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How to Avoid a Toxic Company Culture

company culture
Syda_Productions on Deposit Photos

Many companies today promote diversity from the highest-paid CEO to the least-paid worker. But sometimes, a company culture consists of echo chambers, where people all think the same way. If you only hire employees who a cutthroat and competitive, you may have a toxic company culture, and you may see more turnover. 

Luke Marklin is the CEO of Bellhop, an online platform to help you book movers. But before he was in the moving business, he worked for Uber, a Silicon Valley unicorn. In working for such a successful and fast-growing company – and then starting his own – Marklin learned a few lessons on company culture, values and diversity. He shared them on Follow the Profit Podcast with David Grasso. 

3 ways to promote a diverse and healthy company culture

  1. Don’t continue to promote employees that don’t align with your values. “If you’re not doing the things in your culture to make sure that you are supporting the people with those values, then it doesn’t matter what you say, right?” Marklin said. You should only hire, promote and give raises to employees who match your vision. Diversity shouldn’t mean hostility. 
  2. Don’t give yourself a pass because your company is growing too fast. “As we’ve matured and grown, we’ve said, ‘We really need to be more intentional about this. We need to stop that excuse,’” Marklin said. Companies should make time for diversity because it’s a foundational concept to avoiding toxic company culture.
  3. Know that remote work can help you. “That’s allowed us to really widen the recruiting area, and now we can get a funnel that’s three/four times as big and really push not only for a certain set of hard skills but other skills, other diversity, things we want to add,” Marklin said. You can diversify your company, especially by geographical area.

Creating a balance of values

Many start-ups can’t sustain their rapid growth. It’s challenging to maintain a healthy culture and ensure your team has the appropriate support. Marklin’s advice is to create a balance of values from the top down.

“As a CEO who is trying to drive a company to high levels of execution and take on tough challenges, you want the winning culture to be alive. But you’ve got to balance it with something else,” he said. “So, our values are innovator’s mind, winner’s drive and servant’s heart, and we’re trying to balance the three.”

***Check out Follow the Profit episode on Spotify, Apple or iHeartRadio.***

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