Why Subcultures Emerge and How You Can Prevent It in Your Small Business for Harmony

How healthy is your business culture?

Does it foster good relationships, employee involvement, and trust, or does it feel more like your workplace is a battlefield, full of conflict, disengagement, and a lack of trust? 

When employees don’t want to be a part of a certain culture, this creates divides. People who don’t feel listened to, valued, or involved will tend to form their own subculture where low productivity, complaining and cynicism reign.  

As a business owner who wants to create an engaged and motivated high-performing team, divisions are the last thing you need. You want a workplace where people are pulling in the same direction and a team that you can trust to get the job done when you’re having a hard-earned break.  

Why subcultures emerge and how you can prevent it  

Subcultures can emerge when people feel like they don’t belong  

Employees will work harder for you when they feel like they belong to something that’s bigger than them. If you create a sense of being a team through open and honest communication, recognising hard work, encouraging personal development, giving people a sense of ownership, and involving them in decision-making, this will make them pull together in the pursuit of common goals. When everyone is pulling in the same direction, meeting business goals and achieving success is far more likely.  

Subcultures emerge when people feel they aren’t valued or listened to  

Do you show your employees that they’re valued? Do you welcome their ideas and suggestions, and celebrate the wins, no matter how small? Do you take the time to talk to them and find out what makes them tick? These are all simple ways to make people feel more valued. People who feel valued will always do more than what is expected of them. People who don’t feel valued will do the bare minimum, or they’ll look for pastures new.  

Are subcultures always bad? 

Sometimes, subcultures can be positive. They can disrupt the norm in a good way by driving innovation, creativity, and friendly competition. Often, however, subcultures can undermine a business. Groups of employees form who might complain about being bored, not being paid enough, not enjoying their job, or about the way things are done in general in the business.

At the extreme end of subcultures, they can develop where any group of employees feels superior to another group, for example, in a sexist or ageist subculture. Outwardly it can appear that employees are all working for the good of the business and identify with its values, but their behaviours and actions actually undermine it.  

Do you want to create a high performing team that wants to go the extra mile? Do you want to learn strategies that will pull your team together, lessen divides, and create a sense of belonging? 

I can help. 

I’ve managed and led operational teams for 30 years and I understand how personal lives and other issues can intrude on work, and what support teams need.  

Get in touch to find out how.  

Read more about building a kind culture.

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