formula for resentment that leads to stress and anxiety. If you’re not sure where you stand or the rationale changes from week to week about what’s acceptable, it’s a formula for feeling powerless or you might find yourself responding with anger. Either way, it’s bad news.
If you’re a leader of people in this type of environment, things can even feel more overwhelming. When you can’t affirm good work, or acknowledge great performers for fear your boss will disapprove then you’ve lost the ability to truly lead.
If you are in a toxic workplace help is available. You don’t have to continue to live in a state of anxiety and frustration.
Check out my services to help address your concerns.