The Snitch

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Do you have lousy office culture?

with 2 comments

Is your company culture scarier than a horror flick?

Is your company culture scarier than a horror flick?

How do you know if a company culture has hit rock-bottom and its time for an overhaul?

According to blogger and management consultant Karl Staib at Work Happy Now!, he says there are certain identifying factors that show if a company’s culture has gone south.

Attrition rate: Is your company’s attrition rate higher than your industry standard? While Staib uses the average turnover rate in US (which is 3.2 to 3.6%), it might be more feasible to benchmark your company’s turnover rate to your industry’s. Taking out those who have left due to circumstances such as family and school, anything higher than industry standard might indicate that there’s a problem with your company culture.

Is there rampant gossiping? “A company that doesn’t address issues will have rumors running rampant throughout its organization,” Staib says. However, if there is negative gossiping about the company that is not addressed, this could fuel the imaginations of employees and “make them afraid of what might happen”.

There are no more complaints of the good kind: There is a distinction between good complaints and bad complaints, Staib says. The former usually points out a problem that demands attention. However, when employees have no complaints, it usually means that they’ve stopped caring about the company.

What innovation? When companies use fear to run an organisation, employees simply stop taking risk for the fear of potentially losing revenue. “What occurs in this fear based company is stifled thought. Employees would rather not bring up an idea because they are afraid of rejection,” Staib adds.

Employees aren’t friends: In companies such as Zappos (one of Fortune magazine’s top places to work for and recently bought over by Amazon), employees are encouraged to know their other colleagues outside of work. Managers are also tasked to use 20% of their time to get to know their employees.

“The more friends an employee has at work, the less likely they are to feel unhappy with their job. A strong network of friends makes an employee feel safe and happy. If your employees are all going straight home after work then it’s a sign that they don’t feel connected to the people with whom they work with,” says Staib.

Written by Human Resources

August 24, 2009 at 5:55 pm

2 Responses

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  1. thanks for the post! Our culture reaches all the way to our hiring process, as we have some unique questions on our applications that are culture-focused and help us identify culture fit (or lack of) from the start!

    Having a great company culture is such an important part of who we are and what we do at Zappos! Along with team-building, our open and honest communications and the fun (and a little weird) environment, we also have classes designed to explain why we have the culture and core values that we have, and how we can keep them going!

    If you’d like a closer look into how our culture affects every part of what we do, check out! There are video interviews that discuss our cultures, growth, and how we do things in general. there is even a subscription service if you really want to dig deep and get some hands-on help in finding what your company culture is!

    We’ve also got if you want to take a look at the fun and weird parts (along with other great information!


    August 25, 2009 at 5:47 am

  2. Answers: yes, yes, yes, yes and yes. My company has big problems

    Antonio Banderas

    September 9, 2009 at 4:28 pm

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