Signs Your Workplace Culture has Turned Toxic and How to Fix It

Toxic workplace culture sinks productivity and can damage the well-being of your employees. The stress and disconnection that happens in a toxic culture harms everyone involved and can destroy a company from the inside. 

To avoid damaging your company and your employees, it’s important to know the warning signs of a toxic workplace culture, and how to repair it. Here is how you can identify it in your company as well as a few steps you can take to fix the problem.


The most common signs of a toxic workplace include how coworkers treat each other and how productive they consider themselves to be. While it might be a bit different from company to company, here are a few of the easiest ways to see these signs in your company. 

Formal Rather Than Friendly

Having a company that is formal and requires strict work hours or a specific dress code isn’t a problem. The problem comes when the relationships that are created in a company are more formal than friendly. 

By focusing on the formality of relationships and only seeing coworkers or managers by their job title and role, there is no way to create a feeling of community or friendship. The lack of friendship and comradery can foster a toxic work culture where people become self-centered and willing to hurt others for their own success. 


A hallmark of toxic workplace culture is selfishness. When an employee or manager is focused only on their own success no matter the cost, it damages everyone around them. Rather than inspiring greatness in others, it makes everyone involved more defensive and protective of their work, rather than open and innovative. 

As soon as people start to plot and politicize the climb up the workplace ladder, your workplace culture focuses on individual success and achievement rather than the growth and development of the team. 

Rules and Policies Overemphasized

The guidelines and rules that are created in your company should be there to inspire and help employees do their best. What matters in a toxic workplace culture are rules and policies, rather than employee success and development. 

Focus on Errors and Slow to Recognize Accomplishments

Everyone makes mistakes, but everyone also has small accomplishments and wins. A company that is quick to focus on errors and flaws but is slow to recognize accomplishments creates an environment where a toxic workplace can flourish. 

This isn’t limited to managers and leaders. Coworkers who only recognize failure in each other, rather than building each other up, create a hostile and toxic work environment. This enables a feeling of isolation and limits creativity and unity within the workplace. 


If your job or company falls into these categories, all isn’t lost. There are ways to help a toxic workplace culture to grow and change into something more healthy and productive. Consider adding some, or all, of the following to your company. 

Team Unity through Bonding

How to fix a toxic workplace culture is through unity. A toxic workplace is usually isolating and competitive, and the best way to combat that is to make sure that your teams are unified and a collaborative whole rather than competitive individuals.

Appreciation and Recognition

Frequent recognition can help change toxic workplace culture. Encourage not only appreciation from the management and leadership team, but also from the employees to their peers. This will help employees to look out for each other and get credit for actions that the administration might miss. 

Sometimes an increase in awards and recognition can make people even more self-centered and focused on their own success. To help combat this, encourage appreciation for teamwork and unity. Rather than awarding just the best salesman in the company, reward the entire sales team for their accomplishments. 

Space to Work as a Unified Team

A team can’t be a team if they aren’t physically unified and working together. One way to help increase unity is by creating a collaborative workspace. It takes a bit more than just a few shared desks and an open work environment, but helping teams see and work together will help motivate connections and creativity, and slowly chip away at your toxic workplace. A good option for a unified workspace is Davinci’s coworking spaces. These open workspaces give you safe, reliable, and budget-friendly locations that can help facilitate your team working together, and protect against your workplace culture becoming more toxic.


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