Stop Employee Turnover by Healing the Toxic Company Culture

7 Important Ways to Stop Employee Turnover by Fixing Your Messed Up Company Culture

Company culture is alive and well as a topic of how to stop employee turnover and convert your lackluster slackers into an engaged and determined, productive workforce.

Mission, Brand and Culture really do need to converge. We’ve written in these pages quite a lot about all of the above. Getting your mission statement to match up with the mission of each and every one of your people, and getting those same people to actually advocate for your brand are two very important ways to get going. But it all comes to naught if your company’s culture is working against you.

Below are 7 things that new recruits are going to scrutinize. Plus what you can do to fix them.

1. Everything is Perfect.

A dynamic, working culture is one that is working. Old problems are being addressed and – guess what – new problems are ALWAYS being created. Talk straight about what’s being addressed and how. Transparency is the hallmark of any effective culture, and so, just about everyone throughout your company should understand what’s being changed and why.

2. Success is just sort of rewarded.
Expected? Ignored? How exactly is your company celebrating and recognizing success? Just sort of, whatever? Bad move. Spell it out and put controls in place so that nobody has an ambiguous position toward success.

3. This position was created out of thin air.
What just happened? Someone else walked out because your culture is toxic? Pay close attention to what just happened and keep people talking. The undercurrent of mistrust in the wake of any dismissal or resignation can be devastating.  Interview the supervising manager and understand why people leave their jobs. Interview team members too.

4. Everyone here is new, but the company is not.

Most likely that’s a sign that some very negative, destructive and impacted “somebody somewhere” is preventing necessary changes. They’re polluting the culture, like Britney Spears at Carnegie Hall, and whether they’re related to the boss or not, they’ve got to go.  This can be a tough nut to crack, and you may need to look, deeply, into working well with a less than stellar boss.

5. People just get promoted, no rhyme, no reason.

This can sound like #2 above, but it also goes to a general ambiguity over rules, regulations, and operating procedures. It’s a disaster for culture in that all kinds of resentments and toxins breed in the shadows and wrinkles of bad policies. Clarify things, write’em down and make sure everyone is on the same page going forward. There is really no easy

6. The Wrong People Get Fired.

Again, some of the people most annoying to a sick culture are the people trying to make it better. Listen to the voices that are shouting out solutions. Many of them are there. If you don’t hear them, ask for them. There may be a din at first, but let your employees fix your culture and you’ll probably improve your entire operation – over night.

7. Good Ideas Go Nowhere.

One of the things we’re most proud of with NimbleSchedule is that the simplest improvement to communications has such a tremendous affect on broader operations. Sending people an automated “good idea” email along with the latest schedule of when they’re to show up is just the first step to reaping good ideas.

A lot of culture comes down, quite simply, to improving communications. The repercussions are endless. To stop employee turnover and really improve culture, you may need to make some hard decisions. Stop destructive, backward thinking is a pleasure. Except when they’re on the top of the heap. Bad bosses, managers and executives can be a drain on everything your organization sets out to do. But at the end of the day, they’re losing you a fortune.


Photo this page: Spider © Creative Commons license on Flickr by Catherine Singleton

Karin Jakovljevic

About the author

Karin Jakovljevic

Karin Jakovljevic is the head of marketing at Ximble, a powerful, cloud-based workforce management system, simplifying employee scheduling and time tracking for retailers, restaurants and small businesses.

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