Build Healthy Corporate Cultures: Is Your Company’s Philosophy… “Our Way or the Highway?”

by Steven Mundahl on October 24, 2013

I once worked for a company for only one week before realizing I couldn’t spend another day there. I worked there as an analyst that specialized in assisting companies to become more profitable. The promotional arm of the company promised a free analysis of business practices, so when the analyst completed the analysis, the high pressure began! The analyst’s job was to have the owner(s) sign a contract for our “crack team of experts” who would come in after the analysis and work with the owners to minimize expenses, suggest turnaround strategies, and expand opportunities. The concept was great. The company’s style, however, was offensive and high pressure. The analyst was not allowed to leave until he or she had a signed contract for the service. After the first assignment one week later, I was gone.

We’ve all worked for similar employers, management that is too demanding, work cultures with high pressure, or worse, those who simply don’t care about their employees at all: “it’s our way, or the highway.” Perhaps apathy in management is the worst culprit of all. If management isn’t the problem in many companies, the negativity of the employee group might be, which of course is still a management issue.

What Needs to Change? Strong leaders not only have a choice, but they also have an obligation to find ways to build healthy corporate cultures that do not cripple morale, dispirit employees, and damage relationships with vendors, customers, and communities.

Steven Mundahl

CEO at Goodwill Industies in Western MA
Steven Mundahl is president and CEO of Goodwill Industries in western Massachusetts. He teaches leadership and personal effectiveness in the graduate school of Baypath College.

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