The ICONIC Mindset

13 sins of the unICONIC: The Sequel

October 28, 2020
The ICONIC Mindset
13 sins of the unICONIC: The Sequel
Chapters
2:03
Intro: Toxic Work Environments
4:37
Sin #13: Absence of accountability
6:26
Sin #12: Value for the company over core values
9:10
Sin #11: Lack of investment in people
11:27
Sin #10: Rotating door policy, high turnover, excessive absenteeism, and routine illness
13:12
Sin #9: Preferential treatment; favoritism and office politics
15:39
Sin #8: Productivity is driven by fear
17:25
Sin #7: Management vs. The Us Culture
20:56
Sin #6: Employees have no latitude in performing their jobs
24:58
Sin #5: Power (title and status) over Purpose (contribution to the mission)
27:20
Sin #4: Lack of diversity and inclusion
29:39
Sin #3: There is no community or team spirit
32:34
Sin #2: Employees aren’t appreciated, adequately acknowledged or rewarded
33:51
Sin #1: You don’t have a list of core values, purpose is unclear, or no purpose at all
37:10
ICONIC Points
The ICONIC Mindset
13 sins of the unICONIC: The Sequel
Oct 28, 2020

13 sins of the unICONIC: The Sequel
Episode #8

Toxic work cultures make going to work feel miserable. New ideas can’t flourish, people can’t be honest, micro-management thrives, and leaders are given power that go to their heads and fuel their egos. In our last podcast, John and Calvin talked about how to build an ICONIC culture that stands the test of time. 

As a good follow-up (or sequel), this episode provides listeners with a list of 13 telltale signs that your company culture is moving in the wrong direction – and then provide practical solutions to fix them.

  • 0:02:03 - Intro: Toxic Work Environments
  • 0:04:37 - Sin #13: Absence of accountability
  • 0:06:26 - Sin #12: Value for the company over core values
  • 0:09:10 - Sin #11: Lack of investment in people
  • 0:11:27 - Sin #10: Rotating door policy, high turnover, excessive absenteeism, illness
  • 0:13:12 - Sin #9: Preferential treatment; favoritism and office politics
  • 0:15:39 - Sin #8: Productivity is driven by fear
  • 0:17:25 - Sin #7: Management vs. The Us Culture
  • 0:20:56 - Sin #6: Employees have no latitude in performing their jobs
  • 0:24:58 - Sin #5: Power (title and status) over Purpose (contribution to the mission)
  • 0:27:20 - Sin #4: Lack of diversity and inclusion
  • 0:29:39 - Sin #3: There is no community or team spirit
  • 0:32:43 - Sin #2: Employees aren’t appreciated, adequately acknowledged or rewarded
  • 0:33:51 - Sin #1: There are no core values, purpose is unclear or there's no purpose at all
  • 0:37:10 - ICONIC Points

To learn more about John Avola and Calvin Stovall, visit iconicpresentations.net. All The ICONIC Mindset episodes can be downloaded at theiconicmindset.com. If you enjoyed listening to this episode, please subscribe to our show.  Remember to select a star rating and/or write a review for The ICONIC Mindset podcast.

Connect with us!

To leave a podcast review:

  1. Open your podcast app and search/navigate to The ICONIC Mindset
  2. Scroll to the subhead titled "Ratings & Reviews" 
  3. Tap to give a rating and/or select "Write a Review"
  4. Once you've finished, select "Send" or "Save" (top-right corner)

Thank you for listening! We value our listeners and subscribers.

Don't just be, Be ICONIC!


Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

13 sins of the unICONIC: The Sequel
Episode #8

Toxic work cultures make going to work feel miserable. New ideas can’t flourish, people can’t be honest, micro-management thrives, and leaders are given power that go to their heads and fuel their egos. In our last podcast, John and Calvin talked about how to build an ICONIC culture that stands the test of time. 

As a good follow-up (or sequel), this episode provides listeners with a list of 13 telltale signs that your company culture is moving in the wrong direction – and then provide practical solutions to fix them.

