How To Change A Toxic Company Culture

Identifying a problem is the first step to fixing it. Acknowledging that your company culture may be toxic leaves room for you as an employer to assess areas of your organisation which are not in keeping with a positive company ethos. Once this first step has been taken, the second is to figure out a plan to transform your company culture from poisonous to positive.

A recent blog by our partners at Breathe provides a fantastic outline for recognising and solving the issues surrounding company culture. Building on what Breathe have said, here’s how you can start rebuilding a healthy company culture which satisfies you and your staff:

Understanding your current company culture:

Make informed changes to your organisation structure by identifying your company ethos and culture. Establish what sets you apart from your competitors and work to build on this. Find out from your employees what they love about the company, as well as any issues they may have.

A great way to do this can be through staff surveying. This identifies the current company culture, allowing you to develop an action plan to make positive changes to it. By having a surveying frequency system in place, employers can monitor the success of any changes made and continually reevaluate the approach taken to company culture.

Build a team that supports the company vision and attitude:

Negativity doesn’t just appear overnight. Encourage employees and managers to adopt your new positive approach to company culture, whilst being aware that this may not be possible for everybody. Ensure that everyone in the workplace feels safe and supported, by having measures in place which deal with bullying behaviour.

Equally, as an employer, promote the kind of behaviour you hope to see in your staff by thinking about the language and behaviours you use on a regular basis. Daily acts of kindness and respect go a long way in showing what kind of values and behaviours you aspire to as a company.

Communication is key:

As well as encouraging employee feedback, make sure there are other processes in place which enable clear communication between you and your team. By promoting the creation of Co Vision, which sets out your aims for what you as a company would like to achieve, a sense of transparency is created.

By being honest with your staff about the company’s vision, you empower them to make informed decisions about their work. Being honest with your team about the organisation, particularly during a difficult or stressful time, fosters a supportive environment within the workplace and so generates positive company culture.

Support your managers and invest in their development:

Whether they’ve been newly promoted or in their role for years, helping your managers set goals and encourage productivity from their team is a key way to develop a positive working environment. Promoting training for managers also gives them the chance to change and adopt the company’s new positive cultural attitude. Sending your managers on training courses also helps to develop their confidence in their role and strengthens the staffing structure of the company.

Hold yourself and others accountable:

The best way to lead is by example. Hold yourself accountable rather than trying to micromanage your team, and hopefully, they will follow your example. By setting long and short term goals, and promoting reflection on these, you’ll generate an environment which enables employees to succeed in what they’re trying to achieve.

Encourage regular feedback from employees and managers which will highlight any performance issues, and why these might be occurring. This will then place you, as an employer, in a position to help address these issues by offering additional support. Whether this is by ensuring workload is manageable or goals are attainable, supporting your staff is crucial to maintaining good company culture.

Recognition and Reward:

No one likes to feel unappreciated or unnoticed. By offering feedback on tasks performed well, or by using your employees' ideas (we’ve found chocolate also goes down well), you recognise the hard work of your staff. This helps generate long term company loyalty and overall success through sustained periods of positivity and hard work.

Build success by building relationships:

A sense of camaraderie and friendship can go a long way in the working environment. Developing a strong, positive company culture through making your employees feel welcome and supported is essential. Whether it be by team building challenges, organising after work dinner and drinks, or encouraging employee involvement with charity participation, creating a sense of unity helps to generate good company culture and drive out toxic behaviour.

Don’t wait to make changes to your company culture. Developments are continually ongoing and in need of refinement and reevaluation. Taking small steps now to improve and prioritise your company culture could reap big rewards in a few months. Work towards putting culture first. Download our free company culture checklist. Start using it today and make a positive impact. We can help. Contact us and find out more about our ideas on Culture & Engagement.


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