4 Ways to Avoid an Impending Culture Crash

Culture May 10, 2018

4 Ways to Avoid an Impending Culture Crash

Jason Richmond
Jason is passionate about helping large companies embrace outstanding culture. He engages with clients by sharing his passion for learning and instilling a sense of leadership and confidence with everyone.

Let’s face it- culture is no longer a buzzword and instead a must-have staple of any company vying for growth and success. Similarly, terms such as “inclusion” and “diversity” are commonplace with hundreds of articles being written about each respectively- seemingly on a daily basis. What about the steps to AVOID when creating culture, however? Micah Tesdall, Director of Operations for Rush Copley Medical Group, suggests that the following four behaviors of leaders will always result in a negative crash within your budding culture:

Talking Down to Employees

Tesdall notes that one of the quickest ways to derail culture is to have a leadership team that lacks the understanding of healthy communication skills, “talking down to employees- even in a corrective action situation- should be avoided at all costs.”

While there’s no avoiding moments when disciplinary actions are necessary, Tesdall suggests instead approaching the various situations with encouragement, while providing action plans for the employees to get back on track with what they were meant to be doing. “There’s no point in kicking an employee while they’re down- and it certainly doesn’t help to build trust between yourself and your team members.”

Not Providing Opportunities For Growth

“Employees want to know that there is room to grow within their roles and within the company”- and by not providing that, it’s likely there will be high turnover and unmotivated people throughout the company.

Tesdall explains that providing growth doesn’t necessarily have to come in the form of new job opportunities either, “just showing that you care about their personal or intellectual growth is important. From time to time I’ll find interesting and thought-provoking case studies or articles to share with my team. I’m not looking for any actual answers, just opinions and active communication because I want them to know that their ideas and views are valuable. Ultimately we need to show them that we care about them more than once a year during a mandatory survey or how it looks on paper.”

Failing to Keep Engagement High

Without an engaged employee base, companies are likely to see a downturn in productivity- and results that don’t match with their goals. “Keeping engagement high is difficult because what matters to people is constantly changing; what motivates people in 2017 may not be the same in 2018.”

Engagement metrics derived from things such as pulse surveys help to keep pace and deliver invaluable feedback. Other ways to maintain high engagement is:

  •    Practice open communication
  •    Task employees with team lead opportunities
  •    Set up mentorship programs
  •    Invest in them personally

Keeping Goals Too Broad to Connect With

Finally, Tesdall suggests creating targeted goals that are both specific to the organization and to the individual, “when employees can see and truly understand how their job impacts the company as a whole they take more ownership of the tasks at hand- and goals are often met at a faster rate. When setting goals, make them specific enough- all the way down to the individual- to connect them with the goal on a deeper level.”

Creating culture is no easy feat- and as many companies are quickly finding out, it has a lot more to do with the people and values that make up a company rather than things like sleep pods, free bikes and unlimited snacks that people originally associated with great culture. Taking Tesdall’s insights to heart, companies can avoid these pitfalls- and begin creating the type of culture their employees deserve.