Family feel culture? Not always positive…

While many businesses are proud of having a “family-feel” culture, this can have negative consequences. When relationships are too informal the employer may avoid having difficult conversations fearing that they might rock the boat. This may result in avoiding an issue which can eventually stifle honest conversations relating to poor behaviour or performance. This can lead to disengagement, resentment and potentially long-term conflict bubbling away under the surface. This can be not only damaging to the harmonious culture in the long run, but the performance of the organisation overall.

However, it is possible to achieve a harmonious culture that also encourages open and honest dialogue:

• Focus on the motive – what outcome do you want? Think about the outcome on the business, the employee and the manager or owner.
• Before you start the conversation, be honest. What behaviour is causing the issue?
• State what you have observed and then share your perceptions and allow them to challenge them.
• Agree on the action – Once you have raised your concerns, agree what is going to change. Who will do what and by when?

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