Company Culture in the Crapper? Here’s How to Fix It
One of the most common goals for businesses is to create and maintain a positive company culture. However, it is often seen that when these programs have been established, all support is suddenly stopped. Having a great company culture isn’t just about creating one, but also maintaining and evolving the plan as time goes on. Failure to do so will eventually lead to a poor company culture, and all of the problems that can come with it. So, what can you do when your company culture seems to have gone down the toilet? Here are a few ways to fix it.
In order to understand that you have a problem, you need to admit that there is a problem. Your employees will often be the first to experience these issues, and when they notice that management won’t even acknowledge them, it can cause further damage. Even if you are actively working towards a solution, hiding it can seem like you are simply trying to put a band-aid on the situation. Therefore, it is incredibly important to communicate to your employees that you acknowledge that there is an issue with the company culture and that you and your team are actively working towards a solution. It should be noted that you must also accept responsibility for the way things have turned out. Taking these important steps won’t only put your staff’s minds at peace, but they are more likely to work with you when the time comes to implement a new approach.
Create a Safe Environment for Communication
Fixing a company culture can be a very tense time in your business. Thus, it is crucial to create a safe environment where employees can share their thoughts privately or anonymously without the fear of experiencing any form of repercussion. Note that you should not rely on the chain of command as some employees may not be comfortable speaking with certain members of your management team. Instead, implement ways of allowing people to share their concerns with yourself and your team anonymously. If they wish to speak to you and your team more directly, this can be enabled through an open-door policy. Often times, you will find out that your employees can provide you with some of the best approaches to this issue.
Your goal in terms of communication is also to the way people are heard. This may be viewed as a psychological change of sorts. After all, an employee who is scared or jaded about previous conversations may not tell you the whole truth. Instead, listen with compassion and use your body language to reassure them that their issue is important to you. This will encourage them to open up.
Hold Yourself & Others Accountable
Fixing a company culture isn’t just about writing out a new plan. Sometimes difficult actions need to be taken in order to make your new approach work. Thus, it is advised that you hold those who have been guilty of promoting a hostile work environment be accountable. This may mean a suspension, re-training, or even letting them go from your company entirely. This is not an easy thing to come to terms with, but if your company is going to truly move forward with positive company culture, these actions must be implemented.
Set the Tone
As the leader of your company, people naturally turn to you for direction. This will be no different when you begin to change the company culture. Although everyone obviously wants a positive company culture to be established, the manner in which they get there is up to you. Thus, it is important to set a clear outline of your ideas, proposals, and the parts of your current approach that you wish to remove.
Create a New Plan
One of the worst things that can happen is putting all your time and resources into a plan, only to see it be rejected. Thus, it is highly recommended to come up with a vision and present a rough plan for your employees. Make it clear that it’s a rough plan and that suggestions and concerns are welcomed. This can be done through small group discussions or a face-to-face meeting. In this rough plan, show that not only have you listened to them, but that their feedback will be implemented in one way or another. You may use these presentations to gauge the mood in the room and how everyone reacts to certain parts of your plan.
Dedicate Time & Resources
Fixing a broken company culture is not something that can be done overnight. A few meetings here and there are not going to be enough to repair what may be years of neglect on your part. So, in order to truly make a new and credible plan, it is going to take hours of dedication and company resources to accomplish a positive end result. This can also be used to demonstrate to your management team how serious you are about this issue. After all, if the boss won’t take it seriously, they won’t either.
In speaking more about resources, this must be approached in a way that you can measure progress. This will allow you to determine what areas are working and which need more resources. Adding this data may also prove useful when demonstrating your efforts to shareholders at corporate events in Chicago and employees who might be skeptical of your sincerity.
Unfortunately, company culture is something that is often thrown to the back burner. There are a variety of reasons why this may happen, such as upper management being unaware, employees are afraid to speak out, or it just hasn’t become intolerable yet. However, you must take steps now to avoid the further deterioration of your company culture.
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