Is your Corporate Culture damaged?

Published on 05-07-2018

A damaged corporate culture can not only have a negative impact on employee satisfaction and engagement rates but also decrease the productivity and performance of the entire organization. After all, dissatisfied employees often struggle to make customers happy. But what are the warning signs to beware of?

The Forbes Coaches Council recently released the top 10 warning signs that point to a toxic corporate culture, as well as possible counter-steps. We realize that changing a corporate culture is not an easy task – but also not an impossible one! Together with employees and corporate leaders, the right strategy, and hard work, you can transform a damaged corporate culture into a clear competitive advantage. In our expert interview with Marloes Peters and Bjorn Luijters of inngoy, we talked about these and other challenges, both on a national and international level. The full interview can be found here.

But does your corporate culture affect the work atmosphere negatively? Here are the 10 signs you should look out for:

1. Unmotivated employees

Do your employees show up o work but aren’t really ‘present’? If so, this may be caused by low – or nonexistent – employee engagement. Increasing engagement is a complex and challenging task. However, the foundation of every method is quite simple: good internal communication. A positive corporate culture should support critical discussions at all levels, as well as recognize and actively integrate constructive criticism.

2. Speed of Feet

Your employees rate their work experience every day with their ‘speed of feet’. In other words, what does your car park look like at 5pm? Taillights and emptiness? Well, then you might have a problem. Fixing this part of a damaged corporate culture starts by improving the employee experience. Small things, such as the presence of leaders and their interest in the problems and opinions of employees, can have a massive impact on the company’s culture.

3. Dissatisfaction and workforce anxiety

No one likes to work in a negative environment. A toxic corporate culture directly impacts employee satisfaction and can even lead to anxiety and other negative health issues of employees. The first step on the way to recovery is to acknowledge the problem and that EVERYONE in the organization is responsible for resolving it. Set up team meetings to actively discuss the issue and brainstorm about possible solution together.

4. High turnover

One of the most striking signs of a damaged corporate culture are high turnover rates. If you are always looking for talent for the same positions, this points to a weak employer brand but also to gaps in your onboarding and recruiting process. This can cost a company dearly. We dedicated an entire white paper to this warning signal and possible solution, which is available for free download.

5. Being everything for everyone

Believing that you can do everything for everyone in the organization can quickly lead to an exhausting corporate culture. Especially because you miss the opportunity to recognize individual strengths and use them specifically to get certain tasks done. However, taking this path reduces internal resistance, encourages employee engagement and, ultimately, improves your company’s performance!

damaged corporate culture

Occasional team outings (like ours to Stuttgart) can work wonders for the corporate culture.

6. Lack of Core Values

A clear sign of a damaged corporate culture is the lack of core values. Core values are the pillars and guidelines – for employees as well as executives – of every corporate culture. Without these fixed values, employees cannot build an emotional relationship with the company and its mission. This way, employees see less of a deeper purpose in their work, which can lead to disengagement and – in the end – to leaving the company. The first step to fix such a superficial culture is to analyze the existing culture: Identify its deficits and future potential as well as define the basic values and rules of conduct of the company. Employees should be an active part of this process. After all, employees are the foundation of every corporate culture.

7. Difficulties to meet deadlines and achieve goals

Do your teams have trouble staying focused and working towards goals together? Are deadlines more a date than an actual appointment? If so, this indicates a corporate culture that lacks collective communication. This is often due to an imbalance between responsibility and authority at the various levels. A firmly integrated leadership development program, as well as various training measures for employees, can help here.

8. Lack of Empathy

Toxic corporate cultures usually have one thing in common: a lack of empathy. By this, we do not mean that you should be the consoling shoulder for every employee (see point 5). However, companies need empathetic leaders that encourage and recognize the work of their employees but also see them as people. After all, no one likes to be seen as another number in the system. Insensitive leaders create a culture lacking in morale, which decreases the chances of long-term retention. So, invest time in personal discussions and small talk. This will strengthen trust, morale, and satisfaction among your employees.

9. Invisibility

When people feel like they and their work isn’t being seen, dissatisfaction and negativity arise. Such an environment causes low-performance rates and a decrease in productivity. Good leaders recognize the tremendous weight of appreciation, compliments, and constructive feedback and integrate this into their leadership style. It is up to the leaders to create and promote a corporate culture where no one feels invisible.

10. Everyone is “busy”

Are your employees always “busy” or are they talking about the fantastic things that happen in their professional and private lives? “Busy” is the new codeword for overwhelmed, unfocused and disengaged. One possible solution: Programs to promote employee satisfaction to stimulate conversation and the exchange of information among one another. In other words, go on fun team outings! This can elevate trust and recognition, and result in an inclusive corporate culture.

A damaged corporate culture is one of the main reasons why employees leave a company after only a short time. But how much do such mistakes cost? And more important: How can you avoid them? Our white paper answers these questions and many more! To get to the free download, please do fill out the attached form.