• Alyssa Roberts

Workplace Red Flags

Toxicity is floating through the air in blackened formations, spreading negativity and disdain throughout the office environment. Employees are drained and they feel like their accomplishments devalued which leas to decline in quality and quantity of production. This impacts operations and revenue big time! Red Flags are like mosquitoes on a balmy summer night: You may not see them right away, but you feel the sting. Hands flying through the air in a desperate attempt to smack the pesky bugs away the instant a single hair stirs. Soon, the feeling is an ambush, never-ending. Once you think you’re safe, there’s more. A toxic workplace shares similarities with these annoying insects. As employees grow tired from the constant stinging and become frustrated by this atmosphere, their participation in meetings, assignments, projects, and conversations dissolves.

Toxic work environments are places where employees struggle advancing their careers and receiving growth opportunities due to coworkers, supervisors, employers. 29% of employees surveyed claimed to have left a job due to varying “workplace issues” and 58% claim their managers are the reason for leaving. Ultimately, 25% of Americans dread going to work and while 25% does not sound so bad, that’s 82.5 million people. Each employee has a different idea of workplace red flags, but avoiding these few are necessary in creating a comfortable and productive work environment. Whether an employee or employer, pay attention to the signs and be proactive:

  • No Transparency: It's important for an employee to have a strong understanding of the businesses well-being. They need to know exactly how their work impacts its prosperity and how they are able to further it. This absence of a clear direction quickly leads to mistrust and lack of faith in the company. It is clear that the employees' efforts and best interests are neglected and therefore, this is a red flag.

  • Cliques: Cliques are very good at killing a workplace culture as they infuse intimidation and discomfort into the atmosphere. Cliques often consist of a core group of people that share common interests but either hesitate to befriend others or shun them entirely. This red flag makes the workplace feel tense and unwelcoming.

  • Lack of Recognition: The significance in reviewing others’ materials is often disregarded, usually thought of as overbearing and anxiety-inducing. Naturally it is, and a poor employer or boss should not instill fear or encourage competition, but evaluation is also linked to recognition. A toxic work environment will not check in with their employees which can drastically decrease morale.

  • Poor Attitudes: Not every person is radiating the light of a thousand suns, but some people really do bring heavy rain to a cloudy day. Having off-days is normal, especially when working, but excess negativity stunts growth and opportunities. Colleagues, specifically supervisors, portraying consistent poor attitudes are toxic. It is vital to work at a company that knows to lift its employees up.

  • “Scope Creep”: A somewhat unknown term that describes too many requests that extend beyond the job description or an uncontrolled growth in a project's scope. Asking an employee to contribute to an extra assignment is no issue, but when this becomes consistent and overbearing, it’s necessary to recognize the red flag. One should discuss with an employer prior to making any decisions.

According to a Staples Advantage survey, 75% of employees that were given gifts said it enhances morale. Send a Gesture to your employees (or your boss!) to let them know you care!


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