Shifting Negative Culture
07 Sep
, , , ,

Shifting a Negative Workplace Culture

by Jaysa Toet in Employee Engagement , HR Trends , Leadership 0 comments
..Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.

Work life might not actually be a soap opera, but in some environments, it can feel like it. We have seen our fair share of messy situations in our client’s cultures – politics, drama, or poor communication resulting in situations that take up a whole day of running around to resolve.

These sorts of issues do not contribute to a positive culture, employee’s well-being or your bottom line. Soap operas at work and negative workplace cultures are frankly a waste of time. While culture takes time and work to develop, it is well worth the investment and requires strategy. There isn’t one magic solution that’s going to fix it all but there are ways you can start or hit reset.

Here are five directions to give you pause for thought on ways you can make a change if you feel like your organization’s culture is going off the rails:

  • The right people make all the difference:

“First get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats and then figure out where to drive it”

– Jim Collins, Author of Good to Great

  • Treat people like adults and hold them accountable like adults:

Netflix achieved its legendary fast growth (jumps in revenue as high as 30% quarterly for several years running) by “treating people like adults,” Patti McCord says—giving them the leeway to rely on their own judgment in almost every situation, while demanding superb, no-excuses performance.

– Patti McCord, Former Chief Talent Officer, Netflix

  • Be transparent and have appropriate rationale for what is confidential:

“We share everything – the good, the bad and the ugly:

Sunlight is the best disinfectant, says Louis Brandel. It’s also the best illuminator. We make information available so we can all learn, guide, innovate and decide: we don’t restrict anything that would further these.”

– Tiber River Naturals, Profit 500 Fastest Growing Company

  • Promote a culture of something more:

“Why is not about making money. That’s a result. It’s a purpose, cause or belief. It’s the very reason your organization exists. If the leader of the organization can’t clearly articulate why the organization exists in terms beyond products or services how does he expect the employees to know why to come to work?”

“Average companies give their people something to work on. In contrast, the most innovative organizations give their people something to work towards.“

– Simon Sinek, Author of Start with Why

  • Put people leaders in place who have what it takes:

“Leadership takes courage. This means investing in leaders who will stand up and say something when the gossip around the water cooler is inappropriate. This means leaders who will have the uncomfortable conversation with a team member when they have misstepped so things don’t get worse. Leaders are always on stage and they set the tone for the communication norms and culture of their team.”

– Jane Helbrecht, Co-Creator & Facilitator of Acuity’s Intentional People Leadership Course

At the end of the day, culture cannot flourish if a foundation of respect in the workplace and solid leadership are in place. People leaders make the biggest difference when it comes to changing how a culture behaves.

If you need help to strengthen or start your leadership journey, check out our Intentional People Leadership Program and dates for November’s open session.

Jaysa Toet is a Partner at Acuity HR Solutions. For more content and blogs from the Acuity team visit our Spotlight page and follow us on Instagram and Facebook!