Staff motivation

Are You Sabotaging your Company Culture in One of These 6 Ways?

No, we’re not talking beanbags and a fancy coffee machine in the breakout room.

Company culture seems to be a recent buzzword that’s really caught on. The recruitment and HR sectors have finally realised that people don’t just come to work for money – they want to spend their time in a place that supports their goals and ideals. Clients and customers are also drawn to companies that demonstrate positive values – not just pay lip service to them in their mission statement.

You can say what you like about your company culture, but the reality might be entirely contrary to what you boast on your website.

The subtle, insidious ways you could be undermining your own company culture may not be obvious to those in the higher echelons of your business, but it’s certainly clear to your employees – and worse – the people they talk to i.e., prospective candidates who may be put off applying to work for you in the future.

These are the small ways you are eroding the integrity of your workplace.

Micro Managing

CEOs are often tolerant of their managers’ varying styles of leadership. Some managers have a more laid-back approach, while others want to be involved in every area of their department.

While micromanaging may seem like a healthy, hands-on style of leading, it’s actually very off-putting. Colleagues who are brought in because of their unique skillset feel they’re not being trusted to do their job, and this erodes confidence long-term. If you notice that your managers are taking on too much then you need to intervene, as much for their own sake as that of your other employees. The last thing you need is a manager with burnout!


Related to micromanaging and probably the root cause of a hyper-vigilant management style is perfectionism. This is not the same as having high standards. You should carry out quality work, but you need to know when good enough is good enough.

Not everyone works the same way as you do, but you have to let them take ownership of a task. Help them improve where necessary and recognise their good work as well any areas for improvement.

Perfectionism also leads to burnout and draining the company finances if you’re taking far too long on a task that doesn’t merit it.

Not Practising What You Preach

As a company leader, you have to personify the values you hold dear. Therefore, whatever you demand of your team, you must exhibit personally. Rules are for everyone, not just the people at the grassroots. You also need to hold everyone else accountable – so if your managers are getting a bit slack, give them a gentle reminder or offer some company-wide training.

Not Saying Thank You

Popular culture all too often shows villains as our example of a good boss. Gordon Ramsay yelling at staff in the kitchen. Alan Sugar giving his candidates a dressing down in the board room…

This is just for entertainment. To actually treat your staff this way is abusive and wrong. But even if you don’t call out your staff on a regular basis and embarrass them in front of their peers, you could be harming them in other ways. People need to feel valued and appreciated at all levels. Of course, no one is saying you need last runner-up prizes at work – this is patronising and devalues genuine good work. All you need to do is thank colleagues for going the extra mile, submitting a piece of excellent work or taking on an extra task outside their usual workload. If a team member doesn’t feel their contribution is acknowledged, they will either leave or stay and do the bare minimum, leading to presenteeism, which actually costs a company more than absenteeism.

Not Encouraging Feedback

Colleagues often have excellent ideas and thoughts to improve your operation. Your team members are the best ones to consult with on the job they do daily. Perhaps they see something redundant, or they feel they could save company time in a particular area. These are all thoughts worth consideration. If you don’t give them a chance to air their grievances or offer their recommendations, this will build up resentment leading to a toxic workplace. They may start to feel like automatons who are not paid to think. Again, they will end up leaving or do the least work possible.

Hiring the Wrong People

While you can certainly do a lot to address the five points above, this sixth point can be harder to rectify and may require you to revisit your hiring process.

There is no shortage of people with skills. However, finding that person who has, not only the talent, but the personality too, is like panning for gold. If you settle for second best, you could be risking your workplace dynamic. They could be a toxic person or someone who talks the talk but can’t apply it in reality. So, how do you spot these people? It’s not always straightforward – this may mean introducing a six-month probation period, giving them team tasks in the first week to see how they interact with others and shrewdly observing their contribution to the workplace dynamic.


We can help you hire people who will be a good fit for your company. We will work with you closely to identify the types of people you need in your team and use our head-hunting skills to seek them out. Get in touch today.

So, let us find that perfect balance in your next employee.
Let us find you your next bright spark.

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