  • 0:02:03 - Intro: Toxic Work Environments
  • 0:04:37 - Sin #13: Absence of accountability
  • 0:06:26 - Sin #12: Value for the company over core values
  • 0:09:10 - Sin #11: Lack of investment in people
  • 0:11:27 - Sin #10: Rotating door policy, high turnover, excessive absenteeism, illness
  • 0:13:12 - Sin #9: Preferential treatment; favoritism and office politics
  • 0:15:39 - Sin #8: Productivity is driven by fear
  • 0:17:25 - Sin #7: Management vs. The Us Culture
  • 0:20:56 - Sin #6: Employees have no latitude in performing their jobs
  • 0:24:58 - Sin #5: Power (title and status) over Purpose (contribution to the mission)
  • 0:27:20 - Sin #4: Lack of diversity and inclusion
  • 0:29:39 - Sin #3: There is no community or team spirit
  • 0:32:43 - Sin #2: Employees aren’t appreciated, adequately acknowledged or rewarded
  • 0:33:51 - Sin #1: There are no core values, purpose is unclear or there's no purpose at all
  • 0:37:10 - ICONIC Points

To learn more about John Avola and Calvin Stovall, visit iconicpresentations.net. All The ICONIC Mindset episodes can be downloaded at theiconicmindset.com. If you enjoyed listening to this episode, please subscribe to our show.  Remember to select a star rating and/or write a review for The ICONIC Mindset podcast.

Connect with us!

To leave a podcast review:

  1. Open your podcast app and search/navigate to The ICONIC Mindset
  2. Scroll to the subhead titled "Ratings & Reviews" 
  3. Tap to give a rating and/or select "Write a Review"
  4. Once you've finished, select "Send" or "Save" (top-right corner)

Thank you for listening! We value our listeners and subscribers.

Don't just be, Be ICONIC!


Introduction:

Welcome to the iconic mindset podcast with John Avola and Calvin Stovall. This is the only place that uncovers the multiple levels of iconic businesses and brands. Every episode reveals the secrets behind what it takes to make your business, idea, or movement iconic. Now, here are John and Calvin.

John Avola:

Hey Calvin .

Calvin Stovall:

Hey John. What's going on, man. Great to be back.

John Avola:

Calvin, always a pleasure. I'm excited about today. How are you?

Calvin Stovall:

I'm doing fantastic. Couldn't be better. I'm feeling iconic today.

John Avola:

Everything's going good?

Calvin Stovall:

Everything's going fantastic. Can't complain at all. How about you?

John Avola:

I'm excited to be here with you today. Now you remember in our previous episode, we shared how to build an iconic structure that stands the test of time. And we connected the strategy into the iconic framework. But as a quick refresher: own it, live it, love it. We talked about owning it, which is defining your culture, communicating and ingraining the company's core values into every employee. We talked about living it, show and demonstrate it. Remember, walk the walk, talk the talk? Defend it and stand up for your culture. And third was love it. Experience it, celebrate it. Let your culture evolve, grow, and aspire. It was awesome. But coming out of that, you and I had a discussion, which led us to today.

Calvin Stovall:

Yes, which led us to today. I'm going to let our listeners know. Actually we were going to talk about something else. Remember we were going to go in a different direction, but as we talked, we thought as a good follow-up or what we want to call a sequel , we thought it would be awesome to provide our listeners with the list of telltale signs that your company culture is moving in the wrong direction. And we're not just going to do that. We're then going to provide solutions to fix them. So in the spirit of Halloween, we have 13. Yes. I said 13 sins of the un-iconic to share with you.

John Avola:

13. Ok!

Calvin Stovall:

So basically we're going to be talking about toxic work cultures. Toxic work cultures make going to work feel miserable, right? We do know that. New ideas can't thrive. People can't be honest. Leaders are given power that can go to their heads and fuel their egos. And have you ever been to one of those company town halls or all hands meetings when the leaders ask questions and then it's like dead silence. Crickets. One of the biggest concerns for any organization should be when their most passionate people become quiet. If your high- performers look disengaged or they show little enthusiasm, that's going to be a red flag that your organization is toxic. If micromanagement thrives and there's no trust in your organization, you are swimming in the cesspool of toxicity.

John Avola:

A place that you don't want to be, right? No one wants to be there.

