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A bad company culture can significantly impact your motivation at work and, ultimately, your future in your career. Don’t let an unfortunate work experience at a company affect your ability to progress. Here are tips for how to identify a toxic company culture and what you can do about it.

Lacking a core message and not clarifying what rules of engagement are expected can harm interpersonal relationships in the workplace. Being able to identify essential principles in a business greatly aids you in knowing whether you’ll be a good fit for a particular company. Having the self-awareness to evaluate a company’s values, and your desire to adhere to those values, will save you heartache down the line.

High turnover is a clue

The most obvious way a toxic company culture manifests itself is through high employee turnover. Are people sticking around? Is management constantly hiring for the same positions? It’s possible people are losing confidence in the company and feel their time isn’t respected. Whatever the reason, high turnover is one of those issues that’s incredibly telling of a company’s commitment and willingness to work with its employees.

Another error that companies make is lack of empathetic leadership, which can lead to low morale among employees. Communication and understanding are the cornerstones of a productive and content workplace. If your company is lacking in these key traits, suggest more one-on-one conversations and personable conversation. In-person communication helps build trust and ensures employees can voice their dissatisfaction in a safe and constructive manner.

Dysfunction at the management level, like failure to meet deadlines and sloppy leadership, trickles down to affect all systems. This is typically a sign of responsibility imbalance; so encourage management to delegate tasks and put more trust in their employees. A sign of great leadership is recognizing the strengths of others and honing them to improve the quality of company care. Great leaders encourage others to become their very best.

Another cause of a hostile environment is personality clashes, especially between people who put different levels of effort into their work. Nothing breeds unfriendliness quite like working with someone who doesn’t pull their own weight. If this is a problem in your workplace, suggest that your company look into a good talent acquisition and management team. The function of this task force is to ensure your company retains qualified employees who are a good match for your culture, which can be instrumental in preventing conflicts.

Knowing how to identify a toxic company culture will ensure your rights are respected. If your company is truly affecting your well-being, your best option might be to leave. Don’t be afraid to act in your best interests and leave the toxicity behind.

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Rex Davenport

Rex Davenport is a reporter, editor and editorial project manager with more than 40 years of experience in newspaper, business magazines and other content channels.