Cultures very rarely turn toxic overnight. In almost every instance where toxic cultures are investigated, there were signs that it was rotting, sometimes for years.
Undertaking surveys to look for the signs is one thing, but working continually to eradicate the signs of culture rot is something else entirely.
It’s not enough to produce a spreadsheet of actions, talk endlessly about the need for culture change or create more rules around the way work gets done.
Culture that is slowly rotting requires decisive action:
- the removal of a toxic person
- being clear about priorities
- a reduction in workloads
- the simplification of process; or
- a full reset of the day-to-day experiences of employees.
Cultural rot can destroy everything over time, not least the mental and physical health of the people that work within it. The signs are already there — how an organisation deals with them will determine whether it will stop the rot, or not.