Avoiding Terrible Company Culture

From thinking ‘perks equals culture’ to trying too hard on implementing activities you don’t quite understand, there are multitudes of ways one can create a terrible culture. These types of mistakes can easily come from either ignorance of what a ‘culture’ actually is, or ignorance to the environment and opinions of the actual workers. Below, we’ll be discussing what defines a terrible company culture, how it impacts your company and possibly, how to cure or avoid them.

The Mistake of Trying to be ‘Hip with the Kids’

Taking our eyes off the best examples from large companies like Google and Facebook, many smaller companies or even big company’s branches have made some poor decisions. Those poor decisions being trying too hard to appeal to millennials. Below is a quick list of what some mistakes might do.

  • Pointing out the term ‘millennial’ could actually turn off millennials.
  • Doing ‘group activities’ with things such as songs and bright t-shirts would disengage and make most people feel awkward instead of as a ‘bonding experience’.
  • Putting in a lot of recreational perks in the hopes that it boosts your company culture, thinking it’s what millennials want.

You read that right. Many companies, even today, think that it is enough to simply put in bean bags, a ping pong table, motivational quotes on the walls, and proudly think they have a fun and creative culture. Yet, while they puff their chest in pride, they fail to see the employees hanging around the break room; gossiping and complaining about incoherent tasks and uncaring managers.

This dangerous way of thinking should be avoided by trying to understand what a ‘creative work culture’ actually means.

The Mistake of Apathy

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Countless companies are cold and apathetic to their employees both in welfare and in engagement, caring only about results. Even if things are not that extreme, many companies still rely on a cut-throat competition based culture that is actually dangerous to have. Disengagement from this kind of environment can cause up to 33% of the annual decline in income. With over 80% of workers feeling pressured to be productive rather than creative, said companies are more prone to resignations and voluntary turnovers by up to 40%. Beyond that, companies that disregard the flexibility of work time for the employees’ personal appointments risks to have workers’ mental health issues.

Curing Bad Company Culture

Whether the company is overzealous in the pursuits of a better culture without understanding, or the complete opposite, lacking a culture that supports the employees’ work may in fact damage itself. While a company does not need to fully embrace the new-age ‘creative’ work style (Such as no dress codes, free foods, recreational room, etc) there are some things every company could and should do. Below are some of them.

Involvement

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When it comes to engagement to a culture around the workplace, you can’t simply hope that the easy way of buying recreational things to work. It’s always more valuable and appreciated when involvement is put into the table. Be it from a higher up giving more personal advice and opinions or junior workers have a chance to put their ideas and thoughts up there. Some companies do this, but they don’t go so far as to encourage it.

Transparency

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Transparency among the workers is an aspect that is often overlooked. Many companies keep everything on a need-to-know basis. However, the truth is that a lot of employees are motivated more if they understand the company clearer. This gives them a sense of actual belonging, that the more they know about the place they work for, the more that they feel like a part of it all, instead of like a drone to do biddings.

Communication

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Good communication is the foundation of a good team. And the office is just a place where multiple teams work together as a big one. In an ideal world, everyone would be friends with each other and open up by default but that is not the case. At the very least, however, it is a good start to encourage friendly behavior so that people become more at ease with sharing ideas and opinions. Even as little as communicating to vote for the next company outing or activity is already a step forward rather than forcing everyone to join in something they didn’t agree with.

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