By Suzanna Danyluk

If the health of your corporate culture is flagging, this can often be seen through the lens of internal and external communications.

Has your company suffered any of the following red flags?

  • High turnaround
  • Decrease in morale
  • Poor engagement
  • Increase in mental fatigue

These warning signs can indicate that your corporate communications lack cohesion and structure.  As a result, your workforce may be suffering.

A toxic corporate culture is by far the strongest predictor of industry-adjusted attrition and is 10 times more important than compensation in predicting turnover. 

– Donald Saul, Charles Sull, & Ben Zweig

On the heels of a two-year global pandemic, we hear the terms “toxic workplace” and “the great resignation” circulating everywhere, most commonly seen on social media and traditional media. A contributing factor in today’s business world can be seen in companies that place little to no priority on communications. However, to cultivate a healthy, balanced work culture there must be more attention paid to corporate communications from both a top-down and bottom-up approach.

Key areas of corporate communications to build and nurture:

  • Corporate policies
  • Internal Communications
  • External Communications

Corporate Policies

Establishing a set of policies and standards for the company to adhere to, is one of the most crucial communication pillars. Policies and training documents form the backbone of the company’s internal communications structure. Without a standardized and unified set of guidelines and procedures to follow, the company protocols fall into disarray and the lines of communication will break down.

At a minimum, every business should have the following list of policies and procedural documentation:

1. Company – Employee Handbook

This document should provide an overview and description of corporate policies and any accompanying policy documents, ensuring employees are able to access the information pertinent to their role and the company, with ease.

2. Safety Manual

Even in an office setting, this is still a requirement to have on file and must be kept up to date. Ownership regularly must review and sign off on this document.

3. Benefits Handbook

In addition to providing employees with an overview of their benefits through the applicable provider, the company must also clearly indicate corporate policies pertaining to coverage for leaves, employee resources and support.

4. Onboarding/Offboarding Procedures

An onboarding procedure dictates the necessary protocol to start an employee as a new hire or in a new role. Offboarding procedures provide instruction to seamlessly transition an employee following termination, resignation, or retirement.

5. Training manuals/procedures

Training manuals are an essential component of the onboarding process. These types of documents are also necessary for inter-departmental communications, cross-functional projects and employee development opportunities or promotions.

How can a toxic culture be repaired?

Without question, for repair work to be successful, change must come from the top.

An organization can take steps to implement change and build up a healthy environment for employees, cultivating a safe environment and creating an atmosphere where people will want to work. A first step is to accept responsibility; owners and management set the standard for corporate culture, and this has a huge effect on employee retention.

Repairing a toxic workplace is not impossible, the key is to acknowledge the toxicity and make a concerted effort to heal the organization.

Stay tuned for Part Two when we examine the importance of cultivating internal and external communications within an organization.

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