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How to identify a company culture disaster

The company culture you create is the heart of your business. If the heart of your business is skipping a beat in any way, it can have damaging effects on your output. As an entrepreneur or leader of a company, it is your responsibility to monitor the company culture and make swift moves when necessary. You have to put your finger on the pulse and be ready to resuscitate when needed. What if you do not know how to identify whether you have a company culture problem? Simply put, your business will die.

The Company Culture Is Your Responsibility

Your people are your No. 1 asset. They are your producers. If they cannot relate to your company culture or if your culture is toxic, their productivity will shut down. On the other hand, when your company culture is electric you will have more output, creative ideas, camaraderie, trust, respect, and the list goes on.

Make sure your employees know your company’s core values. These values must be discussed often and practiced persistently. Think of them as the arteries to the heart, steering employees to make the right decisions. Do not put your head in the sand. You owe it to your employees and to yourself to fix the problem.

Here are three simple ways to identify whether you have a company culture disaster:

  1. Be Very Honest With Yourself

If your gut is telling you there is a problem then chances are there is trouble.

Here are a few things to look out for:

  • Productivity is down. Are you noticing sales calls are not what they used to be?
  • Your team is slacking. Do you have more customer service complaints?
  • HR is getting involved. Human resources grievances are on the rise.
  • People are leaving. Turnover is up and may be at an all-time high.
  • The vibe is off. There’s no energy around the office.
  • You hear negative talk. Trust me, if you walk around enough and be seen, you will hear the negativity.
  1. Ask Your Employees

Remember, your employees are the lifeline of your company. If they are not happy, you must figure out why. You can get to the core of the problem by keeping the dialogue open. If you fear they will not be honest with you, I have a few workarounds to get you the feedback you desire:

  • Conduct a confidential survey. This survey does not have to be elaborate or sophisticated. You can ask a few questions and leave space for honest feedback. If you need help with this, there are some great resources online. Be honest with your employees and let them know you need their feedback in order to make necessary changes.
  • Put out a suggestion box. The key to success with a suggestion box is to promote it heavily. Encourage consistent feedback. It will become a dusty old box with no significance if you do not own it.
  • Invite a random sample of employees to come talk with you. If you feel like this might be too intimidating, have them speak with another member of your staff. This might be an HR person or another trusted leader within your organization. Make sure this person is an individual with authority and can handle confidential information.
  • Hire an outside firm. Depending on the size of your company and the severity of the issue(s), you may choose to hire someone from the outside. Employees may feel more comfortable sharing with someone that is not a colleague. Just keep in mind that it might be a little pricey — but worth it if you have that big of a problem.
  • Buy employee survey software. Click here for the top-rated employee engagement software.
  1. Clearly Communicate Company Values

If you have never clearly defined your company’s values, then it will be difficult to form the culture you need in order to be successful. If they do not have values to adhere to, it’s difficult for employees to make proper decisions or to connect with anything.

Personal development and values typically coincide with the values of the company. Employees will be confused if a core value is “trust” but all the leadership makes decisions behind closed doors. What if comradery is important to someone but creative brainstorming is only done with key members of management? You get my point — you will have disgruntled employees and poor morale.

Save yourself from a culture disaster by staying involved, asking many questions and communicating clearly. Your company’s success depends on it!

This article originally appeared here on Forbes.com.

August 7, 2017 1 comment
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build a career around a lifestyle

 How This Executive Coach Found Happiness

I met Laura Berger, Co-Founder of Berdeo Group, a few months back at a networking event. Immediately, I knew I wanted to interview her for my next blog. When I think of highly successful people who are doing it their own way, I think of Laura. Laura is currently a Professional Certified Executive Coach and is a leadership expert in corporate and personal development.  She was determined to build a career around a lifestyle.

In the beginning of her career, Laura had a great job, making fantastic money but she was not happy. At the time she was a Management Consultant and traveling like “mad” like all her other colleagues. She knew that this was not something she wanted to do for the rest of her life. Laura acknowledges that happiness is in the here and now and she was desperately looking for greater happiness in her life.

In her mid thirties, she decided to make a drastic change. Where most people would think she was utterly insane for leaving a six-figure job and big title, Laura explained to me that she was not fulfilled. Even though throughout her life she felt she always went against the grain, leaving a high paying job was risky. To make a radical move like this you have to believe in yourself 100%.

build a career around a lifestyle

Growing up, Laura was center of attention. She focused on achievement and wanted to be the best at everything she tried. She also felt the need to prove to others her ability. Laura experienced a tremendous loss with a family member and a beloved pet and realized that life is too short and she needed to start doing things that were good for her and get out of the cut-throat corporate environment. During those moments, Laura decided she would build a career around a “lifestyle.” Where most of us would be paralyzed, Laura did exactly that; she started to pave her own way.

While listening to her story, it appeared to me that she was just dipping her toe into the water at the beginning of this transformation. It was not until she had a breakthrough and became incredibly focused did she start to realize success and growth. If you are not going to put everything you have into your career, whatever choice that is, you can kiss success goodbye. You cannot just dabble; you have to put everything you got, and then some, in order to realize your full potential. Once Laura got into the right mindset, things began to change for her.

Instead of being center stage, Laura now prefers to be behind the scenes. She helps leaders find their voice. She has come to realize, working with all different kinds of leader, that many people lose sight of who they really are and what they stand for. Laura is passionate about bringing forward her clients thoughts and making them the best they can be. In order to obtain great success in your life, you have to give back to others. In Laura’s role, making leaders find their true potential and giving them the roadmap to success is her unique way of helping others.

build a career around a lifestyle

Not only does Laura give back to people she is also very passionate about animal welfare and is very involved with Best Friend Animal Society. This organization is the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals. They build effective programs that reduce the number of animals entering shelters. To donate or learn more, click here.

Laura’s success is partly due to her personality. Laura is very direct but in a warm way. She describes it as a “velvet hammer.” One of her core values is openness and she talks a lot about full transparency. Laura is compassionate and that shows in her love of people and animals. She is obviously a go-getter, as well

Laura’s advice to new entrepreneur is to be courageous. If you don’t have the courage you will never make the first move to go out on your own. You may be the type to talk about it a lot.   That is just it; it is a lot of talk. You have to take action and action takes courage.   So, get up and get doing! Nothing will happen without action.

Laura has been featured on ABC, Huffington Post Live, The Dr. Oz Show with Deepak Chopra, in CNBC, US News, World Report, Yahoo Finance, Self Magazine, The Miami Herald, radio shows across the country, and now her most exciting feature www.KeriannWorley.com. (Laura did not say that, I did). Laura is also an expert blogger for Psychology Today and the Huffington Post. To add one more, Laura is a best selling Author of Radical Sabbatical, a story about her and her husband ditching their cut-throat corporate jobs for life in a tranquil jungle paradise.

June 30, 2017 1 comment
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