In the world of business, Culture plays a huge role in shaping its success. A healthy and vibrant culture will enjoy employee engagement, high productivity, and a constant stream of new ideas and continuous improvement. On the flip side, a toxic Culture will have significant impact on how its people behave, the performance of the business and its reputation.

It’s crucial to recognise the signs that indicate your Culture may need attention, so you can take ownership and do something about it before it’s too late. In this article, we’ll explore the top 7 issues that businesses face when their Culture is in trouble:

1. People are leaving

One of the most obvious signs of a problematic Culture is high staff turnover. When you notice a stream of people are jumping ship, this tells you they are dissatisfied and disengaged. Losing key staff, particularly your high performers, has a huge impact on productivity and will cost you a fortune in recruitment and training, not to mention losing valuable knowledge from your top talent leaving

2. Low Morale

Pay attention if your people appear demotivated, as it could suggest a cultural issue. A toxic culture can destroy morale and will impact output and its quality of service. Low morale is like a virus that’s heavily contagious – it spreads fast throughout the business like wildfire if not faced head on

3. Poor Communication

Effective communication is the lifeblood of any successful business. If your company Culture lacks open and transparent communication channels, it can lead to misunderstandings, conflicts, and a lack of collaboration across teams. If communication is poor or non-existent, no one will understand the direction your business is heading, decision-making will be impossible, innovation stifled, and you can kiss goodbye to anyone enjoying their day and working with purpose

4. Forming of Silos

In a fragmented Culture you’ll notice that your staff don’t work together and the sum is not greater than the parts. Silos will be formed and there will be no collaboration or active sharing of knowledge and ideas. When people work independently and are head down in their own world all of the time, you’ll see duplicated work efforts, a ton of inefficiency, and a missed opportunity to share collective wisdom

5. Resistance to Change

A healthy Culture is the epitome of growth-mindedness, where change is seen as an opportunity for learning, experimentation, and innovation. If your culture is resistant to change, it can massively slow down the growth of your business and its growth. If your people resist new initiatives, technology advancements, or process improvements, you simply won’t be able to stay competitive

6. Inability to Attract Top Talent

A strong company Culture is a magnet for top talent. If your culture is outwardly perceived as negative, there’s no way you have a chance of attracting and retaining top talent. Your culture has a huge part to play in your overall employer brand, and if it has a bad reputation, you won’t ever access to the best candidates in the market

7. Ethical Issues

Dealing with full-blown ethical and misconduct issues is the worst nightmare of every Business Owner, but it’s important to recognise that a toxic Culture breeds dishonesty and a lack of integrity. Consequences can be severe, potentially leading to a damaged business reputation and legal recourse. If you don’t have clear Company Values, you have no way of setting and measuring the bar of behaviour that’s acceptable and calling people out and managing misalignment when it appears

In Summary

Building and sustaining a healthy Culture is absolutely essential for the long-term success of any business. By recognising the signs that suggest cultural problems, you can take proactive steps now to making yours a better place to work.

This is not only vital for you as a Business Owner, but also shows you’re doing the right thing by your people. Everyone has the right to be purposeful in their day job, feel they are contributing to something bigger, have clear direction in their role, and enjoy a safe and inclusive place to work