The longer I work as an editor and writing coach, the more I seem to focus on internal communications before external ones. The reason? The inner workings of a company have to be in order before a cohesive and united message can be shared externally. A vision has to be set. The players need to know what their roles are in transmitting the message. Everyone has to be on board with that message, and being on board with the message starts with being on board with the vision and culture of the company.
Too many times, though, companies lose focus. They forget about culture and camaraderie. They become ensnared by making sales. They become so blinded by their desire, their greed, that they don’t notice the impending danger to their companies. They become oblivious to the warning signs.
What are the warning signs? I can think of at least ten:
- Employees joke about pink slips.
- Employees say they would never run a business the way so-and-so runs it.
- Employees fear being fired for turning in their two-weeks notice.
- Employees say the business wouldn’t last without so-and-so.
- Employees dread company get-togethers and worry about losing pay in order to attend them.
- Employees mock monthly meetings because open communication is the last thing that occurs during them.
- Employees are afraid to express their opinions, be they negative or positive.
- Employees are afraid to share their pet projects or side businesses.
- Employees state they never know if they’re doing a good job.
- Employees don’t say and don’t want to say where they work.
Would you add any other warning signs to the list? How do you build morale and company culture?