6 Symptoms of Bad Company Culture and How to Remedy Them

In this post, we go over what bad company culture is, what the symptoms are, and discuss how Culture Booster helps fix it.

What Is Bad Company Culture?

Simply stated, company culture is the atmosphere in which your employees operate.

Sometimes companies may overlook essential elements of the workplace environment and workers might be under tremendous strain with unrealistically high standards and weary attitudes.

It's likely you have experienced bad company culture at least once in your life, and you know how it goes:

You start your new job motivated, feeling a sense of purpose, and eager to contribute; the next thing you know, managers become more critical than supportive. There is a lack of positive feedback, and workers' ideas aren't acknowledged.

The office environment has become stifling. Excessive pressure is being placed on employees via company-wide emails or memos, inspiring feelings of resentment and unease, especially when these messages contain a threatening tone.

Without support or resources, you now find yourself feeling too intimidated to communicate your difficulties to managers and supervisors.You become the workplace prisoner; your motivation turns to apathy, then disdain. How did it happen?

Toxic work environments occur in the workspace due to poor communication, conflicting personalities, or competitive attitudes between peers. Personalities may clash without tools for resolve, causing tension in the workplace that trickles down into daily interactions between employees.

Employees can't thrive in poor company culture, and businesses need to be aware of how their company culture affects employee productivity and well-being.

In this post, we will go over how to diagnose bad company culture, how it can harm your business, and give you the solution to boost employee engagement to get your business back on track!

What Does Bad Company Culture Look Like?

High Turnover

Bad company culture may be the catalyst for increased turnover rates.

Who would want to work for a firm with an unsavory corporate culture?

Increased employee turnover is costly for businesses. Not only do human resources have to recruit and evaluate new applicants, but the overall work atmosphere is damaged when team members leave their positions.

A toxic workplace may be a significant factor in its down fall if a business has an increased employee turnover rate and the problems don’t end there. A negative culture will not only drive employees away but also deter potential job seekers from taking your company seriously. More than one-third of American workers say they would reject the ideal employment opportunity if they thought the culture was unsuitable. If your turnover rate is high or you have difficulty getting top talent interested in working with you, employees and prospects are typically looking for a more harmonious culture.

Increased Safety Incidents

Workplace safety programs are an essential element of any business, particularly when you consider that more than 92 workers are killed on the job every week in the United States. 

But what does that have to do with bad company culture?

Approaching workplace safety on a company-wide, “cultural” level has the most significant impact on reducing safety incidents.

To maintain a healthy, safe and productive work environment, communication is critical. Employees at all levels of the company must trust that their concerns will be heard and addressed. When employees feel unsafe or uncomfortable in their work environment, they are less likely to identify dangerous procedures and less likely to follow safety protocols.

Every level of your organization has an impact on safety.Stand-alone workplace safety plans sometimes appear to be a separate task of the health and safety department or specific to one process, when in fact, they’re everyone’s responsibility.

It’s not always easy to identify and address bad company culture, but it’s essential to do so before it becomes a safety hazard. By establishing open communication channels, listening to employee feedback, and creating a company culture where everyone feels cared for and valued, you can help prevent bad company culture from putting your employees at risk.

Actively Disengaged Employees

Nobody sets out with the intention to be unhappy at their job. Most likely, when they began, they were satisfied or enthusiastic about what they did. Disengaged employees have “checked out,” and a bad company culture might be the culprit.

What’s more, disengagement in the workplace can become contagious if your culture isn’t healthy.

One active­ly dis­en­gaged employ­ee can rep­re­sent a real threat, they aren’t only unhap­py at work, they are so dis­sat­is­fied and frus­trat­ed with their role they act­ out their unhap­pi­ness, which is damaging to the overall environment. Keep an eye on the warning signs and take resolute actions to address the underlying causes.

Signs You Might Have Actively Disengaged Employees:

●     Social With­draw­al and Lack of Participation

●     Needs To Take More Breaks

●     Pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and Qual­i­ty of Work Has Dropped Off

●     They Gen­er­al­ly Have a Lousy Attitude

●     Last to Arrive and First to Leave

●     Increase in Absenteeism

●     They Undermine Oth­er Employ­ees’ Achievements

Spillover Effect

In general, spillover and crossover imply that whatever people encounter at work, they take with them inside and outside of the workplace and pass it on to others. These outcomes are far-reaching and may significantly impact business activities, culture, productivity, loyalty, profits, family life, and more.

