How to Know if Your Company Has a Culture Challenge: A Guide for CEOs and People Officers

By Gretchen Fox Palmer, CEO of MTO Agency and Creator of EQ @Work

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As a leader, one of your primary responsibilities is to ensure a healthy and productive workplace culture. A positive, emotionally healthy culture is directly tied to employee happiness, intent to stay, and churn, and has been proven for decades to drive performance and business success. 

However, many leaders are busy managing senior staff, and recognizing when your company is facing cultural challenges can be tricky. In this article, we’ll explore seven problematic behaviors that may indicate a culture problem within your organization and discuss strategies to address them effectively.

Company Culture: The Invisible Hand

Company culture is the invisible hand that guides the behavior, attitudes, and performance of your employees. It’s the soil in which your organization either flourishes or withers. Have you taken a moment to assess whether your workplace culture is fostering growth or stifling progress? Consider the atmosphere in your office: Are your employees overwhelmed and stressed? Is there a disconnect between stated values and everyday actions? Do you notice signs of hostility, prevalent gossip, or difficult personalities dominating the environment?

Learn more about these challenging behaviors

Pay close attention to the frequency and recency of these behaviors and how widespread they are, as they can signal underlying cultural issues within your organization and serve as indicators of the severity of the situation.

Cultivating a Positive Company Culture

A revealing statistic published by @wired indicates that a staggering 70% of the 31,000 people surveyed struggle with the pace and volume of their work. This underscores the critical importance of assessing and cultivating a positive company culture. Ignoring these signs can lead to burnout, high turnover rates, and a toxic work environment that hampers both personal and organizational growth.

Survey and Feedback: Start by engaging directly with your team. A simple yet powerful tool is a culture survey. Our team has developed a complimentary, confidential survey designed to uncover real insights into employee well-being at your company. It’s an invaluable tool for any business serious about improving its workplace environment.

Continuous Improvement: Remember, building a thriving company culture is not a one-time effort but an ongoing journey. Regularly soliciting feedback, acting on it, and demonstrating a commitment to your employees’ well-being are key steps in this process. Make your organization a place where people are excited to come to work each day, and watch as your business reaps the rewards of a motivated and engaged workforce.

See how our EQ @Work program measures success through the research and diagnostic data we deliver to our clients.

By prioritizing a healthy workplace culture, you can create an environment where employees feel valued, motivated, and empowered to contribute to the success of your organization. Invest in initiatives that promote employee engagement, such as professional development opportunities and recognition programs, and cultivate a culture of accountability. Through these efforts, your company can not only attract but also retain top talent, fostering a culture that thrives on collaboration and respect.

Find out what your team thinks with this Four Question Culture Survey

Ready to empower your team and inspire performance? Book a consulting call with our team to get started.