When I come to your house, should I take my shoes off or leave them on?
How would I know what’s expected? Would I see the rows of shoes? Would someone tell me? Guess what- that’s culture.
Now let’s talk about company culture. It’s important because it exerts a powerful influence on employees’ behavior. In some cases that power can turn toxic, driving us and our employees to compromise our values and do things we normally wouldn’t.
You probably can’t change a toxic culture on your own, but there are steps you can take to insulate yourself from its effects.
Figure out the kind of environment you need to be effective — and happy — at work. Ask yourself: Which of your values have fallen by the wayside? Do you feel healthy and content? Are you proud of how you behave toward colleagues?
Talk to your teammates about the culture you all wish you had. Ask what’s important to them at work and how company norms have affected their behavior.
Have a team meeting and discover your ideal culture and what behaviors do or don’t belong.
Adapted from “Keep Your Company’s Toxic Culture from Infecting Your Team,” by Annie McKee
Need help? We’ve got a great workshop called “Culture By Design” - email us to get a copy of the outline, audience feedback, and pricing.