We’ve said many times that, as a group, horse industry employers are generally not well trained in personnel management. This can lead to inefficiencies in the workplace. However, all too often poor management in general leads to a toxic work environment for horse industry workers. Here are some signs that your work environment is toxic.
1. Nobody is really sure who is in charge. More than one person gives orders and sometimes orders conflict.
2. The people in charge are frequently at odds about how to run the place and important decisions are made slowly or not at all.
3. People quit and are replaced a lot. The turnover is the fault of poor personnel management.
4. You work long hours, are on call all the time, and have little or no personal time or vacation.
5. The operation runs day in and day out the same way it has for years in spite of problems that could be easily solved.
6. The boss is always angry and criticizes bad behavior much more often than rewarding good behavior.
7. You are worried about your job all the time and don’t feel really needed and appreciated for what you do.
8. You are being paid as an independent contractor when you are really an employee.
9. There is little effort being made to attract new customers and the existing customers are not treated as well as they should be.
10. Labor and management don’t really care about the products and services being provided.
11. There is little financial record keeping and planning.
12. Everything seems to be done on a “putting out fires” basis.
13. Increases in pay are rare and are not related to good performance.
If your job has 4 or more of these problems, your work environment is toxic to your emotional health, your career, and maybe your physical health. It may be time to start looking for a better situation.