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  • Writer's pictureleannehamley

What if the culture isn't great, what harm can it do?

Updated: Jul 13, 2020

If you are reading this then you are already aware of the damage a poor culture can have on its people and the organisation. Culture is a topic that is discussed so frequently, yet the breadth and scale of the topic is huge. It's vast and the impact it can have even larger.

Organisations are beginning to see the value a great culture can have but to get culture right is far more than a list of actions.

It’s time to lead a new agenda. one which doesn’t see culture as a project, but an ongoing part of who we want this business to become. It is a way of life and in the work context it’s how we do things around here. Cultural change must be pushed aside and replaced with the ongoing people agenda which is cultural development. It has to be nurtured as building and sustaining an effective and authentic culture. Culture does not have a project end date and here's why... The damage of a poor culture isn’t just the spiraling costs, costs which are hidden under layers of bureaucracy, it’s the brand damage; it’s the bitterness shared within each interaction; it’s the tears shared before a day in the office or the anxiety brought home each evening; It’s the time taken to rebuild a business post global impact; It’s the time committed to recognising we are in a mental health epidemic and as a business the role we play within this.

Damaged cultures cause disparate organisations, the impact far greater than you can imagine, decisions aren't made, accountability not taken and the ongoing burden of fear of failure stemming all innovation, let alone the impact of poor performance and low productivity.

Now is the time to recognise that with every action we take in business and in life, there is an intention. So what’s your intention in how you choose to treat your employees as an employer at an organisational level or simply as a leader of a team?

Ask yourselves, do your employees work for you or do they work for the organisation? Where is their loyalty placed? Or, are they just here for the paycheck? As they serve you in their role, do you or your managers / leaders of the business understand that they should also be serving them reciprocally? That leadership / managing people comes with a great level of responsibility and the development of them has to be considered and executed to ensure people are looked after and led in the right way.

Has the the organisation created the environment, the right culture and the right education to make that happen?

Great cultures drive innovation, they create results, they become attractive places of work which have people knocking at the door. They role model the behaviors and people feel safe. How safe are you making your people feel? At a time where unemployment claims is up by 126% due to the impact of COVID, how safe are you making the people within your team or your business feel? Are they performing in their role because of their loyalty to you and the business or are they performing in fear. Have you created a place where people feel like they belong or are they showing up because they are simply choosing not to leave.

Cultural development needs to be an ongoing priority of the business, one that is measured and continually nurtured and enhanced. This can only be achieved when everyone knows what is expected of them.

If you want to discuss how we can help, please get in touch.

Or take a look at our new Cultural Leader Programme - it might be perfect for developing your inhouse capability.

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