Calvin Stovall:

There's a thing, John, because of social media, it's easy for potential clients to get a peek into what's really going on within your company. Anonymous company review platforms like Glass Door, they increase the visibility into your company's culture. If you have a positive work culture, full of highly engaged employees, this helps in your recruiting efforts. However, if your team is frustrated, there is cutthroat competition between peers, or you have high turnover, job seekers are going to be the first to know and your company will earn that un-iconic reputation. Now I want to let our audience know, although we're counting these down from 13 to 1 for dramatic purposes, as a leader, I want you to pay attention to all of these equally because they're all signs of a toxic culture. Meaning signs of toxicity exist within your company. And it's only going to worsen them if they're not immediately addressed. So please, as we go through this list, know all of them can really impact your organization. We're going to do something a little different this podcast though. John and I, we're going to alternate sharing a sin and then a solution. We thought it would be a little fun to do it this way. This is going to be iconic for sure. Okay, John, let's go. Give me the first, the 13th sin .

John Avola:

Here we go. Sin Number 13. Absence of accountability.

Calvin Stovall:

There may be nothing more frustrating in the workplace than when poor performers, or what we'd like to call cultural offenders, aren't held accountable. A lack of accountability encourages employees to not bother reporting when incidences do happen and it makes them careless about engaging in them themselves. I just believe employees are going to take cues from those at the top, both good and bad. I always say this in my keynotes, people mirror and they emulate what they see, right? Employees look to their managers for direction. If senior and middle management aren't abiding by your core values you've set forth, employees are going to follow suit. Even worse, they'll begin to distrust leadership for letting managers get away with violating the rules. When you sense this sentiment from the top, look out below. There's a saying that says a fish rots from the head down. So let's talk about how you fix something like this. Very simple. Lead by example. And hold everyone accountable regardless of their role in the organization. Everybody has to be accountable. Core values are important to your culture and your success as an organization. So ensure they are upheld by every member of the team. Because if you hold everybody accountable, regardless of your role, to the same set of standards, you'll foster an open culture based on equality. And this will also promote your core values across all departments so that they become ingrained in your culture. Simple as that. Lead by example. Sin number 12. Value for the company over core values. Basically, John, policies over people.

John Avola:

I think this ties in a little bit to what you were just saying around accountability, right? It's when you're placing company value over core values, simply un-iconic. You're saying one thing, you're doing another. You're not leading by example, that's what you just went through. Good example would be, let's say one of your core values is sustainability, but let's say even though it's a core value, you decide let's avoid these discussions. Let's not necessarily invest in a recycling program and you're putting your core values behind. Another example would be a commitment to giving back, if that's a core value of yours, or helping those that are less fortunate, yet you don't encourage employees to take time to volunteer or set up a program to help those in need, you're going against the core values that you've put in place. The easy solution here really ties back to accountability. It's following through with what you're saying. If you create the core value you won't stand by, then don't create the core value. If one of your core values is to give back, start a committee to help coordinating volunteer events. Promote charitable giving. Select the charity of choice. Look at a corporate match program. There's so much you can do based on the core values that you've identified, but you've got to have the core values that make sense to your team. Looking at placing policies over people, another un-iconic move. There's no question that policies are important. They're established to maintain the environment. However, if you're putting policies ahead of people, it can lead to a toxic culture. We're all human. We all make mistakes. Even your best employees are going to fumble. A number one running back's going to drop the ball. It's okay. If your management is a hundred percent by the book where there's no exceptions, every rule is followed to the T , every infraction is placed, you're going to have a stressful environment and you're going to lead employees to almost being afraid to make mistakes, right ? If you've got a boss that's by the book, you're going to be very timid in your work environment to do anything wrong. So my thought here as a solution, be human and use good judgment. Coach your management team on how to place emphasis on policies while showing empathy and understanding, depending on the situation. No need to get into examples here, but let's just agree. We're confident that our audience is following what we're saying here, right? Judgment, ethics, be human, which leads right into sin number 11. Lack of investment in people.

