Signs of a Business Culture in Decline

Signs of a Business Culture in Decline

Peter Drucker once said that

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

Companies are made up of people.

People make the sales. People produce your products. People look after customer service. People lead the organization, manage personnel, and do the administrative work necessary to keep things running.

When you have a great culture – your people thrive, so your organization thrives. You can feel the energy and the positive vibe.

There’s a sense of camaraderie, excitement, and focus.

Prosperous businesses have strong cultures.

On the other hand, no strategy can overcome a bad culture.

What does a culture in crisis look like?

It depends on your perspective!

Here’s the view of what a culture in crisis looks like from 3 different perspectives.

Are any of these things happening in your company?

Culture problems from the employee perspective

Your employees may be saying or thinking things like these

  • My manager doesn’t understand me
  • I don’t have any work/life balance
  • I’m being asked to do more than my colleagues
  • Company leaders don’t care

There may also be some tension. A feeling that “the company leaders don’t understand us” or that leadership knows there’s a problem yet turns a blind eye to it – or believes that it isn’t important.

In some cases, it might look like a clash between generations.

My dad, for example, believes that if people aren’t clocking in 60 hours per week, then they are “not working hard enough.” It’s hard for him to wrap his head around people like me who value productivity over time spent. Some days, I bang out 4 hours of hard work and call it a day.

If company leaders see the world like my dad – and the employees are more like me – there will be a divide in the culture.

Culture problems from the customer perspective

Culture problems aren’t limited to inside the organization.

Internal culture problems can be visible to your customers. Signs may include these:

  • Lack of consistency in processes and procedures, balls getting dropped
  • Not getting great service – or getting great service sometimes, but not always
  • Being sold something great, but not having delivery follow through

In the worst cases, your employees may be complaining to customers about the company or the company leadership.

Culture problems from the leadership perspective

From the leadership perspective, culture problems can show up in several different ways:

  • Employees bickering with each other.
  • Difficulty rallying the troops around the company’s goals and vision
  • Management inconsistency: some managers who are good at keeping their teams accountable and productive – and other managers that aren’t
  • High turnover of employees
  • Innovation slows or is halted, no longer being seen as the leader in a certain area
  • Revenue loss, seeing a decline in markets where you used to do well

At the Alliance, we say that one of the dimensions of a great company culture is a commitment to innovation and change. If you’re not approaching every day with an eye to continuous improvement and learning, you won’t be ready to change when you need to.

Free Video: Creating a Culture of Excellence

When you’re in the Prosperity Zone you will see and feel your culture, the vibe, the energy. Your employees are engaged and your customers give you great reviews. Join us to learn:

  • How to create a culture that keeps employees engaged and excited
  • What brings down company culture
  • Barriers to excellence and how to overcome them
  • Bonus video: creating a culture of excellence with remote teams

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