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5 Company Culture Red Flags to Look for in the Workplace

Since the pandemic, the weekly hours, and employment rates are increasing in the UK. With people working mostly from home, it is easier to get jobs and work in a calm environment rather than in stressful offices. But that doesn't solve the problem of toxic workplaces. In fact, employees are experiencing burnout more often than usual due to employers requesting more work hours. This eventually leads to average pay growth, but companies aren't changing much. As a result, employees are more unhappy with their jobs and quit. If you want to find out why people give up their jobs, keep reading to see what are some red flags to look for in workplace culture.

5 Company Culture Red Flags to Look for in the Workplace

High staff turnover

If you’ve been employed for a short time and you see people already quitting, it might be a sign of high staff turnover. This has a negative impact on the company. Beyond losing employees, high turnover comes at a high cost. From the cost of training, interviewing, and advertising to lower engagement and productivity rates. All in all, constant leaving means that management issues are being ignored; it’s not all about the salary. If the culture is to not listen to employees, not respect them or force them to work long hours, they will inevitably leave.

On the other hand, when management focuses on employee retention, it is a place that aims for fairness and transparency. A company that looks for retaining quality employees rather than replacements will be more productive. Thus, be a better overall business, and have better performance.

Lack of Health and Safety regulations

In the UK, employers owe employees a duty of care to keep them safe at the workplace. They must provide training to ensure that each of them knows how to use the equipment. Being a legal duty from the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, every employer should comply. Therefore, they are responsible for maintaining employment medical advisory services.

If you notice that your employer ignores these aspects or no one reports health hazards around the workplace, it’s a sign of carelessness. This can lead to dangerous situations. If you don't have the proper work equipment and your employer does no regular maintenance checks, you might be in danger of injury. Any slip, trip, or fall can seriously damage your health.

But, there are things you can do in such a situation. If you suffer an injury due to your employer’s negligence, you can file a claim in the UK. This can get you compensation for covering any financial costs or medical damages. If you have the evidence for that (photographs, witnesses’ declarations, medical notes), a solicitor can help you win your case.

Lack of transparency 

When a company can be transparent with its employees, it shows trust. Without it, there’s enough space for lies and secrets, which affect the workplace culture and relationships. You’ll notice these issues when employees don’t trust their employees to tell the truth about work problems and choose to express their dissatisfaction among co-workers.

Confronting an issue without placing blame proves that a company can handle serious problems without creating a stressful situation. Other signs of lack of transparency include:

  • Anonymous feedback, showing employees are hiding their true feelings under undisclosed circumstances.
  • A lack of feedback requests can imply indifference. If your employer cares about what you think and aims for improvement, they will always ask for honest feedback.

A company should have its own language and style of behavior. That doesn’t necessarily mean they will look for people with the same mindset or put labels, but if they don’t set values or lack a cultural view at the workplace, it’s a sign of chaos.

Toxic culture

Maybe one of the most obvious signs to look for is a toxic work environment. It’s draining and can negatively impact employees' mental health, making them quit even at the risk of being unemployed. Your job might be toxic if:

  • It lacks consideration for others. In other words, if your employer is disrespectful and not judgemental, your needs will be ignored, and you’ll be unsatisfied.
  • It’s non-inclusive. If members across gender, race, sexual identity, or disability are not treated fairly, it’s time to sign your resignation letter. You could notice these signs early at the interview stage if you have the opportunity to discuss these things with your employee and observe their opinions.
  • You notice unethical behavior. Dishonesty and lack of regulatory compliance regarding workers’ safety mean that the management isn’t valuing employees.
  • There’s bad competition between employees. Co-workers are supposed to help each other and collaborate. Still, if they’re encouraged to act as supervisors and report mistakes to their managers, it’s a backstabbing behavior that will slowly destroy the workplace.
  • The management is abusive by bullying or harassing their employees.

Not prioritizing employee growth and development 

This might be debatable, but if your company is not interested in development and growth regarding its employees, they’ll only have people come and go, looking for better jobs. Nowadays, it’s not enough to provide a salary and free coffee, and businesses must perceive employees as assets, not just numbers on papers. Many companies have already implemented this aspect in their culture, so if yours is not providing these four growth opportunities, consider another job:

  • Formal education (workshops, short courses, university programs)
  • Assessment (like identifying employees with managerial potential for measuring current managers’ strengths and weaknesses)
  • Job experience (transfers, promotions, temporary assignments with other organizations)
  • Interpersonal relationships (mentoring and coaching)

A recent study states that employees are most likely to choose companies who invest in their development. Because times are changing and people want to get the most out of work hours, companies must comply. Otherwise, they’ll lose employees.

In conclusion, you should look for these signs before choosing a particular job. Consider that you’ll spend the most time working in that place, and if you can’t handle the unethical practices and lack of standards, there are better jobs out there for you.

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