Calvin Stovall:

No good is going to come from this. Damage can range from an untrained workforce that drags down output productivity and overall results. Now you know, I'm huge about learning and development. This was one that was near and dear to my heart. I'm going to tell my listeners, please, providing employees with the essential learning and development opportunities is critical because it not only builds capable, competent employees, but research shows that L and D is a key driver of engagement. Training and development is critical to ensure that your employees are continually growing and delivering the level of service to your internal and external customers that is exceeding their expectations. There was a study done that 80% of surveyed employees said that learning and development opportunities would help them feel more engaged at work. This is a gargantuan one. You cannot succeed without a team of engaged employees. It's just not going to happen. So you must invest in online and offline training and development programs for your employees. And I want to say this because sometimes organizations only focus on creating programs for mid level and senior level management, but you can't do that. You have to make sure that you're also including your line level team members. Essential. And I know times are hard right now, John. And some people right now are counting every single penny. And there's some CFO out there right now, saying to his CEO , I'm concerned about these expenses. You want me to do all this training? You want me to spend all this money? And then what if we train these people and they leave? I want the CEO to turn around and say to that CFO, what if we don't train them? And they stay?

John Avola:

That's right. Yes. What is we don't train them and they stay? We've got a problem.

Calvin Stovall:

Yes. Okay. I'm going to sin number 10, John. Rotating door policy. You have high turnover, excessive absenteeism, and people are always sick .

John Avola:

Let's just break this one down a little bit. So starting with high turnover. If you're seeing any signs of these examples, high turnover, excessive absenteeism, illness, excessive tardiness, you've got to find the root of the problem. What is going on here? You've got to understand what aspects of the company culture have forced people to leave. Address some common themes. Take the time to, especially during exit interviews, work toward creating a action plan to help fix these areas. Another option is to, instead of being reactive and waiting for the employee to leave and then asking them what's going on, a proactive approach may be around an employee survey. If you're going to survey, and we've talked about this before, you need to define the plan and take action on it.

Calvin Stovall:

Yes, yes.

John Avola:

If you're going to take the time to survey, you've got to come back with some results. We look at excessive tardiness, absenteeism, illness. That can also be a number of things. There could be some disengagement going on, there could be some issues around no longer being passionate about their work. It could be a none of the above, then maybe your employees are dealing with a personal matter. The reoccurrence of several employees. Start by making sure that management team is arriving on time. Look at your management. If your management team is constantly late, your employees are going to be constantly late. You started that at sin number 13. It's following by example, right? If your manager is always late, employees are going to be late. Remind the management team , take accountability, lead by example. Calvin, sin number 9. Preferential treatment, favoritism, and office politics.

Calvin Stovall:

Wow. In between those formal layers of hierarchy, there are these sticky, soft little areas called preferential treatment. These are people that are given, I'm sure everybody knows what they are, but I want to give a formal definition . These are people that are given extra privileges for either enforcing the leadership's toxic culture. And so they talk behind people's backs in order to gain something. Instead of being a part of the solution, they make the problem bigger or a mountain out of a molehill, as my mama used to say. And they are sometimes rewarded for it. How to fix something like this at its core essence? We all know that favoritism is unprofessional behavior. It is. So a first step to avoiding it is to foster and promote professionalism in your organization. They say the best offense is a good defense. Defend your company from potential favoritism, by creating a professional environment that actively discourages any, and I'm going to say any, kind of unfair treatment. And if you're a leader and you're seeing this exist, you've got to get to the bottom of it. If you discover that favoritism is taking place in your company, the most important thing is to make sure it stops. You have to stop it. You have to say something. I know it can be a delicate situation to have to confront, but the damage it poses is much too great to be ignored. It just is. If someone comes forth with an accusation of discrimination in the workplace, you cannot ignore it. Again, as you mentioned, you can't make assumptions, but you have to gather the facts and you have to get to the bottom of it. And whether you're on the wrong side of your boss's special selection process, or you're a leader who's guilty of playing favorites yourself on the job, you need to do everything you can do to equalize the workplace culture. Particularly now in this environment, you're going to get called out. So, showing favoritism, it contributes to a toxic workplace culture and a hostile one as well. And every employee, everyone, has to do their part to improve the environment for everyone. Sin number 8. Productivity is driven by fear, fear of the boss, fear of speaking up in a meeting or directly to your boss, fear of sharing new ideas, fear of getting in trouble.

