10 Signs of an Unhealthy Company Culture

The higher up you get at a company the less some people are going to tell you what they really think. Here are some ways that might help you to read between the lines.

1. Playing favorites. Some employees have frequent contact with you, resulting in a strong bond. He or she pleased with you and your company. But others don’t get much support—coaching, mentoring or encouragement—from their managers and colleagues.
2. Bending the rules too much. As a caring boss, you make sure that employees have the time off and extra resources to tend to urgent personal needs. But many of your team members may be frustrated by the low productivity of these high-maintenance employees.
3. Employees fear taking risks. Your team members seem reluctant to introduce innovation, despite your encouragement to adopt new approaches. If you’ve blamed your employees for missteps when they made good-faith efforts to execute new initiatives, you haven’t adopted the right kind of caring.
4. Employees are defensive. Whenever you rightly point out an area that needs improvement or a problem that needs a remedy, employees react defensively. If honest dialogue is rare, then employees don’t feel supported enough to function effectively.
5. Employees give only positive feedback. Though positive feedback from employees seems to indicate a lack of problems, that may not be the case. People may not complain because they sense that negative comments are unwelcome.
6. Talented people giving average performance. Talented people want to deliver great results, not only for your business but also for their resumes. If your star employees are delivering average sales, productivity and profitability, they are not getting what they need from you.
7. Customers complain often. Customer responses to your company reflect their treatment by employees, particularly your front-line staff. Lots of complaints means that the caring culture you’ve tried to create has either not reached everyone or seems so contrived that customers are dissatisfied rather than delighted.
8. Hearing bad news too late. You are unable to salvage relationships because customers abandon your company without fair warning. The complaints that seemed like isolated minor concerns turn out to be really serious ones. Customers are frustrated with your company’s failure to provide them with fresh, relevant solutions to their problems. And your employees are discouraged about the company’s ineffectiveness.
9. Issues are repeated in meetings. If you hear about the same problems over and over, it’s likely that there is little or no effective action being taken to deal with them
10. Families are not coming to company parties. If employees routinely come solo to get-togethers, it may indicate that spouses have a negative view of the company. The caring you’ve shown probably doesn’t balance excessive time demands, poor working conditions or the lack of opportunities for professional advancement.

(via OPEN Forum)

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