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There are more than a few businesses that seem pretty fresh, interesting, and captivating from the outside. However, there’s a whole new picture under their polished surface. And, the fact is, candidates will eventually smell if something’s not quite right in a firm. And so will employees and potential clients or buyers. Bad company culture can destroy your super-human efforts to maintain a positive reputation in a snap. Beware, and make sure to assess your values, organization, and aims carefully. And refine your ways regularly. Because good and bad company culture come with massive consequences, and it’s up to you to pick a path. 

Beware: Spot bad company culture traits quickly

In this segment, we’ll speak out to candidates. Did you ever read a perfect job ad, decided to take your chance and apply, and then felt over the Moon when they’ve invited you over for an interview? But then, the second you walked in, something just felt off. That’s more than a gut feeling – because there are numerous signs of bad company culture. Some of them are easy to see, while others take a bit more knowledge, careful observation, or clairvoyant abilities. So, let’s go for the most simple and realistic options & list a few red flags that give away a poor culture: 

  • No clear list of core values and objectives
  • Lots of hearsay in the office
  • Unhealthy employee competition
  • Long working hours and insanely short breaks
  • Lack of growth opportunities and no appreciation for showing initiative
  • Problematic way of handling criticism and public disapproval of employees efforts

Also, if the same vacancy was promoted over and over again, and you see that a firm has some seriously hard time finding their match, be sure to double-check what keeps them stuck. Little or no hiring from within can be a major signal something’s rotten in the state of management – or beyond. 

Bad company culture: example

So, as we said, a company’s corporate culture can make or break its future. And we have mentioned a few toxic traits you should keep an eye on (and run for your dear work-life balance while you still have it – or fight them if they’re affecting your firm). But now is the time to get even more in-depth. 

So, first of all, how do you know if a company has a bad culture? Well, according to all social studies conducted over the past few years, Millennials and Gen Z candidates and employees love to talk. They’re likely to leave a review. And even more likely to read tons of them before even considering an employer. So, if you’re not one of the digital-savvy job seekers, turn that attitude around. Make sure to watch out for the comments, testimonials, and the ways a company responds to them. Pro tip: not responding at all is also a red flag. 

But just in case your browsing and screening powers fail you, know that bad company culture examples come in all shapes – and here’s a major one: employee burnout

Surely, poor management or tight deadlines are not always the key reasons one feels anxious, trapped, or exhausted. Still, being shot to pieces every time you need to perform a daily task is usually a clear sign of workplace toxicity. Excessive, prolonged, work-related stress leads to poor performance, lack of creativity, and more. Worse yet, it can cause severe physical and mental health issues. 

Effects of bad company culture can be devastating

Now, here’s where employers and managers really need to tune in. Low engagement, poor performance, and ridiculously high rates of absenteeism are some of the most dangerous effects of bad company culture. But there’s even more to it. Here’s what could go wrong, triggered by everything that’s listed above:

  • A business will lose lots of money and time,
  • Hiring will take much longer and will burn more cash,
  • Unethical behavior and trust issues will arise, which will impact employees’ well-being and motivation.

Ultimately, an employer who doesn’t promote a healthy working environment will face increased turnover rates. Not only that valuable people will leave, but they’ll never ever try to recommend their former employer to a friend or peer. So, it’s much of a vicious circle, where long, pointless processes, money losses, and general dissatisfaction rule. 

Benefits of an amazing company culture

Regardless of your line of work or the size of your team, an amazing company culture always pays off. So, chop-chop, and hop to it! Revisit your perks, values, and mission, and refine your ways. Because when you do, these are the key advantages to look forward to:

  • Better employee retention,
  • A strong brand and awesome reputation,
  • More simple, smooth, and cost-effective hiring,
  • Steady growth and efficient scaling,
  • Increased client or customer satisfaction,
  • More revenue gains.

Finally, your team will be much happier, which will let them stay focused on the prize, ready for success, and willing to amplify their skills – so you can grow together. 

Must-read tips: How do you fix a broken company culture?

We have covered some basic ground. Now, you can tell if a company has a problem with its culture (as in a broken public image and internal issues that need to be resolved fast). So, how do you deal with a bad work culture? Here are a few tested remedies: 

  • Start by finding out what your employees truly want and putting their well-being first,
  • Make a precise scope of work and give it meaning to help your squad understand that what they’re doing is priceless,
  • Stick with realistic expectations and help your crew prioritize and get the job done on time,
  • Be clear regarding the set of core values every team member must promote,
  • Organize training and offer various types of learning opportunities, including soft skills boosting and communication enhancement,
  • Use the right tools and simplify everything. 

Lastly, be extra sure that your managers are working on these goals. Teach them to listen actively and respond adequately. 

Get ready to start from the top

Now, even though the tips from the previous paragraph are tested and bound to drive awesome results, there’s something that must be done first. So, before you get on with choosing the right software for project management or enroll your staff in an online course, make sure to do these things:

  • Have a fully honest 1:1 with everyone, starting with your managers,
  • Include surveys and scales to find out what your people think and feel and how they perceive the environment,
  • Learn to give and receive feedback, even if it means learning the most unpleasant truth,
  • Consult your colleagues from similar companies and see how they deal with negative thoughts and notions regarding their workplaces,
  • Pay some extra attention to hiring and be aware of whether the time is right to hire for the attitude or whether you need specific skills ASAP. 

So now you only have one more crucial aspect to cover. Studies show that more than 90% of both employers and employees agree on one key thought – it’s essential to have the core values aligned. Be very clear about them and make them stand out. It is best to keep them visible by writing them on your “about” page. 

Need a partner? Mind the culture when going for a BPO company!

Companies choose outsourcing for numerous reasons. There’s a matter of time-saving, lowering the costs, simplifying many processes, and boosting quality. So, employers worldwide choose to rely on third-party teams that will help them out with customer service, marketing, SEO, software development, design, and much more. 

And while choosing the best BPO company, most focus on their skills, experience, and knowledge. However, culture does play a significant role here as well. You don’t want a dysfunctional, poorly organized team to take charge of parts of your work, right? So, when choosing the right outsourcing company, make sure to read their reviews well. Moreover, ask for a recommendation from a former client. But that’s also just one part of your thorough search. Look into their social media pages, website, and content before moving forward. And when speaking with them, ask the right questions to see how they truly operate. 

Recognize the signs of a bad company culture and follow this guide to fix it

Knowing how to spot the warning signs is crucial. From the candidates’ perspective, it means avoiding getting sucked into an abyss of working overtime or being constantly displeased by other factors. And from employers’ point of view, it’s vital to start fixing the issues the moment they arise. So, use this simple guide to assess and renew your culture. Because, in the long run – that’s what will truly matter.