17 Symptoms of a Toxic Team Culture

Great leaders take responsibility for bringing clarity to their team culture. How do you know if you’ve got a healthy volunteer and staff team culture, or a toxic team culture?

17 Symptoms of a Toxic Team Culture

Every church has a team culture whether they realize it or not. And, in spite of the resources, calling and opportunities your church may have, a toxic leadership culture can bring ministry momentum to a standstill. How do you know if you’ve got a healthy volunteer and staff team culture, or a toxic team culture?

In the same way there are clear markers when your physical health is in trouble, there are clear symptoms of a toxic team culture as well.

Here are 17 of the most common symptoms of a toxic team culture:

  1. There is a lack of enthusiasm among staff and volunteers.
  2. Spiritual conversations are few and far between. Why is this important? We talk about what we value and, when those conversations aren’t occurring, it can be an indicator that the busyness of life is pulling us away from investing in our relationship with Christ and the development of our own healthy soul.
  3. High turnover among staff and volunteers.
  4. Misunderstandings and strained relationships from poor communication.
  5. There isn’t a sense of community and family.
  6. “Office politics” are prevalent.
  7. People don’t like to be together.
  8. There’s a lack of laughter.
  9. People operate in silos.
  10. Wins and successes aren’t celebrated.
  11. Work doesn’t have a sustainable pace and rhythm.
  12. Conflicts aren’t easily resolved.
  13. There is a lack of unity.
  14. Gossip is occurring.
  15. There are no growth plans for team members.
  16. Your team isn’t praying together.
  17. People on the team have an “entitlement mentality.”

Great leaders take responsibility for bringing clarity to their team culture. One of the first steps to creating a healthy team culture is to identify whether or not you’re dealing with a toxic culture.

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Culture is more important than any ministry plans you map out because the people who implement those plans are the ones most impacted by your culture. As Peter Drucker once said, “culture eats strategy for breakfast.”