corporate culture and employees

Why Your Ping Pong Tables Aren’t Working

5 Minute Read

Let’s get real about corporate culture

You have no idea why your culture sucks. It just does. You bought the ping-pong tables. You started Happy Hour Fridays. You even do the obligatory birthday cakes for your employees. The problem is that none of this has made a difference; your organization still seems lackluster.

People just don’t click. They can’t communicate. Your turnover rates are on the rise; and the employees you do keep don’t seem like they want to be there. Getting people to work together, collaborate, and have a normal conversation is like pulling teeth. And those words you had so beautifully hung on the wall seem meaningless.

Here are some signs that your corporate culture is out of control:

  • People don’t want to work for you (or your company).
  • Team members are working against each other.
  • There is drama between departments, divisions, or locations.
  • Individuals talk about each other; you may even see some bullying.
  • Leaders are going in circles about the same issues; things feel stagnant.
  • Leaders and employees don’t trust each other and there are cycles of collusion.
  • Ideas are unremarkable because people are holding back.
  • Employees aren’t being heard; and your organization has lost its edge.
  • People aren’t productive, wasting valuable time and money.

 

All you want is for people to trust each other, support each other, and actually enjoy working together. You need to find out why your culture is the way it is; and you need to do it quickly.

It might not be your people. 

Your decline in culture can stem from many issues. Sometimes the things you would consider to be positive changes can actually be your problem. And because they’re “good” things, they might not even hit your radar. Has your company recently gone through rapid growth? Did you have a change in company leadership? Did you recently update or implement a new process? Has an influential person either joined or left the organization? A ping-pong table isn’t going to fix how people deal with change, or each other, for that matter.

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“You have to find the root cause in order to actually correct a corporate culture problem.”

While no company is perfect, high performing organizations have a clear understanding of where they are going and everyone understands how they support the effort to get there. People believe that their co-workers’ intentions are good and give them the benefit of the doubt even when things don’t go well.

Here are some things you can do to take back control of your culture:

Get people excited again.

We know; that’s easier said than done. But when people are excited, they talk to each other. They share stories. And they’re more engaged. You must encourage people to use their voice. You have to give them authority to make decisions and take ownership of their work. Most importantly, you need to involve them in the important decisions and make it okay for people to talk about their concerns. Show them how they contribute and allow them to be a part of it. Trust them to do the job that they were hired for.

Stop addressing symptoms.

 You have to find the root cause in order to actually correct a corporate culture problem. Sometimes you can do that by having 1:1s with employees; other times they might feel more comfortable with an anonymous survey. Growth and change is scary, and not everyone is open to talking about their fears. That can cause them to disengage. Stay aware, watch for signs, and start doing a little digging. You need to gather some data and get rid of the “gut check,” communicate the plan to the employees, and then act on it.

Change the way you think about work.

 An article by Business Insider detailed the findings that Microsoft saw by switching to a 4-day workweek. Productivity increased by 40%. While this is an extreme example for some companies, it took someone with an open mind to initiate such a change. Be fearless. Other things they tried were reducing meetings to a 30-minute limit and encouraging remote communication. The bottom line is that they changed the way “they’ve always done it,” and inspired their people with options and flexibility.

Being an employer of choice requires senior leaders to work purposefully on the culture of their company. Remarkable leaders address more than just the symptoms of problems; they collaborate with others to get to the root cause and then take action. Employees are invited and encouraged to use their voice and become unified. People are highly productive and still have fun!

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“You have to find the root cause in order to actually correct a corporate culture problem.”

Without data you’re making decisions in the dark. For quick decisions, you often rely on your gut instinct. But when it comes to decisions that can change the future of your business, you need hard data. It’s time to stop your people from going rogue, and solve the culture problem once and for all.

revSCAN Organizational Health Assessment

People deserve to work in a company that has a clear direction and a culture to support it. But you first have to start by knowing what your organizational health actually is! For a limited time, you can get the data you need for FREE, and get your culture back on track. 

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