Signs of a Dysfunctional Workplace

When the term “dysfunctional” comes into play, most people automatically think of family issues. What you might not realize is that workplaces, too, can suffer from this malady. Look for these signs that your company is not functioning as a well-oiled machine so you can address the problems before your business goes under.

Authoritarian Leadership: When a facility employs leaders who misuse their power, a company becomes dysfunctional quickly. Managers who must sign off on all decisions, overly scrutinize each aspect of their employees’ work and rule with a “my way or the highway” attitude rob employees of joy in the work and a peaceful, productive job site.

Lack of Focus: Another sign of a mismanaged workplace is lack of focus. When the company’s mission is poorly defined, managers and workers struggle to set goals, prioritize work and meet daily demands. The environment becomes chaotic with everyone seemingly on a different page. Production is poor as everyone either rushes between tasks or becomes paralyzed by not knowing what to do.

Communication Suppression: People are often afraid to speak up in their workplaces. They hesitate to talk with management fearing concerns will be misconstrued as complaining. This fear is often founded on previous interactions with leaders. When management fails to encourage opinion sharing, the workplace become more tense and much less productive.

Customer Loss: When your company is dysfunctional, it loses clients. Customers have options and are not loyal to businesses that struggles with integrity, high turn-over, low quality products or any other symptom of a toxic environment. Often a dwindling customer base is the primary reason management will take a hard look at what is wrong with their leadership and work to address the problems.

Smooth functioning in a company is essential for profits and growth. Employees need and desire a supportive and empowering environment in order to make their businesses successful.