5 signs of a broken culture, according to research

June 28, 2024

Research by Public Relations firm Weber Shandwick, which included interviews with PR crisis managers, analyses of peer-reviewed articles, and a survey of 1,000

workers, highlights key predictors of cultural crises. They are: 

Value for the Company Over Company & Personal Values 

When unrealistic deadlines, aggressive targets, and overbearing management are present, employees may resort to unethical behaviour, straying away from company

and personal values. 

For example, Wells Fargo’s 2017 infamous sales scandal was created by bank employees who were under pressure to meet unrealistic sales targets, leading them to open

millions of unauthorised accounts.

Sordid Behaviour from Top Leaders 

When top executives engage in behavior showing a contemptible lack of moral standards, such as sexual harassment or racism, it breeds distrust and disillusionment

within the workforce. Smaller ethical violations, like unfair competition practices, also erode morale. 

Absence of Accountability 

When poor performers or unethical employees aren’t held accountable, it discourages reporting and encourages a toxic culture. 

Insufficient Investment in People

A lack of training and development not only decreases productivity but also leads to significant reputational risks. For example, studies attributed Uber’s notorious series of scandals to a poor understanding of company strategy among its employees. 

Lack of Diversity and Inclusion 

Homogeneous work environments lack cultural sensitivity and diverse viewpoints, which lowers decision-making quality. 

Besides, a lack of inclusivity may make employees feel ostracised or unfairly treated, discouraging their positive engagement and leading to further cultural decline.

To learn how you can build an engaging, spirited, and productive culture, get in touch with us at hello@vision.build or WhatsApp! 

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