Spotting the Signs of Workplace Toxicity in The Call Center

James Glenn Gomez Published on January 15, 2018 Last updated on October 5, 2021

How do you know if your call center is a toxic workplace?

call center agent with a headache problematic in toxic workplace

There are many factors that can cause employee turnovers in the contact center. Sometimes it’s because the employees feel that there’s a lack of career advancement, or they think that the job’s monotonous. Maybe they’ve become incredibly stressed from the intense pressure of the work environment. Sometimes, they even feel that the pay you give isn’t enough for them to stay.

Working in a call center is already a stressful endeavor for employees, but maybe your workplace environment itself is what’s turning off your agents.

From the word itself, a toxic workplace can be described as a negative and low-key chaotic environment. It’s filled with office drama and other personal conflicts that can damage an employee’s productivity or morale. Demanding or toxic jobs, such as in the contact centers, triple the risk of depression in employees. Then there’s also the increased chance of burnout and anxiety. Put two and two together and you got yourselves a nightmare of a workplace.

Of course, you shouldn’t label a call center a toxic workplace immediately. Some people just plainly hate their jobs, are unsatisfied, and feel pressured to work there just to support themselves. There’s a nuance on whether it may or may not contribute to a workplace’s toxicity. But being able to identify the telltale signs of a negative environment can help you improve your workforce management and employee engagement.

  • Friends from higher places

    call center agent getting promotion dissatisfied coworkers office politics

    One known sign of a toxic environment is when people move up the career ladder or get hired without going through the proper channels.

    Favoritism can also manifest in preferring one employee over another. In line with this, bosses who lean towards an agent tend to compliment that worker and overlook their mistakes. The same can’t be said of other employees who get the short end of the stick, when they’re always getting reprimanded for the tiniest of errors.

  • Abusive bosses

    call center team leader berating subordinate agent employee abuse

    In relation to the previous one, there’s also the terrorizing supervisor/manager/team leader. These higher-ups tend to overwork their subordinates and demoralize them. These power-tripping bosses are often tyrannical, bullying agents to get their way. There are also bosses who cross the line, harassing their employees.

  • Inconsistent and obstructive policies

    confused call center agent staring at laptop

    Policies should regulate and enhance the work environment, not hinder people from doing work efficiently. Such regulations can be tedious to work with. As a result, your contact center agents tend to get vexed by all the red tape and inconsistent rules and hoops they have to go through to help out a customer.

  • An unprofessional work culture

    call center as a toxic workplace with disagreeing coworkers

    It’s a tough workforce management problem to handle if the whole organizational culture is toxic. When there’s a lack of communication and professionalism among coworkers, the work environment you’ve thoroughly built can crumble slowly. This toxicity can seep through tasks; personal issues can cause rifts among your workers, causing a lack of teamwork to get the job done. Such a work culture can also be prone to blaming, backstabbing, and sabotaging.

A toxic workplace can cause undue harm to every employee in your call center. This negative culture should always be avoided in order to maintain a good quality of life in the workplace. Employees can be engaged and driven to work in a positive environment that allows them to thrive. That’s what you should strive for.

It’s crucial for companies to establish strong workplace diversity practices to nip toxicity in the bud. Employees and clients alike benefit from a healthy and diverse company culture. Therefore, partnering with an equitable call center like Open Access BPO ensures consistent values and culture from agent to consumer to brand. Get in touch with us to learn more about our services and how we maintain work-life integration.

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During the event, our ops and non-ops teammates put their athletic and strategic skills to the test through five different games:

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The free two-day healthcare event, held on the seventh floor of the multilingual call center's Makati headquarters, provided risk assessments, counseling for employees, and free contraceptives for all attendees.

Workers from Makati City's Health Department were able to accommodate over 130 employees, providing them with general check-ups, blood glucose testing, and HIV screening.

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