5 Ways Your Company Could Be Growing Toxic Organizational Values

by Dora Wang on Mar 25, 2015 11:00:00 AM

5 Ways Your Company Could Be Growing Toxic Organizational ValuesHaven’t gotten around to creating your company values statement yet? Or perhaps you have, but you haven’t done anything with it. Maybe you think (or hope) that you can put values on the back burner and just implement them when you get around to it.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Organizational values aren’t like an empty canvas, waiting for you to pick up a brush and make a mark. They’re more like garden — you can wait to plant the seeds, but in the meantime, sneaky weeds are going to pop up.

And just what are those weeds? Here are five examples:

1. Cliques instead of teams: If one of your values is teamwork, but you don’t put time into establishing communication channels and organizing team-building activities, then your employees will drift into groups that don’t know how to connect with others. Worst case scenario, you’ll end up with competition instead of cooperation.

2. Unfriendly faces: Want to prioritize customer service? Then train your employees in what that means. How should they talk to agitated customers? When should they make exceptions to company policies in order to make them happy? Without a company-wide effort to instill this value, you risk your workforce focusing only on quotas or profit margins.

3. Glass half-empty: How will your employees react when stress levels rise? Sure, some people are natural optimists who will stay upbeat, but it’s easy for a lot of people to fall prey to negative attitudes. The only way to avoid that is for the company to send a clear message about how to handle difficult times. Don’t shy away from bad news, and make sure to provide support for your employees so they can meet their challenges.

4. Stuck in a rut: Creativity and innovation drive businesses, so they might be part of your values. But it can be easy to fall into a pattern and stay there, especially if it’s working well. In order to keep pushing forward and not let yourself fall behind the competition, your company must actively push for new ideas and encourage people to take creative risks.

5. He said, she said: Transparency drives employee happiness. But you have to work at it. Don’t keep people in the dark about company news or big changes, or else they’ll start to rely on the rumor mill. That kind of environment breeds secrecy and mistrust instead of open communication.

So how should you spread your company’s values? The Complete Guide to Organizational Values will help you create a memorable values statement and spread it throughout your company, so your company will be guided by the values you truly want.

 

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This post was written by Dora Wang

Dora is an employee engagement researcher for TINYpulse and managing editor of TINYinstitute. Having grown up in Texas, she is now firmly settled in Seattle, where she spends her free time reading comic books, wrangling her three cats, and (of course) rooting for the Seahawks.

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