John Avola:

This reminds me of your opening. You're in that room. And your boss has some ridiculous plan that no one agrees with. And everyone is shaking their heads and texting, or in a virtual environment, the individual private chats are blowing up, right? No one agrees but everyone says, okay, let's go forward. So what do you do? What do you do? Well, first it starts with the culture. If you've got a culture that has been set up in a fear inducing environment, that's the first action that needs to be taken away. You need to create an environment that allows employees to have the ability to provide open feedback where they're not going to be looked upon, or they're not going to be worried about what they're going to be saying, where they're constantly able to provide their true and honest feedback in an environment that's receptive. And that at the same time, the leadership hears and understands their voice. And to take that a step further, it's not just hearing the voice, but it's acting upon that individual's voice. And I'm sure it's a deadly sin and we're going to get to it around employees and employees first and listening to your employees. But it starts with negating the fear and allowing your employees to openly speak and have that opportunity to do so. Sin number 7. Management versus the us culture. Let me explain. Managers and employees are not seeing eye to eye. Completely separate groups.

Calvin Stovall:

You mean like a situation where in those toxic cultures where the frontline staff says things like management needs to look at problem X. Leadership came up with that policy. In a non-toxic culture, management and staff, they're one and people are accountable. So sentences like "management needs to do" are not relevant because staff can make decisions and the two sides of the business are one. I like to say, all of us is one of us. So how do you fix it? The less hierarchy, the more people feel included. And that produces a thriving, collaborative culture. Also, and I'm going to say this for all leaders, if you want people to feel like you're all one, you have to get to know your team. And for larger companies, I know this could be a little bit difficult. And it's likely you won't know everyone's name, especially if your team is growing rapidly or whatever. However, if you don't even recognize some of the people walking around the office you work in, you probably aren't interacting with your staff or your peers enough. And that's clear, you're contributing to the toxicity of this area.

John Avola:

Take a moment.

Calvin Stovall:

Take a moment. But this really leads to a disjointed culture where employees feel more like they're cogs in a wheel than valued individuals. So I want to encourage you out there, make a point to engage with your team regularly. Now I have to admit one of the pluses of the pandemic is that because of all the zoom meetings and such, and we've talked about this before, a lot of managers have been forced to build better relationships with their direct reports. You're in people's living rooms now.

John Avola:

Yeah, literally.

Calvin Stovall:

The dog is barking. The kid runs through the camera. You've got grandma coming, walking around in the back. You have so much stuff going on, but it helps form a relationship. I think we've been forced to be able to build relationships with our team members. So forming a relationship with your employees is going to help your team. Your leadership is friendly and more approachable, which encourages two way communication. And it'll actually make it look like we're all one. So, I think you mentioned, be authentic, show some humility, some transparency, and demonstrate some empathy, and these are all super important leadership skills, particularly during these times. We've talked about before, those skills I just mentioned, they were kind of looked down upon as a leader, but not now. All the emotional intelligence t ips, this is the time. Learn them because they're learned skills. Get involved. Wholesome lunch and learns. You can get involved in some work happy hours, virtually chime in on email threads when you can. You can also implement monthly, biweekly, or quarterly all hands on meetings. Basically you want to increase the transparency between leadership and staff. That's the solution. Sin number 6. Employees have no latitude in performing their jobs.

John Avola:

This just makes me not want to work. No latitude. You can't make decisions. You're probably faced with a micromanager. This is the situation where every procedure is spelled out. You're constantly being told what to do, how to do it. I had a manager...

Calvin Stovall:

Oh, here we go. Love stories!

John Avola:

This was years ago. But still in the digital age. I have to preference that because my manager made me print every, every, email before I sent it. Then he would edit with a red pen, as I sat in his chair. Then I went back to my computer, made the edits, and hit send. It took me an hour to send a thank you note.

Calvin Stovall:

Wow. That was micro management at a whole 'nother level.

John Avola:

We're not talking 1980. We're talking like 2010.

Calvin Stovall:

That's un-iconic at a whole 'nother level.

