5 signs of a toxic workplace

At Make A Difference, we often stress that cultures of care and creating “good work” for employees are both essential when it comes to embedding workplace wellbeing strategies that really make a sustainable difference.

If you’re wondering if your workplace culture is undermining wellbeing, coaching visualisation tool Rethinkly have summarised here five red flags to look out for, which can be signs of a toxic workplace.

1- Lack of Transparency 

The organisational principle known as “transparency” encourages open and honest communication among staff members at all levels. It is clear that this is a significant issue when 50% of employees say that they believe a lack of transparency is holding their organisation back. Given that trust relies heavily on transparency, this is understandable. If employees do not have access to correct and timely information, then trusting superiors and co-workers becomes difficult. This could lead to a toxic work atmosphere and make it challenging for employees to work well together.

2- Not acknowledging individual wins 

Someone’s ability to feel like they belong is significantly influenced by the recognition of individual accomplishments. This kind of communication is essential for fostering a sense of belonging. Employees are more likely to be happy at work and help foster a culture of celebration rather than unhealthy competition if they believe their employer values their effort.

3- High Turnover

A high turnover rate may be a sign that the business is unappealing to work for or that its management is poor. It goes without saying that if someone feels at home at work, they won’t look elsewhere. Therefore, a business that struggles to retain employees demonstrates that something about the workplace is driving away workers. This can be immediately determined, for example, if a company keeps posting the same job, indicating that they are unable to fill the position. 

4- Overtime 

A workplace where overtime is standard is a big red flag. The occasional extra-long hours is normal, however when it reaches the extent that a healthy work life balance cannot be achieved this enters the realm of toxic. This is because of the link to burnout. With studies on the effects of long hours on occupational health finding that overtime had adverse effects on physical and mental health. 

5- Lack of opportunities for growth  

The lack of opportunities to grow could lead to feelings of being undervalued or undepreciated at work. This could translate in employees struggling to find meaning in their career. The CIPD has highlighted personal growth as a key factor in employee wellbeing and an essential component in creating a culture of personal growth. 

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24 June 2024

5 mins read


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