Simple Signs of a Bad Company Culture

A company culture is the value and practices that are agreed and shared among the members of the company. A bad company culture is important to fix quickly, as it can break the company.

Not every business or company is fortunate enough to have the ability to see the foresight of their company’s growth and culture. Culture is also building a meaningful relationships and an environment that people enjoy being in every day, and this evolve and will change over time.

At times, management may not realise that they have attained a set of bad company culture. You may wonder how are you able to know if your company culture is good or bad.

There are signs, simple signs from your employees to denote that your company culture is not suitable enough, and it is always best to pick up the simple signs of a bad company culture when it is just the start of it.

Here is a list of simple signs to lookout for when it comes to bad company culture.

All sorts of negative gossip

One of the signs of a bad company culture is when the office is filled with all sorts of gossip. Gossiping, in general is something that nobody should be doing. Even if it is not malicious, it diminished the organisation’s culture over time.

If management does not control the situation, cliques eventually form and employees find it comfortable among their own groups. They will start trash-talking and bullying their peers or their colleagues. Cliques unavoidably lead to gossip, and that is one of the biggest problems many organisations face.

It is important to have an office where everyone gets along in order to promote a more positive corporate culture. Do not encourage gossiping among colleagues and employees, and look out for those who seemed to be responsible for starting these gossips at the pantry or during lunch break.

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Have a word with them as avoid such issues may lead to something bigger that may be too difficult to be solved, or even too late.

Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.

― Henry Thomas Buckle

Picking up bad habits

We all of bad habits the we picked up along the way when we are at work or even at home, which we bring it to work as well. Some of these bad habits at the workplace include:

  • Procrastinating task
  • Having a negative mentality
  • Tardiness

As an employer, you should provide a positive company culture for your employees that motivate them. Remember that your leadership is the best indicator of the entire organisation and so employees’ bad tempers, sloppiness, lack of collaboration, and general attitude provide valuable insight into the health of the company.

Lack of team spirit

Another sign of a bad company culture is when there is a lack of team spirit. Remember that your company culture should be leaning towards positivity and encouragement towards your employees.

Employees should come to work every day more excited than the last and their attitude is driven by the shared beliefs of the company. There should be a need to have a deep care and belief in what the mission of the company is in order to delight customers and develop raving followers.

Do take note that the moment an employee stops believing in the company and taking pride in their job significance, that is soon to be a downfall in the organisation.

Unfriendly competition

Nothing beats a competition at the workplace. A friendly competition to find out who gets the highest sales for the quarter or who gets the ‘Employee of the Month’ award is a couple of exciting ways to encourage a pool of dedicated employees.

A friendly competition is a great thing to have at the workplace as it drives employees to work hard among their peers, and even when they get to learn how the ‘winner’ managed to achieve their goals.

However, it is not great when the competition gets ugly and too competitive. You know you have an unpleasant culture when employees spend more time competing with each other than with external forces.

Decrease in engagement

Let’s not forget the simplest sign of a bad company culture to look out for is the decrease in employee engagement. Employee engagement is a vital part of a company’s culture. It is something that comes from employees being on the same page, understanding the mission and vision of the company and also knowing how they can contribute through the work they do.

An engaged employee is one that helps to make the culture great through his or her interactions and overall interest in every aspect of the company. When the engagement decreases, it only goes to show that your employees are not interested in their work or in the company anymore. They tend to remove themselves from company events or functions.

bad company culture

bad company culture

Lack of Empathy

When your employees genuinely care about those around them and take a keen interest in making them better, the entire business benefits. However, when they start to think for themselves and does not show any empathy or compassion, it only takes the company downhill.

People are more likely to blame others instead of assisting them. When colleagues start to feel like they cannot rely on each other any longer, getting the best out of your teams is going to be a challenge and soon there will be lack of team spirit.

Real learning comes about when the competitive spirit has ceased.

― Jiddu Krishnamurti

Focus on perks not culture

Sometimes, the reason why there is bad company culture in the workplace is due to the misunderstanding of perks and culture. Lately, there have been talks on offices with gyms and free workplace meditation classes, along with gourmet cafeterias, or the company just purchased a new ping-pong table.

Management often believe that their company’s perks are also their company culture, which is incorrect. Having a great workplace culture is not about perks and most of the time, employee perks are not enough.

At great workplaces, culture does not disappear at the first sign of financial trouble. Being a great workplace even in tough times is crucial to sustainable success. And that great culture has little to do with the common conception of a perks-focused workplace.

Remember that perks only enhance the company culture, but perks are not the company culture.

In Summary

Hopefully with this list it can help you spot if your company culture is actually assisting the company in achieving a positive workplace environment or it actually deters you from soaring.

Good luck!

Heryati R

Heryati R

Heryati is a member of the customer success team at 6Q, and is based in Perth, Western Australia. Heryati enjoys writing, reading and live music. She believes 6Q is awesome for employee engagement surveys.