Why Company Culture Matters

Toxic Cultures Are Killing People- Our People

Camille R. Wallace

You don’t have to work with heavyweight machinery, hazardous chemicals, or be on dangerous front lines for your job to be killing you.  Every day, people are subjected to premature death as they report to plush offices with standing desks.

Farfetched? Not at all.

A toxic workplace, by definition — is unhealthy and damaging to those who work there. Bad workplace cultures lead to bad health- and even death. According to Stanford University Research, toxic workplaces are the 5th leading cause of death! Surprising? That means stress from the workplace is causing death at a higher rate than Alzheimer’s and kidney disease.

Consider the experiment involving the performance of simple house plants. For 30 days, one plant was spoken to everyday with encouraging words, affirmations, and recognition. This plant thrived and bloomed beautifully. The second plant was also spoken to everyday, but with a very different demeanor. This plant was criticized, spoken to with contentment, even bullied. As a result, this plant appeared wilted with dying leaves.

According to research conducted at Stanford, stress from the workplace is causing death at a higher rate than Alzheimer’s and kidney disease.

While the experiment’s validity is questionable, let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Environment matters. Just like the plant in the first example, when our workplace cultures are healthy, supportive and positive- our employees live, thrive, and grow. Gleaning from the example of the second plant, if the workplace environment is toxic, more specifically, if the company culture is damaging, it can be lethal to our employees’ health. More than just combat the negative ramifications, despite the underlying dysfunction, we expect employees to rise above the toxicity in order to perform.

Every day, people face dysfunctional workplace cultures. They report each morning to companies and leadership that provide no clear vision of the future, let alone meaningful purpose of the employee’s contribution. Like the second plant, employees navigate through cutthroat colleagues, perhaps feel unseen and unheard yet overworked, and likely feel unsafe reporting to supervisors which manage through fear tactics.

Research has linked 120,000 deaths to workplace stress every year. Dreading going into the workplace is impacting people physically, emotionally, and relationally, including, but not being limited to not being able to sleep, gaining weight, increased medical problems, anxiety and depression. It is no surprise that these stressors have a direct relationship with individuals’ behaviors like smoking, overeating,            alcohol consumption and drug abuse, therefore impacting our employees’ lives and decreasing their mortality. 

As it stands, life is short enough. Companies must not shorten it by unnecessary, unchecked, unmanaged, perhaps even, unintentional toxic workplace cultures.

To learn how to transform your workplace, pick up your copy of “The Special Sauce: The Recipe for Creating a Desirable Company Culture.” Coming Fall 2021.

Why Company Culture Matters

Camille R. Wallace

Toxic Cultures Are Killing Business

Company Culture refers to the ways people within the company engage and work together. Culture is an expression of the shared beliefs, values, attitudes, standards and behaviors the company deems acceptable. The company culture is the character, the unique personality and reputation, specific to their organization.  Company culture is simply “how we do things around here.”

Moreover, company culture is the foundation for company success and is directly impacts your company’s bottom line. From the rooter to the tooter, culture influences the entire life cycle of the employee. Culture impacts nearly every            aspect of the company, from attracting top talent to employee engagement and performance. Let’s be clear, higher engagement translates to higher productivity.

Around the globe, Gallup data indicates that only 15% of full-time working adults report being truly engaged at work. Meaning, only 15% of employees are showing up highly motivated and energetic about moving the company forward. Only 15%.

Now, wrap your mind around the 85% of employees that report they are not fully engaged. The employees that report not contributing fully to the greater good of the organization- putting in the time, but not with the energy or extra effort.

Even more so, 18% of employees are actively disengaged. Meaning, they are intentionally undermining and sabotaging the success of the company. Consider how this lack of engagement is wreaking havoc with companies and killing   company productivity and potential.

Gallup research indicates that only 15% of full time working adults report  being truly engaged at work.

Leaders must recognize the significance culture makes and the benefits of intentionally creating and supportive  environment for employees, as they are your company’s greatest asset. Without question, a strong, aligned, positive culture can call employees to higher levels of performance. Companies win.

Likewise, a dysfunctional company culture can deflate even your highest performers and will destroy your organization. Culture that is riddled with inauthentic and untrustworthy leadership, meaningless work, and lack accountability is toxic to performance-and will ultimately kill your company. Toxic cultures kill creativity, kill innovation, impact absenteeism, and breed low productivity and lost opportunities. Companies lose.

Luckily, the recipe for creating a desirable workplace culture is not complex, your just need the right ingredients.

For more essential ingredients and to learn how to transform your workplace, pick up your copy of “The Special Sauce: The Recipe for Creating a Desirable Company Culture.” Coming Fall 2021