3 Signs You Work in a Toxic Company Culture

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How would you describe your job? Not just your job title, but your exact job — your position, for your boss, at the company you work for. Is it fun and exciting? Maybe challenging and rewarding? Alternatively, maybe it’s draining, exhausting, and stressful. Just like your personality impacts your relationships with your friends and family members, your company’s culture plays a large role in how you and your colleagues feel about your careers.

To find out more about corporate culture and its impact on employees, we spoke to S. Chris Edmonds, chief executive of Purposeful Culture Group and the author of several books, including The Culture Engine.

When people think of a solid company with a stable culture, they may think of financially stable firms that have been around for many years. Because a company’s culture may naturally evolve over time, sometimes people assume problematic cultures are reserved for young companies, start-ups, companies undergoing change, or those experiencing financial troubles. This is not necessarily the case.

“The stages a business goes through don’t always correlate with the quality of the work environment. In some companies, the early growth stage finds the healthiest work environment and it erodes over time. In other companies, the early stages are difficult for employees. The work environment may stabilize and become a more inspiring culture years after its growth stage,” said Edmonds. “The biggest drivers of workplace trust, dignity, and respect are the organization’s leaders, at any stage of a company’s evolution. Senior leaders have the ability to revise policies, procedures, and systems to create a safe, inspiring work environment — employees do not have that authority.”

As an employee, you may not be able to rush into the CEO’s office and demand that he or she makes specific changes. But you can, however, improve your day-to-day work life for yourself. Do you work in a toxic environment? Here are a few signs that indicate you might.