Spillover and crossover effects can also have an impact on safety.

Why would they waste energy following more regulations or supporting one another if they're having trouble maintaining even a minor degree of engagement with their everyday tasks?

According to research, anger might be a contributing factor in work accidents. Negative feelings impair people's cognitive functions by disrupting attention, limiting focus, and prompting employees to act without thinking about potential consequences.

Emotions and opinions are readily transferred. Employers must create a workplace that promotes positive sentiments and prevents negative crossover and spillover from impairing health and safety.

Although mental health influences many facets of employees' lives, it is essential to be aware of spillover and crossover effects and try to create a culture and workplace rules that minimize unfavorable emotions in the workplace.


Let’s take a closer look at three main causes of inventory shrinkage:

●     Shoplifting

If your staff isn't engaged, frankly, they may not be too concerned with your company's bottom line. This means they are less likely to follow loss prevention procedures or report witnessing a theft.

Shoplifting alone accounts for 36.5%of total losses due to inventory shrinkage each year. Given the widespread nature of this problem and that it can manifest in many ways, retailers and workers must understand how to handle any instances of shoplifting swiftly and establish a broad company-wide policy.

●     Employee Theft

Employee theft is one of the most common sources of year-end financial loss for businesses, representing 30% of total losses. Employees may steal goods from the company, fraudulently return merchandise, offer "free" things to family or friends, or straight-up steal cash.

Workplace culture is what propels every company. It influences how the firm functions and serves its clients. In particular, retail companies rely on employees to achieve success. A successful company is a group of people working together to achieve their goals.

Everyone's contribution matters, and you must appreciate every single employee by offering bonuses and engaging in community activities so that you may foster loyalty and keep employees for longer. Employee theft is reduced when employees are encouraged, supported, and valued. 

●     Administrative Errors

Administrative errors cause 21.3% of annual inventory shrinkage. Having accurate inventory management is critical when it comes to improving cash flow.

Administrative blunders may be the source of your losses when your company takes a hit. Unfortunately, this might be caused by unlawful activity on the part of supervisors, well-planned harmful activities, or even honest administrative mistakes—all of which are avoidable.Implementing suitable inventory management policies and procedures is critical for tracking your retail stock and sales accurately. 

Significant losses may be caused by minor mistakes, such as accounting errors, product mislabeling, and improper markdowns. Employees need to learn how to perform administrative activities efficiently to avoid making mistakes that result in financial losses. However, if an employee is unengaged or careless, it becomes more difficult to prevent these errors.


Employee absenteeism is when your staff are absent for either scheduled or unexpected reasons. 

Annual leave paid time off, vacations, staff development absences, and planned medical procedures are all planned absence forms.Unplanned absences are caused by stress, illness, injury, or personal concerns.

Aside from the impact on revenue, employee absenteeism may have a detrimental influence on morale and productivity. Employees can't achieve their maximum potential without all of them being present, and if the numbers decline too far, the remaining staff may feel overburdened by the additional workload.

It's not an easy problem to address, but it's critical that you figure out the factors and reduce employee absences to preserve a positive company and achieve long-term success.  

Employee Burnout

Burnout is an individual's response to continuous emotional and interpersonal stress in the workplace. It's not due to working too many hours in a high-demand setting. Instead, it is a multidimensional reaction with numerous complex causes.

People with burnout feel emotionally exhausted.

They often feel cynical or pessimistic about their job, colleagues, and the company. They may feel like they can no longer give their best effort or that they're not doing anything worthwhile, affecting their ability to achieve goals and meet deadlines. People with burnout may also feel detached or indifferent to others, leading to rude or unprofessional behavior that negatively impacts the well-being of others in the workplace.

Burnout has an impact on the employee's performance, as well as that of the team and workplace culture. Creating a work atmosphere that minimizes burnout while encouraging productivity, employee engagement, and overall happiness is critical to creating an outstanding team.

5 Causes Of Poor Company Culture


Employees who believe their bosses aren’t upholding their side of the bargain are less likely to keep to theirs, become disenchanted, engage in passive-aggressive behavior, or allow work quality to deteriorate. When these conditions are widespread, businesses rapidly become vulnerable. Given that this is the most prominent predictor of cultural danger, it’s no surprise that an investment in your staff is an investment in a healthy culture and, ultimately, better results.