John Avola:

Anyhow. Before I digress any further, you've got to give employees the opportunity to be flexible within their work. Encourage setting aside time for innovation, be open to job shadowing, cross departmental training. We've found, and we've seen it and we've talked about it, new ideas and innovation have a tremendous benefit on the organization. Solving problems, easily creating solutions , and increasing productivity, a combination of ideas among employees and other people that you're working with. You're beating the competition, staying one step ahead of the curve, finding better ways to connect to your customers. Your top performing employees need to have some latitude to make decisions, right? Even at the most granular level, give those folks the opportunity to drive business forward. I came across this survey that I thought was relevant to this sin. In a recent survey, it was an employee satisfaction and job engagement survey done by the Society for Human Resource Management. They found that 47% of employees feel that autonomy and independence contribute greatly to job satisfaction. There's a connection between latitude and satisfaction. So what can you do? Hire talent and character. Would you want to hire the guy that has the skills or someone that you can trust with the ability to learn new skills? Define your objectives clearly. Let your employees know exactly what you need from them, what the expectation is, and what the deliverable is at the outcome of the project. Training. Training builds confidence to make difficult decisions. We've talked about this as well. Great companies have relentless training programs. Look at Disney. Both of us, former Disney employees. Look at the hospitality industry, all the different brands that require employees to go through relentless hours of training before they enter the floor. I want to pause there because Calvin, I know you've probably got some input.

Calvin Stovall:

I'm not going to add much to it , John. I think you've covered it really well. But I think the word we want to throw out there is autonomy. You have to give your employees the autonomy to do their jobs. Why hire someone to do a specific job and then tell them how to do it. Why don't you just do it yourself?

John Avola:

That's right. Why did you even waste the time interviewing? We've hit a big point here. We're entering the top five.

Calvin Stovall:

Let's go. Drum roll .

John Avola:

Sin number 5. Power, meaning title and status, over purpose, contribution to the mission.

Calvin Stovall:

Another sign of a toxic workplace is that people are very concerned about their titles, job descriptions, and levels in the hierarchy. When you walk up to somebody in an organization, and the first thing they say is, my name is Andrew Boston, and I am the vice president of the organizational, blah , blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, and here's my office, it's a problem. So how to fix it? In my experience, John people that are like this usually lack confidence. They use status titles, perks, to hide behind them or make themselves look good or feel better. And here's the deal. Your position doesn't necessarily mean you're a good leader or you've earned the respect of your team. Gaining and keeping the respect of your direct reports, it's not as easy as singing R-E-S-P-E-C-T. It's not that easy, singing Aretha Franklin. You have to prove that you're worthy, especially if you were recently promoted to a leadership position. And I think it really comes down to what kind of leader you want to be. Do you want to be the kind of leader that has to use your title and throw all this stuff out to get what you need out of people? Because I really believe titles and perks are fleeting. They come and go, but respect and reputation done right will follow you for a lifetime. We've talked about reputation before and how critical it is. And I believe a person like this, they need to really understand that he or she, they have the wrong mindset about leadership and what to focus on. So to fix it, I would suggest having continuous one-on-ones because I believe this is a behavior. So one conversation may not do it. It may take continuous one-on-ones with the employee about putting more emphasis on leading and serving others and focusing on their contribution to the organization and the value they bring, as opposed to the titles and perks that they have. Big one for you. Sin number 4. Lack of diversity and inclusion.

John Avola:

Timing is everything right? I'm glad you've read this one out to me here. It's definitely near and dear to my heart. And we mentioned in the last podcast, it is something I'm working on. Let me start by asking a question. What's a company without diversity and inclusion? My first thought is a line of robots, right? In an assembly line, coming out, looking the same, carbon copies, one after another, after another, after another. Hiring for cultural fit is outdated and it's going to cost you top talent. So why is diversity and inclusion important? Having a team of diverse backgrounds opens the opportunity for new possibilities and ideas. Each person brings a unique perspective or experience to the team and every person encourages someone else to be respected and feel welcome within the organization. Every person has to have a universal, open, genuine responsibility to make everyone feel as though they belong. Remember I mentioned no longer hire for a cultural fit? It's now a cultural add. These are individuals who share your core values and are passionate about your mission, but are from various backgrounds. A solution here is consider placing more emphasis on internal teams to foster diversity and inclusion, create internal committees, celebrate different cultures, provide educational opportunities. We're actually launching a diversity and inclusion book club. Every month we're reading a different book on whether it's race, microaggressions, providing those educational opportunities like I mentioned. Coordinating guest speakers, hosting those virtual happy hours, getting people to learn from one another, anything that would help people feel as though they belong.

