Welcome back for part 2 of our series on what company culture is, If you haven’t read part 1 yet, click here to catch up. Don’t worry, we’ll wait! In Part 2 we will talk about some of the most common warning signs you might see if you have a bad company culture, as well as some of the steps you can take to improve it.
The Warning Signs
One of the biggest issues faced by small businesses is being able to identify what their corporate culture is, and whether it’s contributing to the performance problems they are experiencing. After all, company culture isn’t always to blame for bad performance! So here are a few warning signs that you may be dealing with a negative company culture.
- Unmotivated employees: If you suddenly find yourself constantly dealing with unmotivated employees, you should be taking a good look at the corporate culture of your business. Employees who are present but not engaged in their work, or who don’t see the point or benefit of their tasks is one of the clearest warning signs of bad corporate culture.
- Workforce anxiety: Usually high-performing employees now delivering sub-par results, or asking a lot of questions and seeking reassurance can be a sign that something is amiss. Unclear vision, poor employee development programmes and miscommunication from management make this one of the factors in bad corporate culture, and results in unmotivated and uncertain employees.
- High employee turnover: If you’re constantly losing employees and needing to hire replacements, this is the biggest red flag for negative company culture. While some larger corporations see high turnover as part of their business model, a smaller business is always having to hire for the same position then alarm bells should be ringing.
- Being all things to all people: Having a few different types of tasks to do within your job role is perfectly normal. But having one person do the roles of several people can lead to a seriously bad feeling in your business. It causes burnout and frustration, and it shows you don’t recognise individual strengths, or know how to delegate.
- Failing to meet deadlines: Every good business has goals, and good managers will set goals, tasks and deadlines for their team to meet. If your projects are always coming in late, then you have a serious problem. Often the root of the issue is poor communication and collaboration, both of which can be resolved by management taking a more accurate role in the process, and ensuring everyone is on the same page.
The signs of a bad company culture aren’t always complaining employees or KPIs not being met. As a business owner and manager, it’s your job to keep an eye out for the signs that something is wrong and address it before it has time to seep into your company culture and become a normal thing.
What to do About Company Culture Problems
Learn how to motivate your employees: Engaged and motivated employees are the lifeblood of any business, and the building blocks for your company culture. But it’s management’s job to motivate them effectively and create a positive environment, which often means more than just opening the company wallet. Here are 4 ways you can motivate your employees that have nothing to do with money.
Set SMART goals: Setting goals is a crucial part of any form of improvement or change. Setting SMART goals is a great way to stay on track and make sure you’re actually making progress. You can find out more about SMART goals and how to set them here.
Conduct effective performance reviews: It’s important to understand what the role of performance reviews actually is in your business to ensure management are conducting them effectively. This will make them a more productive experience for the managers and the employees, as well as provide realistic goals and feedback. For tips on how to improve your performance reviews, click here.
Be proactive: One of the main reasons so many businesses find themselves in HR trouble is that they wait until problems happen before they act. In this case, the focus is on maintaining the status quo, rather than making any meaningful improvements. A proactive HR approach means you can prioritise employee development and foster a positive company culture. To read more about that, click here.
And if you need support at any point during the process, we are here to help.
At Karen HRM, we help business owners and managers just like you to understand your unique company culture, as well as how to fix any underlying problems and create a positive, thriving company for the future. If you aren’t sure if your employees are happy, we’d love to help. Contact one of our team today, and book in your free consultation to help improve your company culture.