Company culture refers to the attitudes and behaviours of a company and its employees. It is evident in the way an organisation’s people interact with each other, the values they hold, and the decisions they make. Every workplace has the potential to become unhealthy, including remote offices. The development of bad work culture doesn’t happen overnight. Everyone who works for a given organisation contributes to company culture. It can take only one person to spread dysfunction throughout your company regardless of its size.
Adam Grant talks about the four deadly sins of work culture. The first happens when leaders prioritise results over relationships — getting things done at the cost of treating people right. In this case, a toxic culture can be characterised disrespectful, non-inclusive, unethical, cutthroat, and abusive. The second can happen when a company values saving face rather than getting things done. In this case, we have a false sense of harmony, dishonesty is prevalent, and there is no accountability. The third happens when a culture is all about the rules and a lack of trust and psychological safety prevents new ideas from being explored, and instead, are seen as threats to the status quo. And lastly, the case when there are no rules or established company core values, which means anyone can do whatever they want.
A bad work culture can have profound negative impacts on individuals as well as the business. Employees won't go the extra mile, and rather do the minimum required to get by. Leaders get pushed out and employees get sick more often, which costs your company major time and money. Your organisation can loose reputation and the negative word of mouth can kill your ability to recruit the best talent.
Your culture is a living thing. It needs work to grow and flourish. For individuals to act right, the organisation need to listen to and value its people, implement a sound DEI policy, provide trust and psychological safety, and clearly communicate its core values and beliefs. If you don't intentionally work to create a culture that empowers your people, a default one takes reign and it is usually a toxic one.
We packed our bags and headed out to the Otways in Victoria last month to refresh and bond. We enjoyed delicious home cooked meals, ran, hiked, and mingled with the local eateries. It was cold and wet but we rugged up with the positive attitude and had a fantastic time! We'll aim for a sunny destination next year ;)
Is your tech lead struggling to manage their team and keep them motivated? Or are they finding it difficult to balance speed, quality, and technical debt? Perhaps they could improve their leadership style and grow team culture. Our Leading Engineering Teams workshop covers all of the above and more, and it will help your engineering manager become a confident leader. Our next workshop will be on Aug 29th–Sep 1st. Get a ticket or two before they sell out! https://blackmill.co/workshops/leading-engineering-teams
Every quarter, we donate a portion of our earnings to charities as part of what we give to our community. Last month we donated to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre to help families to achieve more independence and freedom, and Greening Australia to help plant trees and restore eco systems.
What's in a toxic culture? — Sarah expands on her editorial and writes the different elements of a toxic work culture
Improving cross-functional relationships — in a sentence, learn about your team members' needs, be specific, build a team first mentality, and document all the things
The truth about “Imposter Syndrome” — 70% of people experience imposter syndrome, but maybe it is not just us?
I am in a professional services consulting role as an HCD innovation leader at Salesforce. We partner with key customers to set and achieve their future ambitions on our platform. It is a great use of my entire lifetime of skills in digital, human centred design and technology innovation for good. I have a lot of room to experiment and be creative at a strategic level.
Nothing is taken for granted, we work hard at bringing experience led methods for strategic outcomes to customer engagements.
The impact of design for businesses. How defining technology and information connects people in business units and across teams, and how HCD informs the business strategy for prioritisation and effort investment. In particular I care a lot about “back office” staff experiences like customer support and operations.
Along with successful pitches to land engagement leadership, I have also co-designed a couple of new consulting services to take to market.
I won’t stick it out anymore in an environment that doesn’t value my expertise or experience after giving it a good couple of shots. This might be in an organisation or a team or a community. There is no such thing as sunk costs, it's all just acquired knowledge.
I have struggled with severe anxiety my entire life and I’m not sure I do a good job, but I constantly try. At the moment I have a 1000 piece jigsaw happening as this helps calm my busy-mind. I try to get some cardio and stretching on most days and find ways to laugh every day. I also engage professional coaches or counsellors when it gets overwhelming.
Over communicate—repeat the same clear information regularly.
Be very intentional with career choices, balancing opportunity and challenges with mastery.
Not everyone knows how to hire or resource designers, educate when you can, move on when it’s painful.
Community and environmental benefit has been diluted by acute individualism and economic rationalisation. We need leaders and stories that embody selflessness and cohesion.
Moving to an acreage that we can reforest and be more self sustainable with renewable resources.
I’ve adapted this recipe to have way less sugar and be more shortbread like. I usually double or triple the amounts and freeze for later use.
1 cup of plain flour
700g dark, milk or white cooking chocolate, roughly chopped
A pinch of salt
A pinch of baking soda
110 grams of butter
⅓ cup of caster and brown sugar mixed
Mix dry ingredients.
Soften the butter and add egg and sugar, blend until smooth.
Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Roll into balls and place on a baking paper covered baking sheet.
Cook at 170C in for 12–15 minutes depending on how large you make the cookies (they are cooked when the start browning on the edges).
Cool on the tray and enjoy warm!
Thank you for showing an interest in our newsletter and we hope that you enjoyed the read. Feel free to contact us if you have any feedback, a burning question, or just a recipe that you would like to share.
Until next time, keep learning!
Everyone at Blackmill