Going through the process of uploading your resume after manually entering the information may of had you annoyed, but imagine landing the job only to find that the environment you should be thriving in, is Toxic?! Many employees face this reality everyday. The see unfair and biased treatment but are often afraid and intentionally detoured from standing up and voicing their concerns. The ultimate cost is the damage it does to the overall morale of the complete company and or organization. The individual employees are also required to fall in line in these actions which only creates inner turmoil, unacceptable actions against those who choose to speak, low moral, and an underlying mistrustful relationship between employee and employer.
During a recent survey of over 1,000 active employees I found that more than 85% of those employees worked or were working in a toxic environment. Over half those who reported that they were in an unfair environment were also sexually harassed and or encountered some sort of sexually inappropriate misconduct. Less that 3% of the employees voiced and or placed complaints to address issues. More and more employees are accepting positions, whether they be Managerial, Hourly, or Executive, employees are facing unfair, biased and toxic treatment and stay because of the stability of a paycheck.
Why aren’t employees reporting?
The fear of losing their financial stability is the number 1 cause. The second highest cause was fear of retaliation.
Understanding your rights as an employee should be first and foremost. Reading your employee handbook and understanding the policies and procedures is key. Think you may be working in a toxic work environment?
Here are 5 ways you can identify if you are working in a toxic environment
1. Biased and Unfair treatment is the norm…for example, Employee A is allowed to come in late, leave early, etc. Employee B is not allowed to come in late, leave early, etc. If the policies and procedures are in place, both employees should be treated exactly the same. Often unfair and biased treatment is a result of favoritism. Employees don’t speak up because the higher leadership has and is aware yet refuses to take action.
2. Disciplinary actions taken in front of other employees. Have you ever heard an employee be told about their individual mistakes in a loud and demeaning form? All Disciplinary actions should be addressed in a professional manner and behind closed doors. Employees don’t speak up especially after being targeted in the public.
3. Pay is adjusted without notice and not in writing. Many of the employees interviewed stated when they were working their pay would be adjusted without explanation. Instead of complaining about the $1/$2, they instead keep quiet and tried to stay under the radar as to not cause more reason for salary deductions. Often the employees stated they were already living from paycheck to paycheck and could not risk losing their jobs. All pay adjustments should be in writing and you should have the opportunity to speak and or write a statement in regards to any adjustments. Employees need their jobs and fear termination for speaking up, this is often reflected in previous situations which is why employees don’t speak. The Department of labor is your contact for all rhings surrounding pay.
4. Short Staffed…is the company that you are working for always understaffed? Are other employees always calling in or quitting? You may be in a toxic work environment. Employees often reflect the inner working systems. This means if on the surface their is no buy in, loyalty or even meaning for an employee and the system is not functioning the company will cease the grow and will continuously stay understaffed and without movement. This is a huge red flag!
5. You are unhappy and being harassed and targeted for doing the RIGHT thing. Are you doing the job as hired, following the protocols and still not able to achieve success. Are you battling yourself everyday because you know you are being targeted. You are unhappy because you signed up for a job to provide stability for you and your family but nothing is as you were told it would be. Being apart of dysfunctional relationships and within a company will make an emotional intelligent person unhappy. Employees don’t speak up because they need the job, they believe no change will occur.
In all instances there are other toxic behaviors that are displayed and accepted. The employee will not be able to sleep, eat, think, or retain information in many cases. The anguish and stress working in a toxic environment is real and often overlooked and or ignored, because its often invisible. It isn’t until 1 person speaks up that others get their fair and just treatment they deserve. If you feel you may be in a toxic workplace, voice your concerns, speak with your co workers. Many employees die on the job from things that have induced so much stress that their mind and body has been compromised. Speak up…for more information on where you can find resources and tools, visit www.eeoc.gov
Speak up…Change The Narrative