4 Warning Signs Of A Toxic Work Environment To create a better employee experience and improve engagement and retention, management must recognize the signs of a toxic workplace to combat the negativity.

By Kavya Pillai

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Alex Kotliarskyi

Toxic workplaces include atmospheres that are stressful, unethical, cutthroat, disrespectful and non inclusive. A toxic workplace can contribute to employee stress and burnout. Some employees may fight burnout by quiet-quitting and doing the bare minimum in their jobs.

To create a better employee experience and improve engagement and retention, management must recognize the signs of a toxic workplace to combat the negativity. The signs of a toxic work environment may vary based on the employee and their working styles and triggers. However, there are some common characteristics of a toxic workplace to watch for, including the following:

1. No Room For istakes

Nobody wants to make mistakes, but when fear of mistakes paralyzes employees, this is a sign of a threatening environment. A threatening environment -- often blame-heavy -- causes employees to fear punishment for failures or mistakes. People are afraid to step out of their comfort zones, which can make the whole team suffer.

2. Role Confusion

Without clarity on roles and responsibilities, employees may worry about expectations. This can cause workplace dysfunction. Conflict can also arise among co-workers about responsibility and who needs to do what. Clear communication on role expectations can prevent this conflict.Management may not trust employees and constantly monitor them. Micromanagement typically makes employees doubt their abilities.

3. Office Gossip

Some office gossip may be normal. However, gossip is usually more extreme in toxic workplaces. Instead of clear communication, people whisper, stare and make snide remarks. This is not harmless, as workplace bullying can lead to depression, burnout and anxiety. When employees gossip about one another, the negative communication causes drama, distractions, distrust and hurt feelings. Gossip fuels a toxic environment as employees may turn on one another and spread hurtful rumors.

4. High Turnover Rates

High employee turnover rates are a red flag for a company's work culture. There are several reasons people leave jobs, such as low pay, limited advancement opportunities and poor company culture. If there are few long-term employees, this could signal a toxic work environment.

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