Every company, whether small or big, has a culture that is defined by certain values and practices shared and agreed upon by all the members of the company. Culture has a significant impact on a business’s reputation and its ability to generate a return on investment. Therefore, it should be prioritized and measured just like other business objectives such as financial growth, product development, sales, marketing, etc. Culture reflects the identity and personality of an organization, which is dynamic and evolving with changing times and new experiences. The factors that shape a corporate culture include leadership styles, policies, processes, titles, hierarchy, and workplace environment among others.
However, not every company is equipped enough to create a culture that can attract the best talents and more clients. A poor corporate culture is antithetical to the positive culture and does a great harm to the company. Bad company culture poses overwhelming impediments on the path of success that any business aspires. It’s not that a poor corporate culture can’t be fixed though. There are a few important signs businesses need to take note of. Thus recognizing and addressing these worrying indications can definitely improve the corporate culture for the better.
Here are 5 warning signs of a poor corporate culture:
- Low workplace engagement
One of the most prominent signs of a bad company culture is a decreased employee engagement. Engaged employees, by the way, are a vital part of a positive corporate culture. They are usually more committed, hard-working, and productive. Engagement emanates when everyone comes on the same page, has a better understanding of the company objectives, and know how they can contribute toward its success. The common causes behind the lack of engagement are lack of transparency, stress due to workload, disconnection from peers, and no recognition by the managers. Employees that involve in better interactions and show genuine interests in every facet of the business tend to be more engaged. Therefore, for an engaged workforce, businesses need to make their staff feel valued, and the latter should voice their concerns comfortably.
- Poor internal communication
Poor communication at a workplace can be toxic to a business, which is why there is no surprise that it’s an unmistakable sign of a negative culture. When businesses aim to create a culture where everyone is friendly and supportive of each other, communication becomes the key. A good culture demands the creation of an atmosphere where the internal communication is free flowing and easy. Problems ensue when speaking to one another becomes difficult, forced, and un-enjoyable. Communication and information are very crucial components at every level of a company, that’s why unnecessary silos must be removed and ideas should be able to flow freely. Good internal communication tells whether people are working on the right things at the right time; and whether employees are aware of any strategic shift. Thus, business owners need to encourage mentoring and networking, so the staff will understand the value of communication.
- Unmotivated staff
Dissatisfied and demoralized employees are a clear and present warning of bad workplace culture. The consequences of unmotivated employees can cost a business very heavily – either they will leave the company or kill the productivity. Unmotivated staff further creates an unwittingly demoralized workplace environment, which is certainly not good for the company’s success. The effects of poor motivation in the workplace are well-attested: higher employee turnover, lower levels of engagement, poor communication, and diminished productivity. These are among the most ominous impacts. Businesses need to boost the morale and motivation of their employees every now and then. They should recognize and appreciate their staff’s efforts. A good example is to throw cool office parties, where the owners can distribute beer or wine bottles with personalized labels depicting their relationship with each other.
- Low team spirit
Teamwork is extremely important for businesses to succeed. Team effort maximizes the productivity and profitability when operated effectively. The lack of team spirit in an organization is the palpable indication of bad company culture. To grow personally and professionally, it is imperative for employees to connect with their team as much as possible. Any team’s greatest strength is undoubtedly the combination of skills present in collaborative environments. As a matter of fact, close-knit teams are better equipped to deal with individual shortcomings. Similarly, working in a collaborative environment alongside trusted companions makes it easier for employees to discuss ideas, find solutions, and better implement strategies. Employers, therefore, need to emphasize the importance of nurturing teams.
- Unnecessary and unfriendly competition
An overly competitive workplace reflects the symptoms of envy and jealousy among employees, which is clearly not reflective of a positive corporate culture either. Competition is like a double-edged sword that needs to be handled with care. Although competition in the workplace is inevitable and it is good to be dedicated in order to produce solid work, but employees should not have to do that at the expense of battling it out with other co-workers. Competition should be healthy and channelized toward progress and growth of the company. A healthy competition allows employees to embrace, honor, and applaud others’ efforts – chances are others will do the same for them. A well-rounded competition encourages a diverse range of skill sets along with a collaborative and supportive work environment.
Culture is in the DNA of every business whether by design or by default. While a positive workplace culture is highly essential for businesses to achieve the heights of success, the poor corporate culture, on the other hand, can bring even successful companies down to ash and dust. Hence, business owners’ one of the top priorities should be to create a positive culture.