How to Overcome a Toxic Workplace


Did you know a toxic corporate culture is 10+ times more powerful than compensation in predicting a company’s attrition rate? So far in 2022, 4.5M workers left their jobs, while job openings increased to well over 11M.  Executive leaders are concerned with employee turnover and are admittedly losing their most talented workers. While many of these executives believe that salary and compensation are the leading cause of quitting, a recent survey conducted by MIT Sloan Management Review and Glassdoor reveals some shocking truths about the factors that cause employees to leave. And it’s not because of money,  which actually ranks 16th on the list of reasons people quit. The authors of this survey, which included 500 companies, pin the primary reason on toxic culture.

Several behaviors, such as fear-based leadership, lack of recognition, subversive communications, unhealthy competition, and employee-favoritism, have a major impact on company culture.  Facts show, however, that people do not leave bad companies; they leave bad culture and culture, good or bad, is driven by the leaders .  Unfortunately, even the best  CEOs sometimes underestimate the role their leadership team has in crafting a people focused culture that inspires and motivates their employees to produce results .

When assessing and transforming company culture, you must commit to the 5 C’s of Culture which are:

  1. Capability Culture (“Can Do”) – leaders must instill values, character, and beliefs that exude a “can do” spirit among employees, showing them what it takes to succeed.  Leaders must be willing to pivot in their communication strategies to assure that all members of the team are supported consistently
  2. Commitment Culture (“Will Do”) – leaders must develop a unique culture that motivates and inspires others, instilling the belief that each employee has the power to take risks and add value.  One of the ways great leaders demonstrate this commitment is by empowering their team.
  3. Connectedness Culture (“Must Do”) – using both cooperation and consensus-building elements, leaders must foster a culture based on teamwork and collaboration, allowing employees to execute at a high level.  Establishing a relationship with the team is vital to the leader’s success.
  4. Individual Performance Culture – leaders must foster an environment that’s transparent, open, and equitable – where the team is not fearful of providing honest feedback to the leader.  In fact, it should be welcomed.  Accepting honest feedback  encourages continual improvement; this step demonstrates your willingness to “walk the walk”
  5. Team Performance Culture – leaders must create equitable cultures, where every employee’s contribution adds to the collective success of the organization; conflict may arise, but your team will work hard to find a win/win situation

It’s estimated that three-quarters of all organizations miss the mark on getting corporate culture right, which leads to toxic workplaces. Great companies invest in their people and foster cultures that empower their team to deliver results, which is why 80% of a leader’s time should be dedicated to growing tomorrow’s leaders. Through our cultural transformation process, we can help make your culture healthier – and your leaders stronger – resulting in an organization that attracts top talent.

In assessing and transforming company cultures, ILEC works with organizations of all sizes – from Fortune 1000 organizations to small to mid-sized global entrepreneurial companies. Our master certified ILEC coaches utilize a proven blueprint and philosophy designed to build strong, vibrant organizations. If your company is serious about creating a culture that creates loyalty, trust and optimizes performance,   let’s have a conversation about what’s possible!


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