Bad Company Culture: How To Spot The Signs

| 3 min read

A company with a bad culture quickly festers into a toxic work environment for its employees. A company might be financially rewarding but present an unhealthy work environment that hinders career growth and overall health. A work environment that makes employees feel unappreciated for their effort, endangers their physical health, under-pays them and stifles professional growth has a bad company culture. Here are signs to look out for in a company with a bad culture

A Revolving Door

A company that is unable to retain its employees for a long period is clearly not doing something right. It helps to speak with some of the employees who are leaving the organisation, and if the turnover rate is so high, it won’t be hard to find one ex-employee willing to share why they left the company so quickly after being hired. It is necessary to spot the streak before you get sucked into a bad company culture

Odd Interview Process

You often get an indication of a company’s culture right from the interview process. When you have to wait for the interview to start later than it was scheduled, this is a bad sign. Sometimes, interviews seem to lack depth, exposing the panel’s lack of knowledge about the role being advertised. An interview should at least have the head of the department or the potential supervisor to display knowledge and ask relevant questions. The absence of this should make you want to reconsider a career in the company


When you notice that many people in an organisation seem unhappy to either get to work or even perform assigned tasks, that is a bad sign. A company whose employees impatiently wait for the closing time, and seem unwilling to do more than is required of them is most likely housing a bunch of disillusioned staff. Such an environment is toxic to physical and mental health and should be avoided as much as possible

Lack of flexibility


Companies depend heavily on their human assets and as such, should make provisions for challenges such as health problems, bereavement, maternity and other such factors. A company that does not have flexible policies to cater for such situations does not care much for its workforce. That is a bad company culture.

Messy space

If the general workspace is messy, it is indicative of the prevailing company culture. It betrays the staff’s lack of concern for the workspace and unwillingness to harness a congenial working environment. It also shows that those in charge do not care much to maintain an environment that will harness better working conditions for their workers.

Lack of respect

A company that values its workers and their contribution to overall output shows it in how it treats the workers. If the working environment is devoid of respect for the dignity, skills and contributions of the workers, it is not a great place to have a career. For many people, a successful career is an integral part of their journey to self-actualisation. So if the working environment does not enrich their personal development, it is toxic and should be avoided immediately



Enyonam Damesi


  1. Excellent post Enyonam. Concerning company culture I do not know of any local Ghanaian company that has a flawless culture. Most Ghanaian companies typically have the environments you described and they value their employees only in theory. Exploitation by management is another prevalent issue. When I finished my bachelors 10 years ago, I was naive and desperate and accepted any job from any company. I have learnt my lessons now.

    My honest advice to fresh graduates is very simple, “The work environment is very hypocritical and in reality, sycophancy is what rewards not hardwork and expertise. Don’t look at the name and the building. Look at the people. Work for a serious company that has vision and inclusively pursues that vision otherwise you’re wasting your precious life.”

  2. I am currently working in one of the Company’s that has no respect for the the workers the management takes decision without considering how those decisions would affect the workers. No in-service training.

    • I am also in an organization that do not respect its employees. Decisions are taken without informing employees and regardless of how it will affect them. Also the only place suitable for proper working condition is the CEO’s office. In fact my happiest day will be the day I’ll handover my resignation letter.

  3. I left a company because of some of these(if not all the above).
    Some positives though( I learnt what I had to learn to improve my career and quit as soon as there was nothing left for me there). My mental and physical wellbeing was being affected, had no motivation to go to work in the morning. Better to have a sound mind than the seemingly good money they are paying you.
    If you are in one start planning your exit! Run for your life!!

    • Also considering resigning from my work. The employers who are foreigners only take decisions that will benefit them. Treat some of us as if we don’t contribute anything to the company

  4. I am working in a company who does pay SSNIT and if you talk about you will be fired no job security but there is no job so you will be compelled to work .

  5. Supposing we had a system that works here many Local owned companies would either sit up or close down but getting a job is a hassle and when you have family commitments you just eat what you are served.Multi national companies re sometimes the worst culprits.All the above signs are true but in many cases its just one or two people who have been given authority who bring about this mess.So far females have not been good bosses,in my 20 +years of experience only 20% of female bosses were great , the rest were horrible,from local companies to multi national companies.Avoid illiterate or semi educated bosses who have money, they are the worst culprits.

  6. i am forced to write. its a pity i this part of our world. Serious unfair labour practices in this country. We have agencies and ministries supposed to handled such issues but appears as if they are non-existent.
    Working with expats feels like you are a slave. Trust me you cant fight this because the top is so corrupt.
    You think people in government do not know whats happening?
    Most of these foreign institutions are statutory non-compliant. Big time. But because they know those at the top majority of which are corrupt they make their way through at the expense of the worker.
    Talk about SSNIT. Its either they do not pay at all or have defaulted for so many years. I dont understand why a company can operate for almost a year and not honoring ssnit obligations yet operating.
    What is hurting is the tier 2 contribution which accrues interest. If your employer is not prompt in paying, you are loosing money jack.
    Health and safety. If you are working in a manufacturing firm owned by expats (non-Europeans), you understand. People take great risk, not because they dont know what safety is but because man for chop.
    It would be more appropirate to have our ministries checking some of these things than for the worker to point them out and loose his Job.
    Foreigners are indeed taking advantage of the high unemployment rate because somebody is ready to work under the circumstance you are complaining.

  7. 80 percent of private sector businesses in Ghana are SLAVE CAMPS. Seems they don’t operate under Ghana laws. Ghanaian private sector workers are slaves in their own country

  8. I was in a company that had all the above illustrations .Well I couldn’t take it any longer so I quit .

    Really looking for another one at the moment
    The disrespect was too much

  9. After graduating, I have learnt that the corporate world is a really horrible place to work. If you are prepared to be honest, you will rather be pushed down. The corporate world in Ghana rewards only people who the bosses like and who they want to keep. Basic respect is not there, eveyone expects you to act like everyone else and not be different. Lots of toxic masculinity, corruption, greed and narrow-mindedness.

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