3 Ways to Cure a Sick Organizational Culture

2 min read
Apr 28, 2015

iStock_000022868480_SmallA toxic organizational culture can be detrimental to your workforce. Productivity, camaraderie, and turnover take a huge hit when your employees are disengaged. And our Employee Engagement and Organizational Culture Report found that 64% of employees don’t feel like they have a strong work culture. So how can you cure a culture ailing with disengagement? Here are three characteristics of a positive culture:

A Transparent World

There’s a time and place to operate behind closed doors. But not when it comes to providing access to information for your employees. In 2013, our Employee Engagement Report uncovered that transparency is the number one factor contributing to employee happiness.

The first step to creating a transparent culture is to talk to your employees. Let them know the good, bad, and the ugly of your business. Are sales slowing down? Maybe you’re in the process of closing a deal with a big client. Even if they’re not on that specific project or in the department, every employee deserves to know the ins and outs of the organization. It gives them a sense of belonging and makes them feel respected.

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Everyone Works Together

A toxic culture has employees working against one another. How is the business going to succeed when people are constantly butting heads or trying to sabotage their colleagues?

According to a study by SHRM, the relationship with coworkers is a more important factor than the relationship with immediate supervisors when it comes to employee engagement.

So when you’re interviewing a candidate, be sure to measure for culture fit. Find out whether they’re going to mesh well with others in your organization. Our Employee Engagement Report revealed that camaraderie is the number one reason why people go the extra mile.

Be Willing to Listen

A leader that has muted their employees’ voices is setting their organization up for failure. But a manager that listens to feedback and does nothing about it is also in the same position.

There are two steps when it comes to listening to your employees’ feedback. The first is to be willing to listen to what people in your organization have to say — no matter their job title or position. And the second is to commit to acting on the feedback. After all, you can’t improve anything if you don’t take action.

Being a leader and managing people is tough. We get it. But change doesn’t happen overnight. Follow those three steps, and you’ll create a positive culture where employees will thrive.


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