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Workplace Culture

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Buffering the Team from Dysfunction

It’s often necessary for small, internal teams to insulate themselves from the toxic elements of the larger organization. Perhaps the broader workplace sanctions disrespect while the members of a single department value civility and trust. Maybe the sins of the company aren’t sufficiently unacceptable to warrant leaving the job especially when strong friendships have been built on the smaller team. How might a workgroup in this situation move forward?

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Six Steps to Change a Culture

Changing the culture of a workplace takes a long time. Basic science tells us that living things seek sameness. Even a loosened violin string will tighten itself back up until its new norm has been stabilized. The longer the history of broken morale, the harder it is to set and sustain a new mood. Unless the desired future is enforced consistently, old ways slip back into place. By tolerating unhealthy words and actions, you communicate permission for them to define the values of the group.

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New leader. New vision. Same team.

One of the fundamental principles of human development states that, with each stage, the child inherits both the successes and failures of the previous stage. So it goes in the life cycle of a team. How, then, do you keep history from repeating?

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The Gratitude Circle

For many organizations, the mission and value statement is designed as a guiding light yet often collects dust in a fancy frame in the boardroom. For some, it is the checklist through which day-to-day decisions are filtered. How do you make mission and values real for employees? Consider the gratitude circle exercise in your next full staff meeting. Just follow these five steps:

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Leader Behavior, Team Culture, and your Career Path

The behavior of the team leader can drive employee engagement more powerfully than the mission statement. We all become complicit with the leader’s words and actions by our choice to work in an organization. Healthy or unhealthy, our career path choices are de facto endorsements. All too often, reasonably minded colleagues stay in situations that are making them sick. Some have limited options when workplace culture falls out of alignment with their purpose. Others become free agents. What we tolerate, we sanction.

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