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Is Company Culture Hurting Your Bottom Line?

Dec05
Employee engagement is critical to your business's bottom line. Study after study has shown that passionate employees are an absolute must for organizations. And according to a 2012 report from McKinsey, companies with top scores in employee motivation are about 60 percent more likely to rank high for overall business health.

The problem is, most U.S. workers aren’t engaged. A recent Gallup survey reveals that just 30 percent of the U.S. workforce feel passionate about their jobs and feel a connection to their employers. Gallup estimates that the resulting lost productivity costs the U.S. economy up to $450 billion each year.

But this isn’t your fault.

It’s easy to blame employees, but organizations need to dig deeper. It’s human to desire peer recognition, learning opportunities, and freedom to explore. Disengagement stems from the fact that employees feel micromanaged, undervalued, and exhausted.

Do you have a poisonous work environment? Here are four subtle signs that your company culture is costing your business:

Managers Don’t Give Public Praise

A manager’s core job is to empower his or her employees and give credit where credit is due. If employee recognition is sparse at your organization, it could be a sign that your managers are casting a dark shadow over team member accomplishments.

People have an innate desire to feel valued and heard. Let their individual contributions shine, and they’ll work harder for continued recognition. When managers take all the credit, team members will feel deflated and demotivated.

Employees are Hesitant to Say ‘No’

Healthy workplaces thrive on diverse opinions. It’s normal – and valuable – for team members to engage in debates before arriving at a consensus.

If everybody is saying ‘yes’ from the get-go, it could be a sign that team members are afraid to express their true opinions. Instead, they put on a less-than-authentic smile and just go with the flow.

You hired your employees for their skills, background, and insights. If they’re not speaking up, their talents will go to waste. And that costs your company money.

The Office Gets Cliquey

Cliques attract negativity. Just think back to your awkward junior high days when gossiping, exclusion, and bullying were the norm.

The workforce sometimes doesn’t feel much different.

It’s natural for some employees to become better friends than others. But when individuals are actively excluded from lunches, coffee breaks, and happy hours, company culture and morale will suffer.

Your team members are together for at least eight hours a day. Cliques create unhealthy office dynamics – especially when there is no alternative social ‘scene.’

Blame Games are Rampant

Failure is natural to organizational growth. People are human, and they make mistakes. Projects can take a wrong turn. In healthy work environments, employees feel comfortable enough to hold themselves – and their circumstances – accountable.

Toxic cultures are much more cutthroat. Team members would rather blame each other than examine shortcomings with a logical and objective eye.

Fear will Squash your Bottom Line

Blame games, cliques, groupthink, and overshadowed employees are signs of a company culture run by fear, and a business where team members don’t feel comfortable to be themselves.

Your organization needs to empower team members to feel their best. Praise them. Value their contributions. Encourage them to speak their minds, and take their considerations seriously. These subtle changes can make a world of difference to your company’s bottom line.