Bad office culture can interfere with productivity and slow down business growth. It is not only bad for business, but also the employees and leaders. This is why if you’re a startup owner, you should watch out for early signs that show your office culture is becoming toxic and weed out the bad seeds before any major damage is done.
Here are some top signs that your startup culture stinks:
When a work environment becomes toxic, negative communication within the organization creeps in. You will notice that workers are always murmuring, grumbling and can become sarcastic.
It is a show of dissatisfaction and lack of freedom to air their grievances. If not taken care of, the situation can lead employees to show signs of withdrawal, lack of socialization with fellow workers and might eventually quit the organization.
Employees act with caution
If the people you work with watch carefully what they say, restrain how they act, or are cagey about what they share, that should tell you there’s something wrong. Ask yourself, do you feel you have to hold back instead of being honest in meetings and office conversations?
A stuffy, stifling work environment stands in the way of progress, and people are more creative and innovative when they can be themselves at work.
Lack of motivation among employees
If your employees begin showing signs of dejection, consider the possibility that your startup culture is becoming toxic. It is true that demoralization hits at times, but should only be short-lived.
If nothing seems to inspire the workers at all, you miss the creative ideas such an individual could have. Help them regain their energy and passion by rebuilding their trust in the leaders and the organization as a whole.
Cliques and favoritism
In an environment where some people are treated as superior to others, this is a good sign that your work environment has a bad culture. Nobody wants to feel less appreciated. In such an environment, you will notice that some employees are given preferential treatment openly.
Every employee should be appreciated for their contribution to the company. Besides, promotions should happen based on merits and performance, not relations or special favors.
There’s no movement and little interaction
If people come to the office, go to their spot, and go home, the organization is not capturing the benefits that come from spontaneous interactions among its thinkers. If you never, ever have an interesting conversation with co-workers, that’s a big problem.
When there are no water cooler chats or meetings popping up in the middle of the space, it’s a sign of a bad culture. Address this by encouraging collaboration, which in turn would lead to increased interactions among employees.
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