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24 Signs of a Toxic Company Culture

24 Signs of a Toxic Company Culture
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Before taking a position with a new company, how does one avoid a toxic company culture? Applicants are well within their rights to interview past and current employees to obtain honest feedback on the real company culture; not the culture advertised to the public.

If you are not allowed to interview the current employees of your choice, this could be a sign your future employer is trying to hide a toxic workplace.

24 Signs of a Toxic Company Culture

#1 Employees are not allowed to voice their honest opinion on workplace issues.

#2 Employees fall in or out of leadership’s favor without explanation, and as a result, are included or excluded from company events, projects or meetings.

#3 Employees with opposing viewpoints are not welcomed visitors to the executive suite.

#4 Employees are fired without warning or explanation, nor are they given the opportunity to address the real issues leading to their departure.

#5 Receptionists and assistants tend to be beautiful, attractive eye-candy for chauvinistic executives.

#6 Overweight people are routinely urged by leadership to lose weight and made to feel inferior to their slender coworkers.

#7 Employees are expected to assume heavier workloads and work excessive overtime while legitimate requests for headcount increases are denied, all while the company is publicly promoting the importance of work/life balance.

#8 Employees with excellent reputations are abruptly fired or transferred because their performance is suddenly unsatisfactory.

#9 The human resources department is viewed by leadership as an administrative function or transaction facilitator rather than a partner in developing great people and work environments.

#10 The human resources department merely follows orders from leadership and is afraid to question company practices.

#11 Rude behavior is routinely allowed.

#12 Employees who treat people with trust and respect are considered weak and not management material.

#13 Tough, no-nonsense supervisory behavior is rewarded.

#14 Executives are assigned reserved parking spaces.

#15 The CEO and his/her executive team rarely walk around the office to visit with employees.

#16 Company information or news is not consistently shared with the entire workforce.

#17 Employees routinely read breaking news about their company on online news services rather than internal company communications.

#18 Press releases are distributed to public media outlets prior to employee distribution.

#19 Political views of the leaders are expressed to employees, and the employees are expected to blindly support and/or vote for those causes.

#20 Executives have their own restrooms.

#21 The company has a code of conduct policy but does not provide regular training to leaders or employees.

#22 Employees are expected to intuitively know what is expected from them without explanation and can be disciplined for not following these unwritten rules of conduct or performance.

#23 Employees who raise legitimate company issues are summarily terminated without cause.

#24 Executives hire C-level and professional staff outside the approved recruiting process and do not carefully consider the recruit’s management style or their potential impact on company culture.

Kevin Kennemer is founder of The People Group based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Kevin is driven by his passion for company owners and their need to earn a profit, employees' desire for a positive and fulfilling work experience, and the community that benefits when both groups do well.


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