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21 Simple Tips To Change An Unhealthy Work Environment

Updated: Feb 1, 2023

Are you feeling constantly stressed out and anxious at work? Do you feel like you can never catch a break? Are your co-workers or boss always putting stress on you? If so, then it's possible that you're in an unhealthy work environment.


While there are many signs that can indicate an unhealthy work environment, today we'll be focusing on 21 of the most common ones. Keep reading to see if any of these signs sound familiar to you, and if they do, please don't hesitate to reach out for help.


What makes a work environment unhealthy?


There are many reasons why a work environment can be considered unhealthy. One of the most common reasons is a lack of communication among coworkers.


When coworkers don't communicate effectively, it can lead to tension and frustration. This can then impact the quality of work that's produced.


Another reason why a work environment can be considered unhealthy is when there is a lot of stress present. This can be due to tight deadlines, unrealistic expectations, or difficult customers or clients.


When there is a lot of stress in the air, it can often lead to unhealthy behaviours, such as employees overworking themselves or becoming irritable with one another.


Finally, a lack of support from management can also make a work environment feel unhealthy.


When employees feel like they're not being heard or that their concerns aren't being taken seriously, it can lead to feelings of frustration and isolation. This can then impact the overall morale in the office and make it difficult to be productive.





1. Leadership through fear instead of respect


When a work environment is unhealthy, it's often due to a lack of communication, stress, or support from management. However, another reason why a work environment can be unhealthy is when there is a lack of respect among coworkers.


This can be due to a number of factors, such as power dynamics, age differences, or cultural differences. When there is a lack of respect among coworkers, it can often lead to tension and conflict. This can then impact the quality of work that's produced and make it difficult for employees to collaborate effectively.


Moreover, when leadership is based on fear instead of respect, it can often lead to unhealthy behaviours among employees.


For example, employees may start to censor themselves out of fear of being reprimanded or they may start working longer hours in order to avoid being targeted. This can then lead to a toxic work environment where employees are not only unhappy but also unproductive.


2. No appreciation or acknowledgement for a job well done


In a healthy work environment, employees often feel appreciated for a job well done. This can be through words of encouragement from managers or through thank you cards or gift certificates from their coworkers. When employees feel appreciated, it often leads to them feeling more engaged in their work and more motivated to do their best.


However, when a work environment is unhealthy, employees often do not feel appreciated for their efforts. This can be due to a lack of communication among coworkers, where no one knows who did what or it can be due to a hostile work environment where employees are regularly criticised or made to feel inadequate.


When employees don't feel appreciated, it often leads to them feeling unvalued and unmotivated.


This can then have a negative impact on the quality of work that's produced and make it difficult for employees to feel like they're part of a team. Moreover, when employees don't feel appreciated, it can often lead to them leaving their job altogether.


So, if you're looking to start changing an unhealthy work environment, making sure that employees feel appreciated is a good place to start.


3. Gossiping, rumors and speculation running rampant


In a healthy work environment, employees often feel comfortable talking to one another about their personal lives. This can help to break the ice and make it easier for employees to collaborate effectively. However, when a work environment is unhealthy, employees often resort to gossiping as a way to pass the time.


Gossiping can be harmful because it can often lead to rumours and speculation spreading throughout the office. This can then lead to employees feeling uncomfortable and stressed out.


Moreover, when rumours and speculation are allowed to run rampant, it can often lead to an overall feeling of toxicity in the office. If you're looking to improve an unhealthy work environment, one way to do so is by discouraging gossiping among employees.


You can do this by setting clear rules against gossiping and by providing employees with productive ways to spend their time. This can help to create a more positive and productive work environment for everyone involved.


4. Unhealthy competition between employees


In a healthy work environment, employees often compete against one another in a friendly way. This can help to motivate employees and push them to do their best. However, when a work environment is unhealthy, employees often start to compete against each other in a hostile way.


This can lead to unhealthy behaviours among employees, such as backstabbing, gossiping, and sabotaging each other's work. Moreover, when employees are constantly competing against each other, it can often lead to them feeling stressed and unhappy.


If you're looking to improve an unhealthy work environment, one way to do so is by discouraging competition between employees. You can do this by setting clear rules against competition and by providing employees with productive ways to spend their time. This can help to create a more positive and productive work environment for everyone involved.


5. High absenteeism and turnover


When absenteeism and turnover rates are high, it often leads to dissatisfied customers and a generally unhappy work environment. This is because when employees are unhappy, they are more likely to leave their job, which in turn can lead to high turnover rates.


This can be harmful to a business because it can lead to a loss in productivity and a decline in customer service. Moreover, when employees are constantly leaving their job, it can often lead to an overall feeling of instability in the workplace.


If you're looking to improve an unhealthy work environment, one way to do so is by encouraging employees to stay at their job. You can do this by providing them with competitive benefits packages and by creating a positive work culture. This can help to make employees feel valued and appreciated, which in turn can lead to them being more engaged in their work.


6. Poor communication with your employees


If you want to improve a toxic work environment, the leadership should start communicating effectively with their employees. This can be done by setting clear rules about communication, and by providing employees with productive ways to spend their time.


This can help to create a more positive and productive work environment for everyone involved.


7. Failing to do your job well


In order for a work environment to be healthy, the leadership needs to do their job well and efficiently. This means setting clear rules and expectations, and ensuring that employees have the resources they need to do their job.


It also means being available to employees and addressing any concerns they may have. By doing this, the leadership can help to create a more positive and productive work environment for everyone involved.


