Guy Kawasaki once said; “Great companies start because the founders want to change the world, not because they want to make a quick buck.” Companies when moved into the right direction can accomplish wonders. ‘Moving in the right direction’ doesn’t only means moving a step closer towards their goal, but also that they keep the balance in every other aspect.
For example, if the goal of your company is to achieve targeted revenue by the end of the next quarter, achieving that goal with your employees being exhausted and unmotivated towards work won’t be in the best interest of the company for the long run. That is where the company’s culture kicks in. Statistics tells us that around 85% of people in the world hate their jobs. This precisely means that the company’s culture is a global issue and can have a significant impact on your employee’s performance.
But the question that rises is why so many companies have a bad in-house culture? The answer lies in the wrong decisions the company makes by either undermining its importance or thinking it’s in their best interest. Being the department head of the company I’ve worked at, I’ve seen plenty of wrong decisions impacting a company’s culture. Let’s take a look at some determinants that impacts a company’s culture;
WHAT IS IT IMPACTING YOUR COMPANY’S CULTURE?
1. When the Founder’s vision not aligned with the Company
Any company, no matter which sector it comes from, has a vision that it’s chasing. That vision in most cases is the vision of the founder of that company. The founder has a goal to reach and the company is used as an asset to get close to the target. In general one common problem is that the founder is trying to make money and the company is serving just that one purpose. This way, the vision is lost and the employees soon start feeling undermined.
An incredible example shared by Simon Sinek is that a company being run just for the sake of making money is the same as a car being built just for the sake of getting gas while the actual goal for the car should be to get somewhere using gas as a medium.
In the same way, money should be a driver of serving the cause your company is built to serve but that shouldn’t make your overall goal get dissolved somewhere.
2. When the company doesn’t value the personal goals of employees
It’s not so rare to see companies push the idea on their employees that their company should always come above their personal ambitions. It’s one of the common reasons why employees a sense of threat under a leadership. In an ideal scenario the company should play a supportive role to the employees and in fact ensure that it becomes a step of their overall roadmap towards personal success.
However in my career so far, as a manager of a team, I’ve understood that the goal of each employee vary heavily. For example the following 3 cases are the most commonly encountered ones;
- Some employees are driven by money; this means their broad goals of life require them to earn more.
- Some employees are driven by authority; this means they love big titles and big responsibilities.
- Some employees are driven by good work life balance; this means they don’t necessarily want to sacrifice personal time for so called “growth” of their careers.
Your job as a leader should be to recognize where each of your employees are coming from, what are their personal aspirations and reverse engineer how you can enable them on their path.
3. When the company doesn’t stick to the pre-decided hierarchy
Every organization defines its hierarchy structure based on a couple of things, this includes;
- The resources available at hand
- Early described responsibilities of resources
- Work flow of day-to-day tasks
When you’re company is running its day to day operations, it’s supposed to operate under the same hierarchy structure. However, what ends up happening in most cases, is that the hierarchy gets dissolved somewhere over time. From my personal experience I can talk about being in a marketing agency where although the hierarchy in the job roles was pretty clear, it got dissolved over time and indirectly a huge impact had on the deliverables.
The reason behind this is that in modern tech companies you won’t find your manager sitting in a separate cabin, only coming out when they want to. Instead, in most cases even the directors will be sitting right next to the interns, discussing projects and having casual fun talks.
Although this is incredibly helpful when it comes to bringing the team together, but overtime it can kill the company’s core dynamics and in the long run can hurt the business significantly.
4. When you are promoting a Toxic ‘Hustle Culture’
Lately words like ‘Grind’ and ‘Hustle’ and ‘Team No Sleep’ have been circulating on social media. This presents the culture of working long hours, not coming back home on time and allocating even weekends towards the work. It’s been proven with many studies that this approach brings nothing more than exhaustion to the employees practicing it. Yet there are plenty of big companies that have their entire culture based on these toxic values.
Promoting the ‘Hustle Culture’ isn’t itself a problem as long as it represents hard work within a certain limit and incorporates good proportion of healthy practices like sleeping well, having plenty of fun time, spending time with family/friends etc. There have been plenty of researches done on this matter and it’s been objectively proved that today’s ‘hustle culture’ is simply toxic to mental health for many. The basic reason behind this is that every person has a different work style and habits.
And when you try to impose the same work style and habits across the entire organization, you’ll notice the employees feeling frustrated often times, dragging the net productivity to zero.
5. Ignoring the fanciness of the work-place
Fancy workspaces are known to bring positive vibes to the workspace environment. This indirectly implies that employees get more done in shorter periods of time and are usually happily driven towards work. However, as a business, every company tries to keep their costs low and one major component of the overall cost is the office space rent, maintenance and amenities.
So what’s a better alternative? He answer is a co-working space that can offer all the features that your team looks for. It may seem like a shared office space isn’t a good option for since you want your team to be working in isolation, but the reality is that there are so many premium coworking spaces today that offer separate spaces (in fact complete floors) while charging a reasonable amount.
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