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Create an uncompromising work culture (before it’s too late)

Don't compromise on respect unless you want to see people quit in droves. Learn more about those compromises and what a better workplace culture looks like.

3 min read



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It’s a new dawn. More so than ever before, employees have a voice, and they have a choice.

Those employees continue to voluntarily quit their jobs at a record-breaking pace. In the US, more than 44 million workers had quit in 2021 through November.

What’s driving these employees to leave their jobs? MIT Sloan’s research found that a toxic company culture is the biggest factor in pushing employees out the door. In fact, a toxic culture is 10 times more important than compensation in predicting turnover.

My new book with Mark Babbitt, “Good Comes First,” is subtitled “How today’s leaders create an uncompromising company culture that doesn’t suck.”

Compromise is typically seen as a good thing, right? In this case, when companies and leaders compromise on the respectful treatment of employees, it’s a very bad thing.

So, what is an uncompromising work culture? It’s a work environment where employees are treated with respect and validation for their ideas, efforts, and contributions, every day.

It’s hard work to create a work environment that never compromises on respectful treatment. It requires leaders’ time, effort, and intention to model, coach, measure, celebrate, and mentor, every day.

Most leaders have never been asked to or trained to do that. So, compromises of respect happen.

Typical compromises include:

  • Pay inequity
  • Benefit inequity
  • Absence of diversity and inclusion
  • Toxic treatment by leaders and colleagues
  • “White lies” are told to customers
  • “White lies” are told to employees
  • Unkept promises to team members or customers or vendors

Even a single compromise on fair, respectful, validating treatment erodes sanity, engagement, productivity, profits, service and fun.

Why build and sustain an uncompromising work culture?

  • Talented, respected people love working for you. They stay with the company for a long time.
  • Talented, respected people want to work for you. They flock to apply for open positions.
  • Talented, respected people solve problems — and “wow” customers, and improve processes, and cooperate seamlessly, and contribute greatly and brag about your uncompromising culture.

All of which boost results and profits. Our clients typically enjoy 35% or greater increases in results and profits after 18 months.

Create an uncompromising work culture where respect is as important as results. You’ll have a lot more fun.

S. Chris Edmonds is a speaker, author and executive consultant with The Purposeful Culture Group, where he is founder and CEO. He has authored or co-authored seven books, including “The Culture Engine.” His latest book, “Good Comes First,” recently published and was co-authored with Mark Babbitt. Edmonds’ videos, posts and podcasts are available at Follow Edmonds on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Apple Podcasts.

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