8. Not understanding the circumstances that affect your position


When a work environment is unhealthy, it can be difficult for employees to focus on their work. This is because they are often distracted by the negative behaviours of their coworkers.


Moreover, when a work environment is unhealthy, it can be difficult for employees to understand the circumstances that affect their position. This is because they are often focused on the negative aspects of their job, and they are not able to see the big picture.


If you're looking to improve an unhealthy work environment, one way to do so is by encouraging employees to understand the circumstances that affect their position. You can do this by setting clear rules about communication and by providing employees with productive ways to spend their time. This can help to create a more positive and productive work environment for everyone involved.


9. Worries and rumors spreading about the company (e.g., layoffs)


When an unhealthy work environment starts to take its toll on employees, it often leads to them spreading rumors and worries about the company. This can be harmful to a business because it can lead to a decline in productivity and a loss in trust among employees.


If you're looking to improve an unhealthy work environment, one way to do so is by dispelling any worries or rumors about the company. You can do this by setting clear rules against gossiping, and by providing employees with accurate information about the company.


This can help to create a more positive and productive work environment for everyone involved.


10. No focus on core values


When a company has an unhealthy work environment, it often means that they are not focused on their core values. This can be harmful to a business because it can lead to a decline in productivity and a loss in customer service.


If you're looking to improve an unhealthy work environment, one way to do so is by focusing on the company's core values. You can do this by setting clear rules about communication and by providing employees with productive ways to spend their time. This can help to create a more positive and productive work environment for everyone involved.


11. Safety concerns


An unhealthy work environment can often lead to safety concerns among employees. This is because when employees are focused on the negative aspects of their job, they are not able to focus on their safety.


Moreover, when an unhealthy work environment starts to take its toll on employees, it often leads to them spreading rumors and worries about the company. This can be harmful to a business because it can lead to a decline in productivity and a loss in trust among employees.


If you're looking to improve an unhealthy work environment, one way to do so is by addressing any safety concerns among employees. You can do this by setting clear rules about safety, and by providing employees with the resources they need to stay safe.


12. Not looking at what other companies are doing


If you're looking to improve an unhealthy work environment, one way to do so is by researching what other companies are doing about these issues. This can help you to identify best practices that you can implement in your own workplace.


13. Not reevaluating how you hire new employees


If you're looking to improve an unhealthy work environment, one way to do so is by reevaluating how you hire new employees. This can help you to identify best practices that you can implement in your own workplace.


14. Not Living by example


An important way to create a more positive and productive work environment is by setting a positive example for employees. This means living by the company's core values and celebrating diversity in the workplace.


15. Not celebrating diversity in the workplace


When it comes to creating a more positive and productive work environment, celebrating diversity in the workplace is key. This means honoring the unique backgrounds, beliefs, and experiences of all employees.


By celebrating diversity in the workplace, you can help to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone involved. Additionally, this can help to improve employee morale and productivity.


If you're looking to improve an unhealthy work environment, one way to do so is by celebrating diversity in the workplace. You can do this by setting clear rules about communication and by providing employees with productive ways to spend their time. This can help to create a more positive and productive work environment for everyone involved.


16. Failing to value your employees


When it comes to creating a positive and productive work environment, it's important to remember that your employees are the backbone of your company. This means that you need to value them by treating them well.


Some of the best ways to treat your employees well include:


- Offering competitive salaries and benefits

- Encouraging work/life balance

- Promoting a positive and supportive culture

- Fostering a sense of ownership and responsibility


By doing these things, you can create a more positive and productive work environment for everyone involved.


17. Avoiding the issue--not dealing with it head on


When an unhealthy work environment starts to take its toll on employees, it often leads to them spreading rumors and worries about the company. This can be harmful to a business because it can lead to a decline in productivity and a loss in trust among employees.


If you're looking to improve an unhealthy work environment, one way to do so is by dealing with the issue head on. This means being honest with employees about the situation and coming up with a plan to improve things.


It is important that you prioritize your company's core values and make them known to your employees. By doing this, you can help to create a more positive and productive work environment for everyone involved.


18. Not hiring an executive coach to help you through this difficult time


If you're looking to improve an unhealthy work environment, one way to do so is by hiring an executive coach. This can help to provide guidance and support as you work to improve things.


Executive coaches can be a valuable asset for companies, as they can help to:


- Address the root causes of the problem

- Develop a plan of action

- Implement change

- Coach employees on how to adapt to the new environment


By doing these things, you can create a more positive and productive work environment for everyone involved.


19. Not setting a specific timeframe for when you want the change to happen


When it comes to creating a positive and productive work environment, it's important to set a specific timeframe for when you want the change to happen. This means putting a plan in place and working towards achieving your goals.


It is important that you stay focused and motivated during this time, as it can be difficult to make changes in an unhealthy work environment. By setting a specific timeframe for change, you can help to keep everyone on track and focused on the goal of improving things.


20. Not being truthful


One of the best ways to create a positive and productive work environment is by being truthful with your employees. This means being honest about the situation and coming up with a plan to improve things.


It is important that you stay focused and motivated during this time, as it can be difficult to make changes in an unhealthy work environment. By being truthful with your employees, you can help to keep everyone on track and focused on the goal of improving things.


21. Not doing an employee Opinion Survey


Employee opinion surveys can be a valuable tool for companies. In my experience, unhealthy workplaces are scared of employee opinion surveys.


Creating a positive and productive work environment can be difficult, but it's important to remember that it is worth the effort. There are many ways to go about achieving this goal, and we have highlighted some of the most important ones in this article.


By following these tips, you can help to create a more positive and productive work environment for everyone involved.

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