Signs a company has a culture problem

Signs a company has a culture problem

Great money, a fancy job title and great perks mean nothing if you work in a toxic environment. It’s important to learn how to spot problem companies before you dive in and sign on the dotted line. 

So the next time you head to a job interview, keep an eye out for these signs that could suggest the company has a culture problem.

The vibe’s all wrong

Trust your instincts. A happy, healthy workplace should be a buzzing hive of activity. Along with the sounds of tapping keyboards and conversation (mainly business), there should also be the occasional smiles and laughter that suggest people actually want to be there.

Gossip rules

Any workplace where gossip is allowed to run rampant will eventually breed disharmony and discontent. Staff should be able to focus on getting the job done, rather than on protecting their own backs from spiteful colleagues.

The flow of information is stifled

Successful corporations thrive on team work, with information flowing freely not only from staff to management, but also from management to staff. When management has a policy of keeping secrets from its workers, however, it creates an atmosphere of disillusionment and distrust.

There’s no “I” in team  

Competition is great, but not when workers are always encouraged to pit their strengths and skills against each other and not the company’s competitors. Not only is it a waste of resources, it creates a state of open warfare – which is not conducive to creativity or productivity.

A lot of this information will be hard to spot at an interview, so make sure you have some carefully worded questions prepared to help reveal the inside workings of the company.

Top things to watch for to avoid a bad office culture:

  • Gossip stifles productivity
  • A healthy work environment is essential for productivity
  • Staff shouldn’t have to compete against themselves
  • Mess indicates a cultural breakdown


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