If you are experiencing cultural changes at work due to either a new boss, CEO or cultures colliding with an acquisition this blog is for you! People, teams, and customers are the most important ingredient to a company’s success.
So what do you do when your company’s culture begins spiraling downhill?
With anything new comes change. I’ve been part of a couple acquisitions throughout my career and during the first one, I vividly remember how negatively significant my colleagues were impacted – they were laid off. It can be brutal and scary and in my opinion, the worst part is losing the relationships you spent time building. People leave and move on and it’s typically the people you don’t want to leave that end up going. The culture changes; the energetic DNA of what once brought the cohesiveness to be successful, now shifts.
Let’s say you are going through an acquisition and you’re the one “sticking it out”, maybe you recently got promoted, or you’re having the best year of your career, however one by one the resignation emails go out and you find yourself attending farewell happy hours and lunches weekly.
You’re sense of the culture is changing and you find your own attitude is shifting as well.
How do you stay motivated and positive especially when new policies take effect, more internal tasks pile up, and the pace to get anything done internally is slower?
Let me first start by saying, I’ve been there and it was emotionally draining to continue to want to excel when everyone else either left on their own terms, laid off, or decided they no longer wanted to be effective in their role. The culture went from customer centric to internally distracted with an illusion that the business was focused on the customer, when in reality, client escalations and delays became the new normal.
Top 10 signs your work culture is negatively impacting you:
1. Are you calling out “sick” or taking more time off than previously?
2. Do you feel like the internal team meetings are a waste of your time now?
3. Are you seeing more escalations from clients or vendors due to delays?
4. Is there lack of internal communication of changes and when they become effective?
5. Delays in your assignments or goals and you don’t have a clear understanding of what is expected of you in the new culture setting (implementing new org structures tend to create communication gaps if executed poorly)
6. Are certain business team functions not stepping up to the plate and no one is being accountable for it?
7. Do you take less effort to introduce yourself to newcomers and keep to yourself?
8. Are you finding yourself skipping out on the team outings (unless it’s mandatory) and working away?
9. Are you easily distracted with social media during work hours to make the time fly by?
10. Do you feel your skills are not being developed or you’re losing your edge?
If you answered YES to one or more of the questions above that is a clear indication your work culture is emotionally tearing at you.
So now what?
You do have the mindset to help the culture shift in the right direction.
Make the Decision to…
(A) make a career move and be in a culture that inspires you, wakes you up with ideas and that you align with their values or
(B) make a mindshift and adopt the new culture and let go of what was and what used to be. As companies grow you have to choose to grow with them or you’ll get stuck in corporate purgatory and be unhappy.
If you select (B) adopt mindset changes below to help you change evolve with the new culture
Become aware of when you’re nagging about your position, the company or people in the organization, give yourself a time limit to vent your frustrations and then move on. (note: make venting sessions under 10 minutes… don’t waste your time being in a negative state, most precious currency on the planet!)
Every morning write down or say 5 things in your head you are grateful specifically about your work
Reach out and make relationships with the new people coming onboard, being around people who are fresh and excited about their opportunity will give you insight into how the culture is changing with new people energy
Be proactive and volunteer to help shape the new values, processes and direction of where the company needs to go
Take on a new project or task that stimulates your own development within the company
With all change comes growth and often times as a new culture takes form in a business you have the opportunity to evaluate your values and professional outlook and determine if you can grow with the company. There’s tremendous opportunity during these times to standout and be dynamic and get “noticed” as a key stakeholder to shift the company the direction leadership has envisioned.
YOU are the gateway to your own happiness and ALL choices in what you do with your Career. Make it count towards the life you want!