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Are You Contributing to a Toxic Workplace?

As leaders, or anyone who has ever worked under a supervisor, it’s very likely that you’ve encountered toxic work environments whether you noticed or not. While there are many different factors that contribute to workplace toxicity, the most common factor is poor leadership. Whether you’re a leader who manages a large team, or a team member looking to be successful in the workplace, it’s important to recognize when a team’s culture has turned toxic and what to do about it. If the following behaviors seem familiar, it’s important to assess your workplace culture immediately.


It’s not uncommon for conflict to be present within the workplace. Contrary to some beliefs, conflict is actually a very healthy part of workplace relationships, especially amongst teams and coworkers. Conflict, when handled properly, can be a catalyst for creative energy, compromise, and even lead to greater trust between peers. However, when conflict remains unproductive it can cause resentment, dishonesty, and lead to a decline in efficiency and productivity. When leaders handle conflict with transparency and urgency, the outcomes are usually beneficial for all.

Unreasonable Expectations

There are many workplaces that set impossible working standards for their employees. Leaders who don’t recognize the importance of self-care and rest will soon find themselves with employees who aren’t productive and don’t feel proud of their work-related accomplishments. Leaders who show their employees what it means to set boundaries and take care of themselves will help create a workplace environment that cares for the person doing the work.

Unclear Values

When team members have a mutual understanding of workplace values and goals, there will ultimately be better communication amongst the group. When values go unnamed, chaos can and most likely will follow shortly. Unproductive meetings and circling conversations are common symptoms of teams who are unclear about their roles and their objectives. A team that is not cohesive will likely lose stamina and drive.

Failing to Provide Support

Leaders who are unable to give their team members the resources they need to their job will find themselves knee deep in a toxic environment. It is crucial for team members to feel fulfilled in their work, and having the resources to do so is their right as employees. Leaders- make sure to check-in with your team members to ensure they have what they need.

Toxic workplaces are incredibly difficult to mend. The healing process, for many teams, can take years of hard work. What helps your team stay on track and away from toxic behaviors?

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