Top 10 Signs You Have A Crappy Workplace Culture

“I’ll be your baby, I’ll be your score, I’ll run the gun for you and so much more.”

“Tumble 4 Ya” – Culture Club

Top 10 Signs You Have A Crappy Workplace Culture

It’s Culture Month here at PIC, and as much as I wish it meant we were celebrating Culture Club, it actually means we are tackling Workplace Culture.

So much has been said about culture these past few years. Who drives it, what drives it, how to drive it, how to change it, etc. Such happy posts…so positive and motivating, they are!

Not to be a Debbie Downer, but I want to talk about what happens when your workplace culture is crappy!

And because I really want to rain on your parade, I want to blame you for it.

Why? Because I hope the thought of some of these things will cause you to rethink how you behave…and that, my dear reader, is what truly drives workplace culture.

So here it is, Heather Kinzie’s top 10 signs you have a crappy workplace culture:

10. Employees spend more time gossiping about or relishing in another’s failures or mishaps than they do forgiving them or helping to fix the problem they may have created. The resources wasted range from loss of productive time to actual sabotage for enjoyment.

9. Sacred cows are everywhere; they hide in processes, policies, relationships, and reputations. They live openly in the organization and everyone is afraid to let them know they stink, much less tip them over.

8. “Employee recognition” days or events are awkwardly painful for many involved, and almost always negatively joked about both before and after the event itself.

7. “Hot Potato” is a common game, with numerous people refusing to “deal” with issues because it’s above their pay grade, not in their job description, not their fault, etc.

6. Positions that should otherwise be easily filled with your company’s internal pipeline go vacant for months. Furthermore, entry level positions have more employee “churn” OUT of the organization than an ice cream maker on a record breaking holiday weekend.

5. When asked what the employer’s mission is, your employees give you a look like “who the hell knows” or worse, “who the hell cares?”

4. Your organization’s communication pipeline only flows one way and, because of that, is treated much like political flyers in the months proceeding an election.

3. Employees call in sick with a headache.

2. Your organization’s employees are virtually silent on Social Media about your organization and, if they aren’t silent, what they’re saying is not positive.

1. The last time your employees actively and positively engaged with you, as a leader and as a human, was a long, long, long time ago.


Raise your hands if you want these things occurring in your workplace!


Help prevent them by doing these things:

10. Stop gossiping in its tracks. If your employees can’t support one another, get rid of them.

9. Welcome change, disrupt status quo if it needs to be disrupted and invite cow tipping without the fear of repercussions.

8. Don’t force recognition…do it timely, naturally and sincerely.

7. Let people know that everyone is in the boat TOGETHER by showing them, by telling them and by re-enforcing it with your own actions.

6. Challenge your employees to learn about and grow into jobs above and around them, and then make it worthwhile for them to develop fully into these positions.

5. Keep the vision and mission alive and relevant by talking about it and discussing the “line of sight” with your employees. Help them understand how their roles support organizational strategy and how their performance matters.

4. Take the time to talk WITH your employees; solicit their thoughts and insights, respect their opinions, and consider their advice.

3. Let your staff know, in a way that is meaningful to them, that their absence affects the purpose and the team. Celebrate significant effort and positive outcomes.

2. Take the time to learn about Social Media and then utilize it to share positive things about your team and organization. Don’t be afraid of it; ask your team to share your stuff or otherwise join the conversation online.

1. Look up! Your staff is in front of you. Pay attention to what they appear to like/dislike. Ask them how they are doing, how their weekend was, or if they need anything from you. Tell them you’re happy they are on your team or that you’re grateful for their insight. It’s not a secret that they are human too so give it a go and treat them like one.

The bottom line is this…the workplace culture is crappy because of you!

But the good news is this…it can be fantastic because of you too, and your team will soon tumble 4 ya!



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