Company culture seems like a catch phrase these days, but it is more than just words. It is the breath of your company and encompasses all the people who bring your vision and values to life.
You don’t need to hire someone to give you feedback on your culture. Look around. What kind of atmosphere are you creating?
Here are 5 signs your company culture is in danger:
- You Spot Compliance Driven Leadership
Obedient employees get the job done, but compliance will not make for lasting results or a favorable office culture. Compliance is often coupled with fear, which can stem from a variety of situations. Unrealistic expectations, an imbalance of correction versus praise, reluctance to listen and loss of trust among other things can lead to fear.
In order to create a sustainable organization and staffing model people need to a have a sense of purpose and something to believe in. Compliance gets to “what” – it’s a statement such as “you need to clean your room.” Purpose is the “why” behind cleaning the room that makes the work meaningful. Leadership cannot simply prescribe a purpose for employees. Rather, staff need to buy into it and feel that they are part of the success of the company.
Purpose helps people to find the fun and enjoyment in their work. Promote purpose rather than compliance and allow your employees and organization to reach their full potential.
- There is High Turnover
Turnover is different in every industry and some level of turnover is healthy especially when it involves a poor performing employee. You can’t avoid some employees going elsewhere, but it should be a red flag if you notice a pattern of top talent starting to leave. It’s time to evaluate.
Research shows that people don’t leave a job – they leave a leader. The types of leaders people leave are those without vision, clear goals and those who don’t provide clarity of roles and responsibility nor drive an internal sense of accountability. And, fostering company culture has to start somewhere.
Culture is crucial in attracting and engaging talent. Work with leadership to intentionally communicate and support company culture in order to maintain an environment where employees will thrive.
Zappos, a company often touted for its company culture, has a culture book that is written by employees every year. It details how people feel about the Zappos culture and how they reinforce and develop the culture every day.
Job satisfaction begins with managers caring about the people in their charge.
3. Employees are Reluctant to Take Time Off
Americans struggle with work-life balance. Not only are many employees afraid that being away from work will reflect negatively on their commitment to the company, but many fear that taking time off could cost them professionally. Again, this behavior comes down to culture.
Employees cue off the leader. If managers are not leaving the office then staff may feel like they can’t either. If the boss is answering emails at midnight her employees may feel that they need to be available at all hours and often even work during vacation.
The leadership sets the tone. Leaders and the company as a whole must place an emphasis on work-life balance to avoid employee burn out. Revisit your company values. Does your company reward long hours? Is it difficult to request time off? Make necessary changes and productivity and morale will increase.
- Nobody Remembers Your Mission and Values
They should be at the heart of every project or task. When work feels arbitrary and disjointed it’s difficult to connect back to why we are there in the first place. Remember purpose from earlier?
Employee engagement is a subset of purpose. Employee engagement is how well you’ve prepared your employees to fulfill their purpose. It’s a roadmap and support system. Part of that groundwork should be the company’s mission and values so that employees can feel empowered to make decisions and choices on their own based on the culture. Clearly defined goals allow space for employees to make a personal connection to them and for leaders to rest assured that employees are likely making good decisions when they are not around.
Make sure your company mission and values are in the open and unforgettable. If a company’s culture is hard to see then it makes it that more difficult to keep it pumping.
5. There’s a Lack of Social Interaction
Never forget the human aspect of the work we do. Employers can only get so much out of people they don’t know. We are social individuals and motivated by a sense of camaraderie. Relationships are developed authentically when people have opportunities to be vulnerable in low risk situations. Social outings, team lunches and company gatherings are opportunities to build trust and strengthen friendships.
Icebreakers may be silly, but they are not just for children. A quick google search will pull up numerous activities that can be incorporated into orientations, meetings and events.
We spend a lot of time at work so it makes sense that we enjoy work more when we like who we are working with. Taking a break to get to know someone helps people feel connected and more accountable to one another. Socializing is beneficial to work and ultimately creates a more productive and happy environment.
If something on this list resonates with you then seize this as an opportunity to create change. Invest in your company culture and enlist your team to join you. But don’t stop there. Company culture is a continuous process that you should revisit and consistently tweak because what was great last year may not get you where you want to go tomorrow.