Sarah Thomas

Company culture often starts from the top and works its way down through an organization. If the culture is rotten at the top, it will stay rotten throughout the company.  While senior leadership may define the company culture, it is up to you as HR to notice when company culture has gone astray and take steps to remedy it.

If You Don’t Have a Company Culture

If you don’t have a well-defined company culture, you need to work with the leadership within your company to create one. Work together to write a list of core values that define your company and will drive your progress. Ensure that everyone agrees with the set of values and that you can easily verbalize these values to any current employees and potential new hires.

Take Notice of Culture Changes in Day to Day Work

Be aware of small changes during day-to-day work.  They can add up to long term toxicity to your company culture. HR Morning suggests looking for signs such as:

  • Bullying

  • Gossiping

  • Cliques

  • Workaholic behavior

  • Favoritism

  • A lack of feedback

  • Employees that don’t take lunch or vacation

When you begin to notice small negative changes in your employees, there could be a culture shift happening right before your eyes. Take note of the changes in behavior and let senior leadership know that you’ve been noticing a toxic shift in culture that is concerning. These small changes can add up to a negative environment, and employees may begin to leave to avoid the culture.

Watch for Long Term Changes to Fix Company Culture as HR

As HR, you have the unique oversight to take notice of long-term changes within your organization. You can track changes like turnover, absenteeism, and excessive overtime hours. When you notice an uptick in these changes over time, it is a sure sign that the culture in your company has turned sour. Poor company culture results in employees that overwork or perform oppositely and take excessive time off. You’ll also see a high turnover rate. While you scramble to fix these problems, let upper management know that these problems stem from a deeper cause – culture – and that a shift needs to take place.