Do You Know the Warning Signs?

Most people spend almost a third of their lives at work and research shows engaged and satisfied employees are more valuable. Companies that treat their employees well gain huge bonuses compared to those that ignore their workforce. In many cases, the high pressure and rising cost of doing business has turned some working environments into toxic cultures that make the workplace almost unbearable.

Finding quality talent is time consuming and new employee training is very costly. Therefore, it is important to retain quality employees when and where possible. Most HR managers would agree that may be easier said than done; it can be tough to keep the best and brightest.

Savvy employers are specifically focusing on developing engaging and fun work environments, doing whatever is needed to have a positive and stimulating climate. If a firm can’t keep its top employees engaged and happy, those employees will leave. This should be common sense, but it isn’t. Sadly, about 30 percent of star employees feel detached from their employer and are already looking for a new job.

Good employees leave long before they quit; people don’t disengage all at once. Instead, their interest in their jobs slowly dissipates. Bad management styles, dissenting work environments and negative energy will drain the enthusiasm from people. Unfortunately, many high performing companies make these common mistakes, which can be easily avoided. If the workplace becomes toxic the best employees are the first to go, because they have the most options.

When an employee loses all their passion and excitement for their job, it is called brownout. That’s the first step toward burnout; when an employee hits the burnout point, work turn into a crisis and that’s trouble for everyone. If management isn’t paying attention, this situation creeps in unawares. It is important to know the warning signs; if management can identify the employees who may be thinking about quitting, it’s possible to intervene and change the situation before they’ve made up their minds.

Everyone complains about their boss at one point or another. But, what’s important is to understand when the culture may be growing toxic and employees start waning. Executives must be engaged and able to recognize the warning signs in order to prevent brownout and retain the company’s top talent.

The following warning signs are sure-fire indicators that the workplace may be toxic. The effects of a toxic workplace permeate the entire team, department and company.

Ten warning signs of a toxic atmosphere:

1. Job withdrawal and absenteeism

2. Lower productivity

3. Ineffectiveness

4. Decreased job satisfaction

5. Reduced commitment to the job and/or organization

6. Cliques are forming

7. Inconsistent policies and favoritism

8. Greater personal conflict with colleagues

9. Disruptions in job tasks and with coworkers

10. Revolving door, losing employees due to personality or performance issues

Creating a work environment that is enjoyable will make the organization more successful. A healthy atmosphere is conducive to productivity, employee engagement, and overall satisfaction. Points to promote: Be kind. Be organized. Be on time. Be open-minded. Treat others as you would like to be treated. This is how to cultivate amazing teams.