Common mistakes leaders make that impact company culture

poster common mistakes leaders make

Most corporations acknowledge the impact culture has on worker engagement, productiveness, and efficiency. However whereas many leaders assume they’re cultivating an efficient culture, a few of their actions are literally culture mistakes.

Take the praise sandwich, as an illustration. That is when suggestions is supplied by sandwiching “unfavourable” suggestions between two compliments. Whereas the intent behind that is wonderful (present extra reward and appreciation than criticism), the implementation could be flawed.

The concept is that this methodology makes it simpler for workers to just accept criticisms, but it surely’s important to recollect that no two people are alike. This one-size-fits-all strategy can even have the other impact. Your worker could concentrate on simply the unfavourable or optimistic feedback somewhat than listening to the whole suggestions. Additionally, as a result of it tends to be contrived, it might harm belief and construct up unfavourable anticipation when staff can really feel it coming and are simply ready for the opposite shoe to drop. Leaders could wish to have one-on-one conversations with staff about their preferences for receiving suggestions as an alternative. Then they will honor these preferences individually.


There are lots of different examples of how leaders can inadvertently create culture missteps, a few of that are outlined right here. In case you can acknowledge the pitfalls early on, you’ll be able to regulate your management type and technique to create your required culture.

Failing to hyperlink culture to technique

Many leaders fail to acknowledge how important it’s to hyperlink their culture to their technique. The simplest strategy is to get clear about your future imaginative and prescient for the company and the technique to get there. Then, take into consideration how your company culture aligns with the execution of that technique. What behaviors would you like out of your crew to attain that future imaginative and prescient? This means of linking the 2 helps you guarantee that they don’t seem to be working at cross functions, however somewhat the culture is making it simpler for the individuals in your crew to do the work and achieve success.

Shifting too quick to attain true alignment

One other one of the frequent mistakes that leaders make is transferring too quick when considering by means of the longer term imaginative and prescient and company technique. Then they not solely fail to attain the extent of readability that will assist them get aligned, however they fail to make sure that the members of the management crew are genuinely engaged in a manner that addresses any confusion or resistance they’ve. Typically it is advisable decelerate to hurry up. Spending a number of further hours in dialog with the management crew about what the technique actually is won’t solely yield higher selections in regards to the company’s future however will even create a stronger stage of crew cohesion, which is important to perform company targets.

Counting on the artifacts

Company culture tends to be fairly misunderstood, and other people like to consider the seen artifacts because the culture. Leaders usually try to create a enjoyable atmosphere for individuals by making a recreation room or getting a ping-pong desk. Or perhaps they assume they will generate culture by bringing in bagels for the employees or having a potluck round holidays. Genuine culture is a lot greater than what you may see round particular events or how an workplace is about up. Genuine culture is all the pieces to do with the interactions of human beings as they’re doing the day-to-day work. Typically leaders lean too exhausting on artifacts and consider having remoted team-building occasions will create the sort of morale enhance that they want for efficient company culture. They’re simply not getting it.

Triangulating (even with good intentions)

One of the poisonous issues that occurs in organizations is named triangulation. Triangulation is whenever you discuss any person when you will have a difficulty with them, somewhat than speaking on to them. Typically this may be performed in a gossipy or sort of nasty manner, which is clearly detrimental. Nonetheless, even when leaders triangulate from a spot of optimistic intention, it might hurt culture.

It doesn’t matter what the dialog may be whenever you’re speaking about any person, it might erode belief. It additionally fails to acknowledge how people actually work. People have all types of biases and lenses that filter data. This implies that even when somebody is making an attempt to share data with you about how one can most successfully talk with Susie, your relationship with Susie will at all times be totally different from another person’s relationship along with her. Due to this, the best factor for leaders to do is at all times encourage, invite, and even insist that staff speak straight to 1 one other after they have interpersonal challenges. Not solely will this enhance belief between your crew members, however it’ll unencumber your time as a pacesetter to concentrate on extra strategic issues.


Failing to speculate

CEOs will usually search for a easy strategy to lead cultural change inside their group, however the issue with any such considering is it represents a basic misunderstanding of culture. Culture shifts don’t occur in a single day, and actual change begins from the within out. For instance, suppose you need individuals in your group to be extra open to alter, which is important as a result of change is fixed. In that case, you wish to construct the capability to adapt to your group’s culture as an attribute. By far and away, the most important mistake the leaders make on the subject of culture is just not investing in it. More often than not, the most important funding is definitely the time it takes to have these vital conversations, somewhat than a big monetary burden.

Finally, culture can turn out to be dangerous or ineffective if not deliberate out rigorously and with objective. Consider all culture initiatives based mostly on their potential to drive enterprise outcomes, enhance lives and enhance worker engagement to find out if they’re value implementing.

Laura Gallaher, PhD, is a management coach and organizational psychologist. She is the founding father of Gallaher Edge.