The 6 Major Signs of a Troubled Company Culture

Once a corporate culture turns toxic, it can diminish employee morale, hinder productivity, and alienate customers. But how does a company culture arrive at this point?

Public relations firm Weber Shandwick, familiar with being on the frontlines of corporate crises, reached out to crisis PR practitioners and asked: “What conditions typically precipitate cultural crises?”

The firm says it paired its observations with findings from an analysis of peer-reviewed articles, insights from its team of “culture change practitioners,” and findings from a survey of American workers from across different industries, to come up with a list of six common indicators of cultural risk. The survey, conducted in September, involved 1,000 employed US adults who work full-time for companies with at least 500 employees. It was conducted by Weber Shandwick’s United Minds management consultancy, in partnership with market research firm KRC Research.

One in five survey respondents said their company has been through a recent culture-related crisis. According to Weber Shandwick and United Minds, their employers were likely exhibiting at least one of these signs beforehand:

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