You carefully crafted the perfect culture when you first
started your small business. But now, something seems wrong. If that sounds
like your small business, keep reading to find 10 signs that your culture is falling
1. It’s too quiet
There’s usually a constant hum in the office – people are
talking to each other, laughing, sharing ideas. But now, it’s eerily quiet. You
can even hear a pin drop. If your employees are emailing each other instead of
talking face-to-face, there’s likely a pretty big problem.
2. Employees are pointing fingers
Mistakes happen. But, in a healthy work environment,
everyone realizes that one person didn’t cause these mistakes, so everyone
involved will share the blame. In a crumbling culture, however, your employees
will start to point fingers at each other because no one is willing to step up
and take responsibility.
3. The office is gross
If your employees are happy, they’re going to take pride in
their workspaces – they’ll pick up after themselves and keep their desks neat
or tidy up at the end of the day. But, if your employees are unhappy, they
won’t pick up after themselves, so your office will get pretty dirty.
4. No one volunteers for new responsibilities
If your employees are happy working for you, they’ll
probably jump for a chance to take on some more responsibility – like working
on the latest project or picking up an extra shift here and there. In a
crumbling culture, however, no one wants to do more than they have to. Maybe, they’re
looking for new jobs, so they don’t want to start something that they won’t be
able to finish.
5. The breakroom is deserted
If everyone used to eat lunch together or get together in
the breakroom for coffee breaks, but now no one is ever in the breakroom, your company
might be experiencing some serious problems. There’s a good chance your
employees are trying to avoid each other.
6. No one gets personal
Maybe there’s still a constant hum in the office, but if you
listen carefully, you notice that no one is talking about anything personal.
They’re only talking about work, or they’re discussing how much they hate their
job, their boss, or even your customers.
7. People are leaving
People leave jobs for perfectly valid reasons –their spouse
got their dream job in another town, or they want to stay home fulltime with
their kids. But, if your employees keep leaving to take other positions, it’s
time to start figuring out what’s wrong.
If people have problems with how work is going, they should
feel comfortable talking to you or their boss about it. If no one is talking to
you about their problems, they might be afraid of you. Or, they think nothing’s
going to change, so it’s not worth the effort of reporting the issue.
Sometimes, your employees will have to work late to finish
up a project or to tie up loose ends before going on vacation. But, if everyone
is working late all the time, it’s probably because of their work environment.
Take a look at how work is assigned – are you setting unrealistic goals? If
there’s no way anyone can get everything done during the workday, consider
breaking up projects into smaller pieces or hiring some more team members.
10. Everyone leaves right at quitting time
The reverse is also a sign of a big problem – if everyone
sprints out the door as soon as the clock strikes 5 PM. Likely, everyone is
counting down to the end of the day – just waiting to get out of there. In a
healthy culture, your employees will meander out the door as they’re chatting
with coworkers or making plans to grab a drink.