Are You Working For A Bad Company? Here Are 10 Red Flags That You Shouldn’t Ignore
Not all companies are created equal. While we don’t expect every company to be like Google or Facebook with their amazing staff perks and snazzy offices, a company should at the very least treat its staff with decency and respect and them an environment where they can learn and grow. Overbearing bosses and obnoxious colleagues are obvious signs of a toxic working environment, but these are not the only things you should look out for. Here are 10 warning signs that should make you consider leaving for greener pastures.
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Text: Sasha Gonzales / Her World / April 2017
Images: Pexels, Unsplash, 123RF.com
They charge you for the silliest reasons
So you damaged a piece of office equipment by accident – hey, it happens to the best of us – and your boss insists on making a deduction from your salary to pay for the repairs. Why should you be “punished” this way for something that the company can probably afford to cover? It’s not as if you broke the equipment on purpose. You’re paid a salary for the work that you do, so as long as you’ve been doing your job correctly, there’s no reason why you should be taking home less than what you agreed to.
They have a “no references” policy
A good company understands when its best employees want to move on to better things and will not hesitate to write them positive reference letters that outlined their contributions and achievements. If you work for a lousy company, however, the opposite is usually the case. Even if your boss wanted to write you a glowing reference letter, he wouldn’t be allowed to – and you would probably only get a letter from your HR manager stating your dates of employment and your job title and duties. A company that refuses to acknowledge your contributions and makes it hard for you to find better employment is simply not worth working for.
The bosses are control freaks
The best bosses trust their staff to do whatever they have to do. They don’t micro-manage and they don’t expect their staff to report every little detail to them. Imagine having to work under a control freak every single day for many years. Imagine having to get your boss’ permission to carry out even the smallest task and being too afraid to act on something in case the boss disapproves. Nobody needs that kind of anxiety. We are all adults; if your boss wants to treat you like a child then you should probably take your skills somewhere else.
They don’t pay you for overtime
Every organisation has set working hours. If your workload is reasonable and you know how to manage your day, you should be able to get everything done by the time you knock off. If your company throws extra work at you, though, they should not expect you to complete it that vey same day; and if they do, they should pay you for the extra time that you’d need to complete it. Any company that doesn’t treat you fairly in this regard is just taking your time for granted and exploiting you – and doesn’t see you as a person.
They don’t give you time off for emergencies
If one of your parents has taken ill or you’ve been called to an urgent meeting with your child’s teacher, you should be able to take a little time off to deal with it. A good company knows that problems will crop up in their employees’ personal lives and understands that time off work is sometimes necessary to handle these matters.
Everyone who works there is unhappy
You spend a substantial part of your day at work so you deserve for it to be a positive and productive experience. If you feel that the vibe at your workplace just isn’t right and everybody looks miserable or works in fear half the time, or the place has a high staff turnover, then something is definitely wrong. A good company is one in which all employees – from the juniors to the top bosses – are allowed to thrive, to be themselves and to work with joy. If your emotional health is suffering because of your job, get out now.
They are inconsistent in following policies and procedures
There should be standard guidelines when it comes to getting things done, and everybody should follow them, whatever their title or role. If your boss expects only a few of you to follow the policies and procedures but turns a blind eye when others on the team don’t follow them (and worse, doesn’t care when these same people do whatever they want), then you may want to question why you’re working for such an organisation. Rules are in place for a reason
There’s no diversity
We’re not just talking about cultural diversity (though it’s bad enough if everybody in the company looked the same!). But if everyone thinks the same and works the same way then it’s not a good sign. A truly inclusive company has a mix of all kinds of employees and values the unique contributions, qualities and working styles of each individual. You’re likely to thrive in such an organisation, too, because you have so many different types of co-workers to learn from.
They are inefficient
Have you ever attended meetings that lasted all day yet achieved totally nothing? Or floated up a problem to the head of your department only to not hear back from her or be told that there’s nothing she can do about it? That’s classic inefficiency for you and inefficiency hinders progress. The best companies are focused on solving problems as quickly as possible and their managers aren’t bound by so much red tape that they are helpless to act on their own.
There’s no leadership
Having no leader is just as damaging as having a lousy one. Without overall leadership, there’s no direction and accountability, and therefore no telling how the company is run or even where it’s headed. It’s also bad news if the company you work for has a high executive turnover – it shows that even those at the top are unmotivated and uninspired.