How to Overcome a Toxic Workplace (5 Cultures of Culture)

Did you know a toxic corporate culture is 10.4 times more powerful than compensation in predicting a company’s attrition rate? Executive leaders are concerned with employee turnover and are admittedly losing their most talented workers. While many assume that salary and compensation are the leading cause of quitting, a recent survey conducted by MIT Sloan Management Review and Glassdoor reveals some shocking truths about the factors that cause employees to leave. In another recent survey conducted by the same group, 1.4 million employee reviews were analyzed and then broken out into the top 10 reasons that matter most to employees when it comes to corporate culture:

Toxic Corporate Culture

  1.  Employees must feel respected. In fact, respect for employees is 17.9 times more powerful a predictor of an organizational culture score than the typical topic. Treating employees with dignity, consideration, courtesy and valuing their individual perspectives.
  2.  Supportive Leaders. Employees must believe that you have their backs.
  3.  Living Core Values. Are the leader’s actions consistent with the organization’s core values?
  4.  Toxic Managers.  Managers that continually create a negative work environment.
  5.  Unethical Behavior. This is an issue for both leaders and employees that lack integrity and act in unethical manners.
  6.  Benefits. Employees’ assessment of the benefits provided by the employer.
  7.  Perks. Employees’ assessment of the workplace amenities.
  8.  Learning and Development. The opportunities provided by the organization for formal and informal learning. This includes advanced leadership development such as executive coaching.
  9.  Job Security. Fear of losing your job to such things as layoffs, offshoring, and automation.
  10. Reorganizations. Mergers, acquisitions, and reorganizations were viewed negatively 97% of the time by employees.

In addition to these ten reasons, other culture breakers such as subversive communications, unhealthy competition, and employee-favoritism, have a major impact on company culture. Effective organizational culture is a top-down exercise and, unfortunately, even the best CEOs sometimes underestimate their own role, and the role that their leadership team has in crafting a people focused culture that inspires and motivates their employees to produce results.

When assessing and transforming company culture, you must commit to the 5 C’s of Culture which are:

  1. Capability Culture (“Can Do”) – leaders must instill values, character, and beliefs that exude a “can do” spirit among employees, showing them what it takes to succeed
  2. Commitment Culture (“Will Do”) – leaders must develop a unique culture that motivates and inspires others, instilling the belief that each employee has the power to take risks and add value
  3. Connectedness Culture (“Must Do”) – using both cooperation and consensus-building elements, leaders must foster a culture based on teamwork and collaboration, allowing employees to execute at a high level
  4. Individual Performance Culture – leaders must foster an environment that is transparent, open, and equitable – where honest feedback is not only welcome, but encourages continual improvement; this step demonstrates your willingness to “walk the walk”
  5. Team Performance Culture – leaders must create equitable cultures, where every employee’s contribution adds to the collective success of the organization; conflict may arise, but your team will work hard to find a win/win situation

The need for cultural transformation never ends. In fact, 75% of all organizations flat out fail resulting in eventual decline, failure, or extinction due to the inability to pivot and change in today’s business world. One of the primary reasons for this is the CEOs and their senior leadership teams who were not as diligent as they should have been in developing and transforming their organizational culture. Simply put, it is a lack of leadership. Is it any wonder a record number of employees have thrown in the towel over the past year?

Great companies invest in their people and foster cultures that empower their team to deliver results, which is why 80% of a leader’s time should be dedicated to growing tomorrow’s leaders. Through our cultural transformation process, we can help make your culture healthier – and your leaders stronger – resulting in an organization that attracts top talent.

In assessing and transforming company cultures, ILEC works with organizations of all sizes – from Fortune 1000 organizations to small to mid-sized global entrepreneurial companies. As master certified ILEC coaches, Rich Baron and his partner, Maikel Bailey utilize a proven blueprint and philosophy designed to build strong, vibrant organizations. If your company is serious about creating a culture that creates loyalty, trust and optimizes performance,  go to their website to contact them for a conversation about what’s possible!

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