Calvin Stovall:

Put an exclamation point at the end of that. That is good. Very good. Wrap-up on that one. That's sin number 4.

John Avola:

Okay. Top three, Calvin. Sin number 3. There is no community or team spirit in the organization.

Calvin Stovall:

No team spirit. No we are family?

John Avola:

No cheering for each other?

Calvin Stovall:

Wow. It wasn't cool in middle school. And it certainly isn't appropriate in the office. Gossip. Gossip leads to unwanted cliques and divides your workforce, turning employees against each other and creating a culture of distrust. Remember that song, I heard it through the grapevine? Not much longer would you be mine, Oh, I heard it through the grapevine. Oh, I'm just about to lose my mind. Remember that song? That's the gossip. That's the grapevine.

John Avola:

Awesome. That was great.

Calvin Stovall:

That's when you know you don't even have to use your communication through email . The grapevine will do it for you. That's gossip . If you're noticing that the rumor mill is churning more often than not, address the situation, head on. Again, say something. Try to identify the individuals who seem to be involved because it's usually the same people all the time. It is. And you've got to have a conversation with them. Speak to them one-on-one and then you should also formally address the entire organization so every employee knows that this kind of behavior is not going to be tolerated. You have to kill the rumor mill when it happens. Start recognizing performance on a broader scale and outside of the confines of monetary rewards. We talked about money is really not a huge one, of course, we all want to make money, but that's not really what motivates people. So we want to encourage managers to recognize your direct reports' efforts, and reward their achievements with different prizes . You can come up with different ways. You can help them with a sense of thanks, giving things centered on wellness, you can give people comp fitness classes, gift cards to a favorite restaurant. You can give them an extra day off. You just want to kind of focus them a little bit away from just this competitive craziness on money. And additionally create a platform for individuals to congratulate and thank their coworkers for a job well done. You can come up with a program internally that does that. And, this is going to motivate your employees and encourage a team oriented mindset. So again, you want to try to build this, we're all in this together kind of mentality. You're all trying to accomplish the same goal. So that's the key. That's how you fix that. Last two. Sin number 2. Employees aren't appreciated , adequately acknowledged, or rewarded.

John Avola:

Calvin. I've got one word. And it's one of the four Ps of iconicity. People. And then I'm going to use a quote and I don't even know if you remember saying this. So I'm going to quote it back to you. Not expressing gratitude or appreciation for others is the same as making them disappear. Nothing great is ever going to be achieved unless people feel appreciated. Calvin said that!

Calvin Stovall:

I said that. I remember saying that!

John Avola:

If your team feels cared for and valued, it will lead to a better customer experience. Take the time to recognize team member contributions at all levels of the organization during team meetings, or it could be company-wide town halls. Allow employees to recognize other employees. Positive reinforcement works. We just talked about that in the sin number 3. Always keep in mind that your employees are the backbone of your company. Sin number 1. You ready? Wrap it up right here. The number 1 un-iconic sin. You don't have a list of core values, purpose is unclear, or no purpose at all.

Calvin Stovall:

