Picture this:

Six out of seven members of a particular team in your organisation have just permanently exited the building.

Ostensibly, they are telling you it is something to do with not being happy about your insistence that they return to the office full-time.

You have heard some rumours that this might not be the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

And when you stop and think about it, you remember the complaints that were made a couple of months ago about ‘Gill’, prior to ‘Gill’ being appointed as the new manager of that department.

Diligently you conduct exit interviews with those exiting employees, seeking to uncover the whole truth about their resignations.

Clearly reluctant to ensure they don’t burn any proverbial bridges; you are consistently told by the Departees that the only reason they are leaving is due to their unhappiness with the organisation’s decision not to consider hybrid working arrangements.

Yet there were moments when you were sure they wanted to tell you more…

Does any of this sound familiar?

Maybe you will be more familiar with a scenario where you have examined the data, only to have confirmed what you suspected to be the case – grievances / complaints are way higher than they were this time last year.

Given you were dealing with lockdown then, as you are now, then this time you can’t conveniently blame COVID alone for the blimp.

Which means there is something else behind those higher grievance numbers.

Now what do these two scenarios have in common, I hear you ask (in your head, unless you are one of those people who reads out loud)?

The answer is: both are clear signs you have a deep-rooted problem with your culture.

Which in turn means you need to call Workology Co, stat.

 The natural result of years spent in the dark side? Or some other strange force of nature…

When people ask me who are typical Workology Co clients, one thing that stands out is that the most common Workology Co client is one who is faced with a similar set of facts to those outlined above.

Why? Well, it may have something to do with my background of over 20 years spent in the reactive space of employee relations law and HR, including having spent the better part of 2 years solely conducting bullying investigations. Playing in the ‘dark side’ as it were. I understand better than most the challenges of reacting to unsafe levels of inappropriate behaviour, dysfunction, and general toxicity.

The type of scenarios outlined above inevitably mean the shiz is about to hit the fan (if it hasn’t already), and most Executives know when that happens, they need to act NOW.

Instead of calling Ghost Busters (because these problems are all too real), the Executive / HR call me.

These savvy leaders understand that whilst the symptoms of the problem might be increased staff turnover/grievances/mistakes/disengagement (to name a few); the problem is much deeper.

And they understand that in order to uncover the WHAT and WHY of the root problem, they need to bring in an external consultant to conduct a Cultural Health Check (CHC).

Enter yours truly, stage left. (Throw back to my childhood dream of becoming an actress).

How does a CHC work in practice?

It goes a little something like this:

A few cautions before we leave

It would be entirely remiss of me to finish this blog without alerting you to a few additional points.

  1. It is often difficult for leaders to hear the results of CHCs, because whilst they will be probably be partly correct as to the reasons why issues have arisen within their organisation, there is also a very high likelihood that we will have uncovered more/ different issues to those the Executive suspected.
  2. I’m not going to lie – the issues we identify will require a dedicated effort to fix, no proverbial magic wand can be waved to make the issues go away.
  3. What is key is that the organisation is committed to listening to what their employees are telling them is the problem; acknowledging what they have heard what their employees are saying, and then either doing the work required to fix the issues (one step at a time or else it is too overwhelming). OR, if a solution that employees identified during Focus Groups cannot be implemented, then clearly explaining why not. Or when it can be.
  4. In order to ensure necessary remedial action is taken, we recommend engaging us to continue the job via regular 3 monthly accountability check ins, followed by a pulse survey / check in approximately 12 months after initial Health Check.
  5. Whilst our most common client for the main is the one dealing with the shiz hitting the fan, we absolutely love working with clients who want to move an already good or great culture towards exceptional.  I’ll share an example next time.

Instead of being the person who waited until the shiz hit the fan, and you are sitting counting the cost of recruiting to replace those six ex-employees* – how about you be the clever, proactive leader?

Reach out now and let’s chat. Book a free 30-minute discovery call here.


*Estimated cost of recruitment for each departed employee is a minimum 33% of their annual salary, with some estimates as high as 6-9 months of their average annual salary. Yeah, that’s significant. Now how bout you book in that discovery call huh?