When your business started out, it was probably just you striving to make it a success. But after a while your efforts paid off, and now you have a team of people working together to make your business a success. But when you start to bring other people into the business, your company will develop a culture – a way of working and behaving that is unique to your business. Most of the time it’s great, but sometimes company culture can turn bad, tainting the effectiveness, motivation and happiness of your employees, as well as projecting a negative image into the marketplace. It’s not really something any business wants. That’s why it’s important to spot the designs of a bad company culture early, and know how to fix it before the change becomes permanent. 
Unmotivated Employees 
 
If you suddenly find yourself constantly dealing with unmotivated employees, you should be taking a good look at the culture of your business. Employees who are present but not engaged in their work, or who don’t see the point or benefit of their tasks is one of the clearest warning signs of a bad culture. If you see this, you can try to shift the focus onto employee recognition, improving communications and maybe even bringing employees into the early discussions around a project to create a feeling of involvement and accountability. 
 
Dissatisfaction and Workforce Anxiety 
 
Are your usually high performing employees delivering you sub-par results? Or maybe your employees aren’t getting the support they need, leading to a lot of question asking and seeking reassurance. Unclear vision, poor employee development programmes and miscommunication from management makes this one of the factors in a bad corporate culture. Here, you can start by having open an honest conversation with your employees, address their concerns and actively search for a solution that benefits everyone. This could mean hiring a new employee to lighten a crippling workload, or allowing for flexible working hours to aid in time management. Acknowledging the challenge and taking steps to fix it will go a long way here. 
 
High Employee Turnover 
 
High employee turnover, where you are constantly having to hire new employees to replace those who have resigned and left, is another warning sign of a negative company culture. While bigger companies sometimes see high turnover as part of their business model, if a smaller business is always having to hire for the same position, alarm bells should be ringing. To fix this you will need to find out why people are leaving, and work on resolving those issues across the board. 
 
Being All Things To All People 
 
Having a few different types of task to do within your job role is perfectly normal. Having one person serving several different roles can lead to a seriously bad feeling in your business. It causes burnout and frustration for employees, a serious lack of productivity, and it shows them that you don’t recognise them for their individual strengths or know how to delegate. If you’re suffering from this, you need to look at the list of roles each person has, and if you see multiples (such as office manager and HR, which are often lumped together), separate them. This could mean hiring a new employee or outsourcing that job, but it will be worth it. 
 
Failure To Meet Deadlines And Goals 
 
Every good business has goals, and good managers will set goals and deadlines for their team to meet. The success of most projects is based on its delivery time, and if your projects are always coming in late, you have a problem. The root is usually in poor communication and a lack of collaboration, both of which can be solved by management taking a more active role in the process. When deadlines are discussed with the employee doing the work and management have made sure they understand its significance, you are much more likely to see things delivered on time. 
 
The signs of a bad company culture aren’t always complaining employees or KPI’s not being met. As a manager, it’s your job to keep an eye out for the signs that something is wrong and address it, before it has time to seep into your company culture and become a normal thing. At A J HR Solutions, we help business owners and managers just like you to understand and recognise these warning signs, as well as how to fix the underlying problems and create a positive, thriving company for the future. If you aren’t sure if your employees are happy, we’d love to help. For more information, just get in touch with us today
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