This is the biggest violation of the iconic framework. First quadrant. Be unique. Purpose. Blue diamonds. You don't have any of those things. And I like to use this quote. If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there, or you might wind up someplace else. And that's the bottom line. Perhaps the most concerning sign of a bad company culture is a lack of company core values, or you don't have a purpose that people rally around because these are the driving forces of an organization. Not having core values means your culture is likely to progress without any sense of direction. And what's going to even be worse, these little unwanted subcultures will form and undermine your success. So how do you fix it? Define your purpose. Draft and publish a list of core values. Now, these should be a set of values that truly matter to your team and will help you achieve your goals. And create a purpose around them. You want to make sure people are excited and they rally around these things. And before you promote these values to the rest of your team, you want to make sure that that the C suite, all of the top executives, they have to be behind it first, because if they're not living it and loving it, it's not going to work. They have to believe in it first and then make sure your HR folks are on and all of your learn long-term employees are aligned on these values and the purpose. Then go over each value with the rest of the team. You've got to have everybody at the top excited about it first because they're going to be responsible for walking the talk, as we always say. Once you get the team on board, doing this is going to help elicit positive behaviors and attitudes, and that's going to permeate throughout the organization and create that cohesive culture that you're trying to accomplish. And then when you write those core values, they shouldn't just be somewhere on the wall. You want to continue to refer back to them during your hiring process, during your onboarding process, during your team meetings, every time you get an opportunity to bring up your core values and your purpose, you want to bring it out. Wow, John, we did it. Wow. All 13!

John Avola:

13 sins of the un-iconic.

Calvin Stovall:

I just want to mention again to our listeners that, even though we counted them down from 13 to one, we still want to make sure that you understand that all of them are important. If you're saying even one to two of these sins are starting to creep into your organization, you want to address it quick. I want to just go ahead and do a final thought and we can wrap this up. So, as I always say, your culture is the soul of everything your company does. We know that your culture is your brand. The two aren't mutually exclusive. They belong together and toxic cultures can put some financial hurt on you if it is the wrong culture. Your share prices can drop. The profits can plummet . And instead of focusing on your spreadsheets and accountants for your answers, look at your people. Your people are what causes profits to go up and down. It's all about people. You just said that. It's all about your people. So the thing about culture, though, is that you have to continually work on it. All the time. You continually defend it, but you always have to work on it. Your company culture isn't a one and done deal. Even after we address these 13 signs of bad culture, if they crop up, you have to routinely check in with your organization all the time. We talked about the surveys, employee surveys, John.' All that stuff is important. You can gauge on whether your company culture is strong. If you have some pitfalls there that you need to focus on, it usually starts with your employees engagement. That's one of the biggest signs that you can look at. And remember it may not be easy, but your hard work will pay off in the long run. So don't underestimate the power of your company culture. I always say, culture eats strategy for breakfast, right? I want you to become obsessed with your culture. It's your brand. Focus on it.

John Avola:

Wow. Calvin . That was awesome.

Calvin Stovall:

That was fun. I feel like I did a keynote! And you mentioned that you wanted to talk about the next one.

John Avola:

The next one is, as Calvin started with, was going to be this one. The next episode, we are going to focus on another quadrant of the iconic framework, which is never lose the beat. And this is going to address everything we're living with right now. We're in a stressful time. Holidays are approaching. Traditions that have typically been done over and over again are now in jeopardy of being broken. Parents are worried about kids. Businesses are barely surviving. Politics. There's a lot going on. And so what we want to do is talk to our audience about how to live through a situation of constant uncertainty and tie that directly back to never losing the beat and Calvin and I are not going to let it happen. So we're going to discuss ways to reinforce what matters most and share techniques to help you always remain curious.

Calvin Stovall:

Oh, I love it. It sounds good. I'm excited. All right, John, I think that's it. It's time to wrap it up.

John Avola:

So for all our listeners out there, remember to visit us at iconicpresentations.net. You can find more about Calvin and me. Listen more to the iconic podcast. And in the meantime, Calvin, don't just be. B.

Intro: Toxic Work Environments
Sin #13: Absence of accountability
Sin #12: Value for the company over core values
Sin #11: Lack of investment in people
Sin #10: Rotating door policy, high turnover, excessive absenteeism, and routine illness
Sin #9: Preferential treatment; favoritism and office politics
Sin #8: Productivity is driven by fear
Sin #7: Management vs. The Us Culture
Sin #6: Employees have no latitude in performing their jobs
Sin #5: Power (title and status) over Purpose (contribution to the mission)
Sin #4: Lack of diversity and inclusion
Sin #3: There is no community or team spirit
Sin #2: Employees aren’t appreciated, adequately acknowledged or rewarded
Sin #1: You don’t have a list of core values, purpose is unclear, or no purpose at all
ICONIC Points