In your first interview for a job, it is common to hear HR people brag about how great the work environment is and how lucky you’d be if you got accepted. Unfortunately, you don’t have an option but to take their word for it and hope for the best. You will never know the truth until you actually join and then you get to fairly judge for yourself. Just because all of the reviews on career websites rave about how great a company is does not mean that it’ll be great for you. It’s such a relative thing, since we all have different needs when it comes to being satisfied with coworkers and management styles and how a company treats its people.
A toxic workplace behavior is more common than we’d like to believe. Horror stories about abusive managers, discrimination and sexism can be found in many offices everywhere in the world, not to mention the hazards of physical injuries due to loose company policies which don’t care about the safety of the employees. Regardless of the industry you are working in, you can find yourself a victim of such situations. That’s why it’s important to understand the harsh realities about working in a toxic workplace in order to set the right expectations.
Below are some for you to ponder and prepare yourself to deal with them should the need arise:
Let’s get started with the most basic form of a toxic workplace. Some companies put cost-efficiency front and center in their decision making process. First things first, the money the employer thinks is saved, when neglecting to enforce strict safety measures for construction or warehouse workers, might end up being paid tenfold in compensation to a harmed employee or affected family members. If you work in compromising conditions, you’ll be better off talking to workplace compensation lawyers, as explained on this link to get some insight into how they can help you get the fair compensation you deserve and support you in your battle against huge corporations. Usually, big companies will have some sort of insurance against such accidents, as they are fairly common, but if that is not the case, you will have to take it on yourself.
This is another harsh reality that you need to wrap your head around. The most popular reason for resignation everywhere in the world is having a bad boss. The term “bad” of course varies from one person to the other; however, generally speaking, unappreciative managers who care only about bottom lines and start treating employees as machines cannot be tolerated for long. Another problematic type of manager is the one who believes that employees cannot be trusted and need to be micromanaged to make sure the work is getting done. There is also the abusive type, who doesn’t mind using inappropriate language and exhibits aggressive behavior when dealing with subordinates. Unfortunately, though, an employee’s complaint against such managers would usually go in vain without any real disciplinary action from top management. There is this faulty notion that a manager’s worth is more than that of an employee’s. However, this does not mean that you don’t speak up if/when you find yourself in a similar position; after all, you can always find another employer who promotes values and beliefs aligned with yours.
Let’s face it; work is stressful. The fact alone that you are responsible for something is enough to keep you on your toes. Add to that the day-to-day arguments you have with a difficult colleague or a nagging boss and you will understand the real meaning of a “burnout.” Many people suffer mental and emotional distress to the extent that they need medical intervention. These are all common challenges that everyone faces from time to time. You can try to distance yourself from toxic situations and not let them affect your performance and the satisfaction you get from doing your job. It’s best if you can focus on the fact that it is actually a chance to focus on your work and not get dragged in needless office politics.
Every workplace has its own challenges. You can keep searching until you find the one which appeals to your aspirations as an employee. However, you can only come as close. You can try to collect meaningful information from current employees and past ones. Nevertheless, experiencing the environment yourself is the only way you can make an informed decision. The experience and skills you will learn from thriving in a toxic environment can prove valuable later on in your career, but always remember to set boundaries and a clear threshold to protect your physical, mental and emotional well being.