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Hosted by Haroon Rashid, the Business Fixer Podcast is for any business owner who wants to know how to get from A to B in the simplest possible way. This business podcast is full of business tips including leadership, sales, marketing, finance, culture and much more. Does something need fixing in your business? Don’t know where to begin with your startup, grow or turn around your business? Whether you’re a startup, established business or a multimillion-pound business, the Business Fixer podcast will help you understand where you are, clearly define where you want to be and guide you on the road to get there.
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[SHOW NOTES] How I Fixed a Toxic Work Culture
Read this post where I go into detail on the Business Triangle.
Listen to the podcast episode on the Business Triangle.
[BOOK RECOMMENDATION] 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership – John Maxwell
[TRANSCRIPTION] How To Fix a Toxic Work Culture
Business Fixer Podcast 011
Hey, sports fans, and welcome to the Business Fixer Podcast where we believe that clarity is king and simplicity is queen. I am your host Haroon Rashid. Today, episode 11 – How I fixed a toxic work culture, a lot of good stuff in this one. It’s going to be a good one.
The Business Fixer podcast is sponsored by Dad Mode – hilarious dad gifts, you know, great gifts for him rather than the old deodorant and pair of socks. Get him something that’s going to make him smile. That’s you know, hilarious dad joke T-shirts, dad joke, mugs. And also, if you haven’t heard, we have done a brand new Dad Mode podcast, which will allow you to help us in the fight against male suicide. We’ve interviewed someone from Andy’s Man Club in Halifax. We’ve got a special promo code for the episode. Andy – A-N-D-Y. And you can buy anything from dadmode.co.uk using that promo code and we’ll donate a percentage of the profits to that charities. That’s dadmode.co.uk hilarious dad gifts and fighting male suicide.
So the context of today’s episode, how I fixed a toxic work culture, um, really that it was a professional services company. They were a multi-million pound company there. They, you know, got into a little bit trouble and, uh, it was a business turnaround situation. One of the things that I did was I tackled the culture. It become very toxic. There was a lot of backbiting, a lot of backstabbing, a lot of blame, uh, you know, finger pointing and all that kind of stuff. And that was one of the reasons why the business was in a business turnaround situation. Now, if you go on the show notes on businessfixer.co.uk you’ll see the Business Triangle and every single business can be boiled down to at least three things – finance operations, sales & marketing. But in the middle of that triangle, I put culture. Culture is the underpinning thing that runs throughout your business. If you don’t set your culture, somebody else will. And most of the time it’s not a good one. And that’s exactly what happened in this situation. So how did I fix this toxic workplace?
Well, as with anything, it starts right at the top. So I worked very closely with the leadership team. That’s the managing director, the sales director, the finance director, all the top dogs in that company. And I said to them that. Your culture is toxic. I was very honest. So part of the issue is part of the way to solve something is not to skirt around it.
You’ve got to tackle it head on. So I said, look, this toxic culture cannot go along any further. We need to fix it. So what I used to do with this team was every Monday we had a weekly meeting just to kind of prep. What does the week look like? And we’d, you know, uh, check, uh, what is the, where are we up to against the business turnaround project plan?
Uh, what are our big threes and everything? And then I would do this. Install a culture piece with them. And I would only do one thing every week. And I’d say right in these sessions, I’m going to give you just one thing and you are going to implement this one thing throughout the week. And on Friday, we’re going to have a culture meeting and you’re going to tell us practical ways of how you have implemented this leadership piece. Now, what was I installing in them? I was installing in them mainly soft skills. So it’s basic things like, you know, the different, uh, types of leadership, you know, um, you know, leadership, uh, in terms of 21 Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell, another great book, by the way, I’ll probably put that in the show notes as well.
If you’ve never read that, probably the definitive book on leadership that I’ve ever read anyway. Uh, but the 21 Laws of Leadership, going through those, or just talking to them about communication styles or how to, you know, get people’s, buy-in how to lead people, how to get alongside people, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
It’s all of this soft skills stuff. But the point was is that we chunked it down. We just did one thing every week. Did it at the top of the week, gave them the theory. They had to practice it throughout the week. And then they were held accountable in a nice way about how have you done this practically, and guess what?
I was walking through the company one day just saying hello to people. And one person stopped me. This is about three or four weeks in. And they said, you know what? Since you’ve been here, the culture has been so much better. Now, this person was not in the leadership team. They didn’t know the, um, exercises that I was giving the leadership team. But it’s interesting how they said the culture has improved so much since you’ve come here. And I, you know, I thanked them and said, you know, w in what way, what, what kind of things do you mean? And this person said, people are happy and they want to come into work. Now there’s a nice buzz around the floor is really nice. And I like being here now.
And that was it. That was how I did it. So sometimes when you need to fix a culture, well, not sometimes every time when you need to fix a culture, you start at the top and it will then trickle down. But unless you, your people right at the top are following. That leading by example, you know, that’s a huge on leading by example. It’s not going to change things. It clearly starts at the top, filter it down and you can change your workplace culture. If it is toxic.
And there you have it. I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s episode. Remember you can subscribe to us on Podbeam. Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Amazon Music and all that good stuff. Uh, do you check out the, uh, sale on at dadmode.co.uk Remember to use promo code ANDY – A-N-D-Y and we will donate some percentage of the profits to Andy’s Man Club, but until then take care sports fans.