Signs Your Culture Is a Liability

The word “culture” usually brings up images of people working together toward a common goal while respecting each other’s ideas and opinions. But this positive concept can quickly become negative when taken to an extreme where employees feel stifled or unable to speak up honestly about problems or issues they see with the company or its culture. If employees often leave the company due to this issue, it might be time to address your company’s culture.

Signs your company’s culture is a liability are not always easy to spot. Still, there are warning signs that can suggest employees feel uncomfortable or unable to speak up about problems in the workplace. Here are five signs that you should pay attention to:

1. Employees Keep Talking About “Good old days”–and Leaving for New Opportunities

It may be difficult for managers and other leaders to believe one of their best employees would suddenly leave due to something like an office problem, especially if they express thanks for everything they learned while working at the company. But when several employees make similar complaints about feeling stifled or intimidated by how things operate at your company, chances are the culture is forcing them away. This could be because one or more people in management positions are letting their power go to their heads, creating an environment where employees are afraid to speak out without being criticized or punished.

2. Employees Don’t Like New Initiatives and Policies

Suppose multiple employees openly complain about new initiatives you or other leaders in your company introduce. In that case, this could mean that either your initiatives aren’t well thought out in the first place or that they just don’t fit with what everyone else in your office wants to embrace.

While leaders have a right to make changes when they see fit, doing so can lead to employees embracing these changes halfheartedly at best–or flat-out refusing to accept them altogether.

3. Employees Are Unenthusiastic

Employees who are unenthusiastic about new initiatives can do some serious damage to your company’s culture simply by not buying into the vision you have for your business. When employees feel uninspired or worn out, they tend to wind up taking less initiative than peers with a strong morale. Even if these folks get their work done, an inefficient approach can seriously undermine your goals–and hinder similar types of performance among other would-be high-performers.

4. You’re Vulnerable to Competitors Who Offer Better Benefits

When employees feel that they aren’t getting enough benefits and perks, they may look around for better opportunities at competing companies. It doesn’t matter how great your company culture may be if the competition dangles a better carrot in front of potential employees.

5. You Struggle to Retain Talent

This one goes hand-in-hand with number four; if you’re constantly losing good people to the competition, it’s likely because they can offer something you can’t. And that “something” is usually an environment that’s more conducive to their personal and professional development.

All companies have a culture, but not all cultures are created equally. If you notice these signs that your company’s culture is becoming toxic, it might be time to reevaluate and make some changes. Hopefully, with the help of this article and our experts, we can help you create a positive work

environment where people feel inspired instead of threatened. Don’t wait until turnover increases or employees start quitting; do something now! Let us know if you want more information on how we’ve helped other businesses like yours thrive by changing their corporate culture for the better–we love working with clients who care as much about employee happiness as they do profitability.


Cravens, K., Oliver, E. G., & Ramamoorti, S. (2003). The reputation index:: Measuring and managing corporate reputation. European management journal21(2), 201-212.

Greer, C. R., Youngblood, S. A., & Gray, D. A. (1999). Human resource management outsourcing: The make or buy decision. Academy of Management Perspectives13(3), 85-96.

Leonard, D., & Straus, S. (1997). Putting your company’s whole brain to work. Harvard Business Review75, 110-122.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: