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3 obvious signs your work culture needs a reboot

Good leaders will ensure a work culture built on respect, meaning and cohesiveness. S. Chris Edmonds explains how.

3 min read


We continue to experience post-pandemic employment upheaval. Another 4.4 million US workers voluntarily quit their jobs in April 2022. Today there are over 11 million open jobsDespite increased wages and bonuses, many people remain on the sidelines. Why are so many jobs going unfilled? The likely cause is a lousy work culture.

Here are three obvious signs that your work culture needs a reboot.

Lack of respect undermines work culture

In a disrespectful work culture, bullying and dismissing others are the norm. Validation for ideas, efforts and contributions is rare.

In this environment, team members are on edge. They can’t be confident they will be treated in a civil manner. So, they’re on guard, on the lookout for the next disrespectful act — and it usually doesn’t take long before one happens.

When respect is as important as results, three things happen. Engagement, service and results increase — by 40% over a 12-month time frame.

Lack of meaning makes work demoralizing


In a culture focused exclusively on results, team members feel like cogs in a wheel. When targets are met, team members don’t typically enjoy any benefit. They don’t receive recognition or raises or bonuses. The work never ends. The only people who benefit are stakeholders, who are far removed from day-to-day efforts.

When service to community and customers is a priority, people engage their heads, hearts, and hands in service — and in their work. Results improve — because families depend upon them.

Lack of cohesiveness sabotages work culture

Cohesiveness is the degree of cooperative interaction across a work team. If cohesion is low, team members insulate themselves. They do their thing without proactively engaging with many others during the workday. They’re committed primarily to their tasks, not to coordinating or cooperating with others at work.

Building cohesiveness requires shared values and common goals. Working together to solve problems, celebrate traction and innovate leads to greater opportunities to serve others.

Creating an uncompromising work culture requires senior leaders’ attention and intention to build respect, meaning and cohesiveness every day. 

S. Chris Edmonds is a speaker and author as well as executive consultant, founder and CEO with The Purposeful Culture Group. He has authored or co-authored seven books, including The Culture Engine and, his latest, Good Comes First with Mark Babbitt. Edmonds’ videos, posts and podcasts are available at DrivingResultsThroughCulture. Follow Edmonds on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Apple Podcasts.


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