How do you know if you have an unhealthy or worse, a toxic culture? Well consider some important indicators. Do you have a poor retention rate or do you have a stressful work environment? What about your employees job satisfaction and productivity levels, are they so low that you are embarrassed to even acknowledge them? If your employees don’t feel respected or empowered to utilize their unique abilities, they will never be connected to the company’s core purpose. Thus, creating the endless revolving door. The signs and symptoms of an unhealthy culture are numerous. I know you’re thinking, are these really the results of a bad culture? The answer is, YES!
The first step to turning these devastating trends around is acknowledging that a problem exists. When I speak with HR directors and Chief Learning Officers they ask me, “Can culture really be the cause of our under performing business?” I ask them, “Have you tried to internally fix these issues on your own”? They reply that they have and I respond by, “how has that gone?” That is usually when I get that awkward pause of silence.
Once it has been established that the one key thing they have ignored is culture, change can occur.
After we have determined the root cause is a poor culture, there are 7 key questions to consider before beginning the cultural change process.
1. How committed is leadership to do their part in the cultural transformation process?
2. Cultural transformation is a day-to-day process, is middle management committed to stick with the process and encourage their teams?
3. How important is cultural change to the future success of the company?
4. Is the communication process strong enough within the company to gain traction?
5. On a scale of 0-10 what’s the company’s overall commitment to the process?
6. Has the company had success in the past with previous corporate training programs?
7. Is the company aware that it can take up to 2 years to fully implement cultural change?
How you answer these questions will determine your level of success. Changing culture can be hard and takes time, especially if the culture is toxic. Inevitably, you will identify those who want to be a part of the change and those who don’t. That’s ok; you only want people who believe in what you believe in. When you get this right, everything changes. The company finally has the right people to create the environment and culture that will lead to unparallel growth and success.