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5 Ways to Identify a Toxic Workplace – Before You Accept The Job

Source | Linkedin | Robert Glazer | Entrepreneur, Best-Selling Author and Speaker | Founder & CEO @ Acceleration Partners

With summer winding down, hiring will ramp up and many employees today are thinking about making a move in what is still a very hot job market. In addition to looking for more compensation, advancement opportunities or a change of place, job seekers these days are paying close attention to company culture — for good reason. No matter how great the title, the pay or the role, if a company’s culture is toxic, you will regret taking the job.

Cultures are all different, but in almost all cases a great culture is one where the company’s mission and values are reflected in the behaviors exhibited by employees day-to-day. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of businesses, and I have seen that too often reality falls very short of public image. I even know of several examples where expectations set during the interview process were shattered almost the minute the employee started work. 

Fortunately, it is possible to spot a toxic culture in advance and save yourself from a bad career move. Here are five signs that a prospective workplace might be problematic.

1. Reviews are poor and/or suspiciously inconsistent.

Job sites like Glassdoor and Indeed collect and publish company reviews and rank companies by culture — but look for more than just high marks. Check for consistency in the pros and cons listed to get a feel for the culture. When you look at the cons, look for patterns — especially related to the behavior of the CEO and upper management. Gloss over personal complaints and watch for posts such as “The CEO doesn’t trust anyone”, “management doesn’t listen to employee feedback”, or “anyone here that speaks up is walked to the door.” If you see those themes or comments over and over, run.

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