Because we didn’t learn organizational culture design in school, most leaders are super uncomfortable with the entire idea of cultural design. Common thinking is that it feels too soft and unmeasurable and we don’t know where to starts and how to finish
Culture is a “problem” that has historically had few available solutions and according to extensive research 70% of employees aren’t as engaged as they can be.
Here are 8 common misunderstandings that have the power to sabotage any culture.
1. Companies live in the world of yesteryear when it comes to their processes and rules.
Every day, employees follow processes and rules that were designed for a time when the world worked differently. Those who wish to change the culture are challenged, undermined or under-appreciated by those who want to hold onto the past.
But, wether you like it or not, the world has changed.
To thrive, companies must create safe and empowered environments for employees to learn, contribute and take risks. Those who ask “why” are the ones who push your company forward. Listen to them.
2. Employee engagement is a monologue instead of a dialogue.
If you want to be successful, leaders must listen to employees. They must want to hear employees’ challenges, ideas and ambitions. That’s what a dialogue is. Most companies engage in monologue.
Even though management talks of culture and employee-centricity, real “centricity” is focused on building employee experiences and relationships….not just stakeholder and shareholder value.
Employee engagement should not be cost a center or a survey. It’s an investment.
3. Death-by-meeting is everywhere.
“I tried to change our culture but then I got stuck in meetings all day and my inbox is overflowing. One significant sign of a culture that fears taking the risks needed to compete is a day filled with meetings.
Meetings make people feel important. Meetings make people feel safe. Meetings reduce the accountability in real decision-making.
It seems like the only time we can get actual work done is after hours.
4. There is no employee experience, only employer experience.
To compete management needs to embrace reverse mentoring to introduce empathy into rigid and risk-averse cultures The companies that invest in human design and understanding State of Mind will win big.
5. Change the Rewards systems; they don’t work (anymore).
Policies and reward systems are dated and mostly irrelevant. Change starts when you look at everything through an employee-, or human-, centric lens. Reward not only the results but also the attitude how one gets to the results.
Where’s HR in all of this, shouldn’t they be leading this? These days, HR may as well stand for Human Restrictions not Human Resources.
6. Leaders haven’t connected the dots between State of Mind, employee happiness and customer satisfaction.
Look at any company with a great culture and you’ll see that employee engagement is driven by a high State of Mind and as a result an honest-to-goodness intention to foster relationships and experiences with each other, and with customers.
Leaders have not connected how important State of Mind of their workforce is in getting better results and high performance.
7. Companies try to create a “hip” culture by investing in open space, cool desks and food programs for the wrong reasons.
We see the cool ping pong tabels and Google and we order a couple of them for our own and nothing happens. Why is that? Because it’s not about the pingpong table but the culture from which it came.
Playing ping pong at work does not get you out of bed in the morning.
You cannot “hipster” your way to engagement, happiness and innovation. You have to nurture, practice and reward work in new ways to unlock a higher state of mind, experiences and possibilities.
8. The State of Leadership is at an all time low
Truth be told, there’s very little leadership these days.
As a result, day to day work is dictated, not inspired. Employee engagement and satisfaction is assumed and not cultivated.
There they are, 8 reasons why your culture is toxic. The good news is that it’s not that hard to make a change for the better and it doesn’t have to take long.
After all, if you improve by 1% every day, you’ll be twice as good in 70 days.