essential previous learningSeven Signs You Have a Culture Problem, Introduction to Culture

How To Fix a Poor Culture

How to get everyone rowing in the same direction

Key learning outcomes:

  • Understand that ignoring culture problems can damage your business’s productivity and profitability.
  • Demonstrate, as a leader, that you care about your business’s culture and monitor and nurture it on an ongoing basis.
  • Explain some of the primary causes of culture difficulties and suggest several remedies for each.
  • Acknowledge that regular and open communication will go a long way to mending a damaged culture.


There is no doubt that a strong and positive culture will boost the productivity and profitability of your business. A business with a poor culture, however, is never going to achieve the best possible results. As a leader you need to be on the alert for signs that your culture is suffering or has become fractured. We outline the key things to look out for in our article “Seven signs you have a culture problem”; however, in short you need to watch for an escalation in resignations, high levels of absenteeism and customer complaints, and a drop in business performance.

The thing about a poor culture is sometimes it is difficult to work out quite how it happened, as it is likely the culture has been eroded and has been changing for some time, which can make it harder to turn it around. However, as a business leader it is essential when you realise you have a problem that you start working on a solution as a matter of priority. We have all experienced a business that did not feel quite right and the people were obviously not enjoying working there. This feeling and energy spreads like a virus through the business and impacts everyone the staff come into contact with inside and outside of the business.

The good news is there is a cure! In every business the culture will work from the top down. You and your leadership team hold the power to turn your culture around so it is more positive and rewarding. People by their nature want to work in a positive environment, which will help you to kick-start your culture change. However, there is more to sustainable change than just sending a memo or holding a staff bonding session. It will take some hard work over a long period of time. In fact, as a leader, nurturing your business culture is an ongoing process. This article will give you some tips for fixing a poor culture.

Step 1 – Take responsibility

There is an old saying that a fish will always rot from the head down, and this holds true for your business culture. As the leader you need to take total responsibility for your business’s culture. It might sound a little harsh, but the reality is that culture always travels from the top down. Here are a couple of key questions you need to ask yourself:

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