6 Warning Signs of Toxic Business Culture
6 ways to prevent toxic culture within your team and how to remedy the situation if you encounter these behaviors.
February 14 | 4 min
As a business owner, you have to make sure operations run smoothly. You also have to establish a foundation to ensure your quality is up to par. It is also important that your employees stay grounded in your core values. The culture of your business is essential for smooth operations. That means no toxicity and no unprofessionalism. If your company culture is subpar, then your business will be too. If your team is constantly hiring, firing, and quitting, then it’s time for some internal investigation. This guide shows some of the signs to watch out for and some types of management that foster good company culture inside and out.
Don’t Focus on the Bottom Line
Your bottom line is important. However, too much focus on this takes time away from other tasks, such as developing your product and services or moving forward with your business plan. Too much focus on just one thing can wreak havoc on your culture and business. Your employees want to know that they aren’t just numbers or placeholders. Your team should feel motivated, so it is important to engage with your employees and ensure that they feel valued.
Empathy Is Essential
This is a soft skill that often gets overlooked. But, as a founder, you need to be able to engage with your team on a human level. You need to maintain an interest in each of them and their lives. A company that really cares about its team delivers great results. Just look at Google and Facebook: the empathy index placed these companies in the top positions and both are extremely successful today. So, when you are hiring and overseeing your team, make empathy a top priority.
No One Likes a Micromanager
Micromanaging slows down work and puts your team under unnecessary pressure. Your team should be able to work autonomously. If they need help with something, they should reach out to management. If managers never trust their teams to work independently, team members may not have as much respect for them (and for the company itself) and eventually leave.
Avoid Hyper-Competition at All Costs
Competition can be a good thing, but it can take a turn very quickly. Hyper-competition can create a wedge between employees. If your company culture rewards individual advantage in place of contributing to the overall team, some employees may overstep ethical bounds. Instead, try celebrating your team for their accomplishments to encourage teamwork and collaboration.
Leave the Gossip Behind
This isn’t high school anymore. Gossip adds nothing to your team and can be toxic to your company. It can create a detrimental work environment and lead to termination. Hiring, rehiring, and training is costly. As a founder, you need to act quickly if you discover any gossip within your business. Talk to your team as a group, speak directly to the culprits, and resolve the conflicts as quickly and calmly as possible.
Break the Bad Habits
Your management should set a good example for your team. If they are coming in to work late, then your team will as well. The more dedicated the managers are, the more a strong work ethic will spread throughout the company. Employees will look to management and reflect what they do.
As a founder, you need to hire the best people for your startup and act quickly to remedy any situations that arise within your team. Your employees need to be disciplined and professional. But, either way, you should always be understanding. You should view your team as valuable and unique human beings. You (the founder) and your management should set the example of what professional hustlers look like — keep things cool and under control, respect each other, get to work on time, and find healthy ways to collaborate. Above all, when hiring and overseeing your team members, remember that we are all human and working toward the same goal: success.