• Vivace Leadership

5 Types of Corporate Culture Stifling Your Employees

Updated: Jan 21

Corporate culture is a common HR buzzword that encompasses a company’s values and behaviors that contribute to the overall personality of the work environment.

A positive work environment can inspire a hard work ethic, innovation, and teamwork. Whereas, a less-than-desirable corporate culture can cause feelings of bitterness. In addition, a lousy culture can cause employees to disengage from their work.

When you consider that one-third of the U.S. workforce reported being engaged at work, it is clear that changes are needed in many company cultures in the United States.

Your management team needs to understand the existing corporate culture and ways to improve it. To help your leadership, here are the types of corporate culture to look out for when developing your company’s employee-centric focus.

5 Types of Corporate Culture that are Harming Company Growth

1. Unhealthy Internal Competition

Naturally, competition within your company can be quite beneficial. When used correctly, internal competition encourages employees to do their best and share new ideas to help the team.

However, as the saying goes, too much of a good thing can end up being more harmful than not. When a company’s culture revolves around an intensely competitive atmosphere, things can go poorly for employees.

For example, employees in an overly competitive environment are likely to feel frustrated instead of motivated. Imagine an employee who is always trying to think one step ahead of their coworkers to keep a competitive edge.

Takeaway: The solution to types of corporate culture like this is to ensure there is healthy competition that does not interfere with daily tasks. In the end, you want to have a company culture that encourages support rather than self-preservation among coworkers.

2. Unrealistic Workload Expectations

This is one of the common types of corporate culture to look out for in your company. It is important to push employees to do their best. However, too much pushing may tip an employee over into burnout.

Employee burnout may be something your management team doesn’t feel they should address. However, it may be surprising to your leadership how connected employee burnout and company culture really is.

Overall, the cost of employee burnout due to workload is more than just company value. In fact, workplace stress has been shown to cost anywhere from $125 to $190 billion a year in extra healthcare costs.

On top of the cost, your employees are more likely to be less motivated. This loss of motivation may even result in a higher turnover of your company’s top talent.

Takeaway: Consider the expectations of workload on your employees. Is there a healthy amount of encouragement on employees to do their best? Or does it seem that employees are running themselves ragged to complete goals set before them?

3. Lack of Direction on Company Plans

A lack of direction regarding company plans can be quite impactful on employees. Imagine an employee provides various recommendations to improve company culture, process, and profitability. However, these ideas are never actually acted on.

After a while, your employees may stop bringing new ideas to the table. If there is no proof that leadership is considering these recommendations, employees may wonder what the point is in sharing them at all.

Takeaway: This type of company culture is likely unintentional. Nevertheless, making sure your employees feel their concerns are heard is crucial towards creating a healthy work environment.

Ways to improve this is by encouraging leadership to be transparent about plans to move the company forward. Thus, employees can feel they have some responsibility in that process. Plus, employees are more likely to feel motivated to work because they understand the importance of their role in the company.

4. Stuck in Traditional Processes

Some companies may find themselves adhering to processes that have been in use since the founding of the company. While doing away with your company’s initial values and goals isn’t necessary, they still have the potential of holding employees back.

One major symptom of this type of corporate culture is micromanaging. Maintaining consistent company processes is important, but when those methods turn into micromanaged processes, then employees are negatively impacted.

Overall, an employee may feel restricted to a very narrow set of rules and guidelines. In other words, employees may feel that creativity isn’t entirely encouraged in this type of corporate culture.

Takeaway: Often, those in leadership may need to take a step back to recognize they are micromanaging employees. If your leadership team finds that they tend to micromanage, consider allowing more employee freedom.

Overall, allowing more employee freedom while not completely doing away with traditional company values can result in more creative and passionate employees.

5. No Clear Communication

In companies big and small, clear communication throughout the company is vital. Similarly to companies that lack direction, companies that don’t communicate impact how employees see their role in a company.

For example, if leadership changes how certain departments of the company are meant to work, that should then be communicated to the employees in that department.

Plus, communication between departments is also important. Without clear communication, your employees likely have low morale and are struggling to meet goals they don’t fully understand.

In the end, having clear communication throughout the company can result in a much more streamlined company culture that is great for employee happiness and productivity.

Takeaway: Ask yourself how often decisions, big or small, are communicated to employees. For any employee to understand what is expected of them, it should be communicated. Thus, encouraging a corporate culture of consistent communication can help keep everyone on the same page.

Are you looking for a way to help your leadership become the best team leaders they can be?

Contact Vivace Leadership to take advantage of their comprehensive employee-centric training programs that can elevate your company’s profitability and productivity!


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