They say culture eats strategy for breakfast, and they may have a point. But, like breakfast, culture has ingredients: the behaviours that create the atmosphere and patterns that everyone works within. Think for a moment about your morning muesli, and contemplate that old adage – “One bad apple…” It seems the staff at Business Grapevine might be thinking along similar lines, judging by their recent article, 5 warning signs of a TOXIC company culture.
For those that might be concerned, here’s the summary checklist:
- A lack of employee motivation
- Inauthentic leadershipHigh turnover rates
- Lack of communication
While culture can – indeed, should – be managed, it’s only reasonable to assume that the decision to create a culture with these characteristics is rarely that any intelligent organisation would take, but how many are mindful that these symptoms can arise surprisingly swiftly when behaviour goes either awry or unchecked?
No matter what our staff handbooks and codes of conduct might say, organisations are composed of people, and a degree of irrationality comes with the turf. But that does not mean all is lost. A recent Strategy & Business article profiling Maryam Kouchaki, an expert in the causes of unethical behavioural, included an important reminder:
[…] although we humans may be hardwired to react and behave in certain ways that may not always make us proud, we are by no means a lost cause.
This is just as well, given some of the findings of a recent McKinsey article, The hidden toll of workplace incivility, which charted some of the impact of toxic behaviours: […]