Lack Of Diversity And Inclusion

Many companies have been criticized for creating non-inclusive cultures, owing to a lack of diversity in the workforce. Men and women who are underrepresented are twice as likely to be judged according to cultural stereotypes. For those workers, a focus on culture might have meant the difference between remaining or quitting: Sixty percent said they would have stayed if their employers had attempted to reverse unhealthy social norms and practices.

Inconsistent Management

We all know that people follow the lead of their bosses, which is why it’s not surprising that bad leadership at the top is also a predictor of organizational risk. Where bad company culture exists, employees believe that their leaders don’t behave consistently with company values or feel that management doesn’t adhere to policies they implement.

Overloaded Employees

High-pressure settings are another culture hazard indicator. Unrealistic deadlines, aggressive sales targets, staffing issues, and ineffective incentive systems might have your employees drowning in deadlines and pressure, which can lead to several problems.Overloaded employees are more susceptible to burnout, turnover, absenteeism, and disengagement, which can be costly to remedy.

Vague Ethical Standards

The ambiguous ethical standards of a company are its last warning sign. Company ethics—which should guide employee behavior—frequently lack, aren’t known, or aren’t supported by systems and processes.

 Of course, the first step is to have values, principles, or beliefs; the next and most crucial stage is to make them real by enabling and implementing them. Your values should support the culture you’re attempting to create and the overarching goal your company is pursuing.

How to Remedy Bad Company Culture

Bad company culture hurts employees, destroys value, and can lead to harmful habits. Now that we have summarized what causes bad company culture and the symptoms of a failing system.

Here’s the solution!  

Employee engagement software is the single most effective way to remedy a diminishing culture. Low employee engagement can decrease productivity, increase staff turnover, and seriously affect growth and innovation.

Culture Booster, a science-backed employee engagement platform will help identify issues early before they become more extensive and costly. Additionally, it can help create a plan for improvement by providing actionable insights that you can implement. With Culture Booster, managers can develop and implement interventions quickly and effectively to revive a struggling culture.

Here’s how we do it:

Surveys: Our surveys provide you with full access to one of the most extensive databases of science-backed, reliable questions. The questions you ask are vital to ensuring the accuracy and consistency of your findings— Hear your team, improve communication and focus on what matters.

Scorecards: Organizational performance is composed of many variables, and building a scorecard for each one of them can be difficult. Scorecard was built to help you create a single management report that can improve outcomes in essential areas of your business. To assist everyone at every level of your company to be more efficient, you may set clear goals and initiatives that enhance efficiency with Scorecard.

Strategy: Our strategy allows you to establish objectives that are straightforward and targeted. Follow the take action plan prompts, and you're one step closer to goal achievement. We know not one size fits all, so if you need a unique approach to excellence on your route to success, get in touch with one of our co-pilots, and they'll develop a plan tailored to your needs. 

Summary: We designed performance reviews to perfectly balance your team members' learning while highlighting their best performance. Summary makes it simple for you to plan, lead, and provide feedback for your one-on-one meetings and performance evaluations. You can use our Meeting Builder™ alongside your employees to create a more engaging and collaborative experience. 

Suggestions: Make your team feel more connected and valued with Suggestions. One person is no longer the gatekeeper of idea implementation. Everyone can vote for ideas they like. If an idea passes the minimum vote threshold, your Culture Committee either approves it or provides a detailed explanation for why they don’t think it’s a good idea. Nothing boosts credibility and communication more than real empowerment.

Stars: Stars are a new way to show appreciation for your team, celebrate noteworthy moments, and boost your company culture! Whether your team members are in the office, working remotely, or traveling miles away, we created a meaningful way to honor a well-done job. With Stars, you can even send a gift card. Browse a wide variety of brands, and find their favorite —add rewards to recognition!

Key Takeaways

Your employees are your greatest asset. Bad company culture can cause employees to be disengaged and unhappy with their jobs, resulting in low productivity and high turnover rates for your organization. It's time to look at where your business falls on the spectrum.

The bad news is that many businesses suffer from poor company culture. But the good news is, employee engagement is now considered a wonder drug for human resource challenges, and Culture Booster is here to help.

We want to partner with you to improve your employee engagement. Try out our free demo and let our team show you what employee engagement software could mean for your company's culture!