In the workplace, few things are more pervasive than a bad culture. A poor culture leads to clinical depression in employees, declined productivity, and poor results. It's rather unfortunate that most have experienced it. Often, they can't verbalize it, and they may not fully understand all of the facets of a poor culture, but it's just as real as you and me. Typically, even though they can't verbalize the extent of it, employees know it's a bad culture and can point to a lot of little things. Things like a manager publicly shaming individuals in a meeting or making passive aggressive comments. Or peers not being willing to help because they are concerned with making themselves look good. There is a laundry list of things that we could identify; from gaslighting to scare tactics, all of these things are ways to drive a business into the ground.
So What's the Answer?
Culture is not created over night. In fact, it's not even created over a long period of time when it's done the way that many organizations choose to approach the topic – you know; those workshops that you have to sit through so that management can check a box. No. It's not done through any of that, although those can contribute to the cause when properly administered. But there's a much simpler answer than you may be looking for. The answer is in your employees. All of them. Including you. Yes, that's right, everyone from the bottom all the way to the top; no one's exempt. And the answer is in their own individual mental health and their contribution to the culture. Fostering the mental health of the individuals contributes to the collective whole on a much deeper and more effective level.
How do I do that?
I wish the answer were easy, but it's not quite that easy. One approach that I have seen be extremely effective is to work with an Organizational Psychologist who is able to cross the chasm into the realm of individualism as they work with your company. They will help your staff learn how to remain more in touch with themselves and more grounded. At the end of the day, they will work with your company to foster healthier individuals and ultimately, a healthier workforce as a whole.
I personally swear by Dr. Laura Gallaher and her team. I have seen her work her magic, and I have personally been on the receiving end of her work. She is worth every bit of her weight as she works to create high-functioning individuals who are capable of collaborating in exceptionally effective ways.