More and more, companies are noticing the importance of a solid culture in the workplace. Employees no longer tolerate difficult or uncomfortable working environments. People are leaving jobs where they don’t feel appreciated, and it is getting to the point that companies need to find a new way to ensure that their culture is on point to encourage employees to stick around for the long haul.

When people are dissatisfied, they leave. When people leave, you have to hire again, which adds a small fortune to your HR budget. Then, you’ll incur the cost of training these new employees, and so forth. The cycle will repeat itself until you find a better way. Right now, the best way to change the cycle is to shift your organization to a performance culture.

Take an Informal Approach

While annual reviews have historically been a standard measuring stick for workplace performance, they are often staid, dated, and irrelevant to what actually matters in the workplace. While people do want feedback about their work abilities and performance, no one likes the formal setting of a performance review. It’s better to find a more informal way to check in with people and let them know where they stand and what is expected of them. They’ll appreciate the consideration, and you’ll see much better results in terms of performance improvement across the board.

How to shift to a performance culture

Signs Your Culture May Be Missing the Mark

While there are certainly many indicators of a poor culture within an organization, some signs are going to be more obvious than others. By taking stock of how things are shaking down in your organization on a daily basis, you’ll get a better idea of where things are off track. Here are some of the biggest indicators that your company’s culture isn’t in the right place and that you might want to consider switching to a performance culture.

  • Dominating Personalities: If your office has a handful of people who seem to be always dominating conversations or meetings, it may create a toxic culture. When there are two or three outspoken individuals, it is often difficult for other employees to feel like they have a voice, or they can be honest about how they feel about the company culture.
  • Underperforming Employees: While it’s easy to blame performance on the employee, they aren’t always at fault. Sometimes, when employees aren’t performing at their best, and especially when there’s more than one, it may be a sign that your culture needs a makeover.
  • Micromanaging: In an effective organization with a strong culture, micromanagement isn’t necessary or even considered. When leaders start feeling the need to get into day-to-day tasks or micromanage every move and decision made in the company, it could be a sign that something just isn’t working right.
  • Communication Issues: Communication accounts for as much as 70% of an organization’s issues. If people don’t understand why they’re doing what they do at work, it can be a sign that there is a need for a culture shift. Knowing how a job role contributes to the big picture keeps employees motivated.
  • Time-Based Promotions: Promotions should be given based on merit and skill. When you work in an organization where employees are promoted for what seems like only their tenure, it often sends the wrong message that you can stick around long enough and work your way up, which again leads to a toxic culture.
  • All Talk, No Action: Many companies today will talk the talk but not actually implement the necessary culture changes. They say all the right things without taking any action, which can cause employees to disengage and become resentful, leading to a toxic culture and negative environment.

These are just a few of the signs that it might be time to shift your organization’s culture. Ultimately, if there is any disconnect between what you say to employees and what you do as an organization, this could impact the organization’s culture or create a toxic environment where people don’t feel like they really belong.

The Power of Positive Culture on Performance

Productive companies with a solid culture understand the importance of providing their employees with a performance culture environment where the day-to-day operations and abilities of the employees are just as valuable as the atmosphere in which they work. Performance culture means understanding how culture impacts your employees’ performance on the job and, more importantly, that the two are not separate entities.

When employees aren’t satisfied, they will show you by leaving. High turnover rates are often a sign that something is very wrong in the organization, and nine times out of ten that becomes some culture issue. One thing that you can do is to engage the employees who are leaving and find out why, as well as what you can do to change things so that you can reduce turnover and create a strong organization with a solid culture that people don’t want to leave.

What You Can Do

Utilize all of the resources available to incorporate culture into your performance management and the overall structure of your review and improvement process. Stop thinking of culture and performance as two separate entities and start recognizing how they work together to create the work environment that will make or break your organization’s success.

Negativity will kill a company faster than any lack of business or sales. If your employees feel like there’s more negativity than celebration in the office, or if the culture is more focused on complaining than challenging themselves, there might be something wrong. It’s time to take a good, hard look at your culture and what you can do to change it. That’s where adding it to your performance management comes in handy. Make sure that you create a strong organization with a performance culture that is focused on building success as a whole, not just achieving certain metrics or sales goals.