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65 Examples of Workplace Issues

Workplace issues are problems and risks that decrease employee satisfaction and organizational performance. These are mostly intangible and intractable problems of culture and systems. It is also common for workplace issues to originate with upper management. The following are common examples of workplace issues.
Broken Processes
Broken Systems
Change Fatigue
Communication Failure
Complaining & Defeatism
Compliance to Laws & Regulations
Disorganization & Chaos
Emotional Responses to Criticism
Employee Privacy
Excessive Overtime
Failure of Imagination
Failure to Manage Expectations
Financial Mismanagement
Health Hazards
Hostility Between Teams / Partners
Hostility Towards Customers
Human Rights Violations
Hygiene Factors
Ideology & Politics at Work
Interpersonal Conflict
Knowledge Waste
Lack of Accountability
Lack of Civility
Lack of Confidence in Management
Lack of Empathy
Lack of Training
Lack of Transparency
Lack of Trust
Lack of Values & Principles
Low Engagement
Low Performance
Low Productivity
Malicious Compliance
Negative Politics
Negative Selection
Negative Work Culture
Passive Aggressive Behavior
Poor Ethics
Poor Management
Red Tape
Resistance to Change
Safety Hazards
Tone at the Top
Trained Incapacity
Unclear Responsibilities
Unfair Criticism
Unusable Systems
Workplace Bullying
Yes People
Authoritarianism is the use of artifacts from authority such as rules, processes and procedures to establish a sense of personal power over others. This can occur where an employee has no actual authority themselves.
Biases are repeated failures of logic. For example, making assumptions about someone because of identity factors such as their age.
Groupthink is an environment where people can't speak candidly without being penalized by a group for failing to comply with a dogmatic group opinion or ideology.
Failure of imagination
is the incorrect assumption that the future will resemble the past. For example, marketing myopia whereby a firm continually optimizes what has worked in the past while ignoring large scale change to their industry.
Knowledge waste is a situation where an organization produces knowledge that it doesn't use. For example, a team or entire division devoted to creating documents that nobody actually reads or acts upon.
Tone at the top is poor behavior by upper management that encourages poor behavior at every level of a firm.
Malicious compliance is the use of an organization's own processes, policies, procedures and projects against it. For example, a customer service representative that uses a well-intentioned security policy to antagonize customers and enjoy a sense of power.
Mediocrity is a situation where individuals do the minimum required not to be fired such that they have no concern for actual results. Such individuals may actively work against any strategy that will cause them work or inconvenience. The mediocre also fear talent, risk taking and change and may work to suppress these elements. For example, a manager who works to undermine talent on their own team for fear of competition.
Mismanagement is a failure to direct and control resources in a diligent way.
Negative selection
, in the context of employment, is a situation where talented employees quit with time and low performing employees cling to their jobs. This occurs in any firm with poor working conditions as talented employees have more opportunity and therefore have less incentive to tolerate a bleak job.
Reactance is a human tendency to react against restrictions on freedom. For example, employees that become hostile to a firm due to excessive monitoring.
Trained incapacity is an inability to see beyond the way things have been done in the past.

Working Conditions

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