There’s a lot of talk about company culture out there and how that can drive success and fulfillment in an organization or cause a cancerous tumor that can lead to its slow death. Toxic company culture has a lot of painful ramifications that can cause us all to lose sleep at night. From the stress of high employee turnover to suboptimal output and motivation, or even (gasp!) lawsuits, the damage that poor company culture can cause can take years to rebound from, both financially and reputation-wise.
To make matters even worse, many leaders can be somewhat oblivious to a sub-par working environment. When you’re full-out with overloaded schedules and running your business, it can be hard to get a real feel for how to really work IN your business to promote and leverage your team’s many and varied strengths. This can then create a vicious cycle that leads to missed deadlines and goals, costly and constant new employee training, and drastically reduced fiscal and financial performance. Pretty soon you’re trapped on a never-ending merry-go-round that you can’t seem to get off of.
We’ve seen this happen in plenty of once-great companies. Whether it’s due to a leadership change in which the new leadership lacks authenticity and real values, or something else, maintaining a strong and positive company culture takes continued effort and cultivation. You gotta water that garden if you want it to grow.
Take for example a well-known multinational corporation that once got its start in a tiny town in the deep south. The founder of that company was a man who was renowned for genuinely caring about not only his customers but also his employees. People loved working for this man, and eventually, his family. This led to a rapid and exponential growth of the organization.
Over time, as the company grew and needed to add to and expand its reach and leadership team, not everyone who was hired to a leadership role carried the same genuine love for the company and solid family values that the original founder did. This led to what was once a company with a great reputation to becoming a company that struggled to find enough people to staff its massive and many stores. You probably can guess who we’re talking about.
It’s the age-old story of the demise of a once-great organization and it happens all over the country on the daily. Your employees know when you’re not walking your talk, and when they lose faith or respect in your leadership, that ship sinks faster than the Titanic. Gossiping, in-fighting, people who always seem to be “sick” on a Friday, and a general sense of dis-ease when you walk through the front doors are all pretty obvious signs that you’re dealing with toxic company culture.
The good news is that it is possible to come back from a loss of love from your employees. It takes serious dedication and diligence (and often a lot of eating crow), but it can be done. We believe that the solution lies in genuine and authentic leadership. This means digging deep to take a real look at what your values are. Not only your personal values as a leader but your overall values and goals as a company. So many times, people in a leadership position put this pressure on themselves to be perfect and never screw up. We don’t believe that your team wants you to be perfect, but they do want to know that they can trust you to steer the ship if you expect them to help row.
By aligning with your true values, you’ll be able to more easily have your behavior support those values. This leads to authentic and real leadership that your people will see, feel, and want to be a part of. And that’s where the tide of company culture can turn.
That’s where One Team Partners comes in. We have lived through these situations in our own careers. We know that walking our talk and taking a hard look at where we are falling short is the only way to fix and promote a healthy and vibrant company culture that attracts better and better people to join it. It also means eating a huge slice of humble pie, by evaluating the opinions and feelings of unhappy employees in order to know what needs the most work.
We will walk alongside you through the journey of assessing your company culture. We will find out what the good, the bad, and the ugly is and help figure out results-oriented solutions that work. We will invite a team approach to solve these problems. An approach that allows your employees to feel heard and valued like we know they are. We will even help you find out if there are blind spots or underlying unknown subculture issues that can be improved upon.
The pain of ripping off the bandaid of deeply assessing your shortcomings as a leader will pale in comparison to the continued stress and agony of trying to lead a toxic and floundering company. You deserve a happy and fulfilling work experience just as much as your team does, so why wait? You’ve already seen that these problems don’t fix themselves. Let us help you become the best leader you can be.