It’s a very good place to start ..
So – Yes – the festive season has led to an overdose of family friendly sing-a-long movies. And the family VonTrapp has really struck a chord.
The culture of a company, a family, a club – all comes from the top down. The members take their cues from the leadership and this is how a culture disseminates.
Captain Von Trapp ran his family like he ran his ship.. watertight. No room for discussion – and know your place to the whistle. Dictatorial.
The interesting thing about the Von Trapp family is how it did work. The Captain wasn’t a cruel dictator – and things ticked along relatively well. But then along came Maria… with a new way of thinking and doing.. and all kinds of dissension broke out in the ranks.
This family wasn’t a toxic culture though – but what the delights of a Christmas musical can show us – is that there are often other ways – and it takes a strong leader to allow others ideas to be fully heard – especially when the new way is the total opposite of the old.
So why am I rambling on about Julie Andrews… well – this got me to thinking about toxicity in the workplace.
A new year frequently engenders much reflection – and a promise to do things differently. And our work is such a major part of our life that often a new year spells great change , and much to do in the world of recruitment.
So with a view to starting at the beginning – it stands to reason that the place to evaluate a company’s culture is with the leadership.
Toxic cultures destroy the bottom line – they increase employee turnover and decrease engagement. The leadership is the public face of the organisation –having a bad boss is the number one reason why employees leave……cultural disconnect is not far behind.
Leaders must set the tone and be as concerned about the culture as they are about strategy. This culture first approach has a cascade effect – rippling down through the organisation.
Leaders set the tone and mobilise the workforce. They communicate the reality of the business and its impact.
In financial terms – getting rid of a toxic culture (or employees!) can have a profound effect on the bottom line. A “superstar” hire can only bring in so much if the culture is a drain on productivity. Take a look at the Harvard Business Review for thoughts on Toxic Culture and “Business Drain”!
And in our line of work – we are constantly being asked to provide that next high flier.. But I would say wake up C-Suite.
Cultural Change is not a buzz word or just a new year’s resolution. Its perhaps the most important thing you can re-evaluate in 2018. Get the engagement right and the rest will follow.
In the end, if you do not care why should the employees?
And if your culture doesn’t work – it doesn’t matter how good the new hire is… eventually “shit sticks”.