POWER – Corporate Cultures – PROBLEMS (#1)

PREVIOUS : Corp. Cultures – #2

SITE: Culture: Your Environment for People at Work


‘‘Company Culture’’ refers to a firm’s overall characteristics & shared ideals, with sub-cultures that are formed by rewards. It dictates the company mission, leadership style, ethics, goals & expectations. It therefore identifies how employees connect with each another, the values they hold & the decisions they make.

People shape their culture in the environment that surrounds them at work all the time. Like personality, it’s made up of the beliefs, underlying assumptions, interests, experiences, upbringing, & habits that form employees’ daily rituals & routines. It’s difficult to change but can be modified. When needed, some strategies for upgrading it are: Improving communication, Feedback, & Recognition of work well done.

HOWEVER, Toxic work cultures are institutional-centric. Policies & procedures are designed with the company in mind, not its workforce – including outdated work policies. When employees feel their company is not doing a good job in various areas, a crisis may be inevitable – people will become disengaged, passive-aggressive, & let work quality slip.

✒︎ High-pressure environment – When leadership is not vigilant about managing its environment, resulting profits & growth come at the expense of values & ethics.

✒︎ Inadequate investment in People – When management doesn’t live up to its end of the hiring agreement (compensation, career development & benefits in exchange for work) they’re less inclined to live up to theirs

✒︎ Lack of accountability – When the company consistently does not hold specific people responsible for misconduct. So when other employees see that consequences are handed out unevenly or are non-existent, they may not bother reporting poor behavior (why bother?), & use it as a reason to be less careful about their own actions.

✒︎ Lack of diversity, equity & inclusion – In spite of the #MeToo movement, certain industries are known for their culture being non-inclusive & prejudicial.

✒︎ Poor behavior at the top – When company values don’t exist, aren’t known, or aren’t enabled or enforced by systems & processes. OR When executives don’t act in line with with company values. Because of intense pressure to deliver results & the rewarded on what they achieve, leadership doesn’t care how they get there.

Start by ASKING:
☛ How big is the organization?
☛ How intense is the inertia?
☛ Who are the influencers?
☛ What can I do about it?
☛ Should I stay or leave?

1. An Absence of Core Values
❗️A very basic sign of a bad company culture is a lack of company core values. They are the driving force behind an organization — without them the culture is likely to lumber along without any sense of direction. Unwanted sub-cultures will then form & undermine business success.

 2. No DEI Policy
❗️Not promoting employee diversity smacks of corporate ignorance, contributing to a toxic culture. It telegraphs to employees that management Just. Doesn’t. Care.
EXP: an active, effective way to recruit, hire & retain women, include gender-fluid people & people of color.

3. Managers Don’t Follow Core Values
❗️Employees look to managers for direction. If senior & middle management aren’t following core values, employees won’t either. Even worse, they’ll come to distrust leadership for exempting managers from office rules. Authority will be discredited, with a clear divide will form between leadership & staff.

 4. Managers Don’t Promote From Within
❗️If all new hires are from outside the company, especially at a management & leadership level, you’re sending the message that current employees either don’t matter or aren’t good enough to be promoted. Either reason contributes to a toxic culture that stymies growth.

5. Managers Publicly Criticize Employees
❗️Employees make mistakes, sometimes bad ones. A toxic work culture makes a big deal out of these errors by calling out employees by name & mistake, in a public forum.

6. No Good Reviews of the Company Culture
❗️ If employees are frustrated with the management style, cut-throat competition between peers or discouragingly high turnover rate – as posted on anonymous review-platforms – job seekers will be the first to know, & your company will earn a negative reputation.


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