For those of us engaged in the niche sphere of delivering corporate culture audits, it came as no surprise when Forbes announced 2022 as the year of workplace culture. Why? Because businesses everywhere are either reeling from recent challenges or learning how to thrive right on through them—and a huge part of the latter is learning how to manifest an enviable and robust culture in the workplace.
Yes, culture plays a powerful role in the performance and overall health of any business. When a workplace is fused with focused energy, cohesion, and intent, mountains can be moved and profits accumulated. Of course, all of that great intention needs to be aligned with the organizations overall goals if it is to pay off. An audit can be a super-charging resource to get all your ducks in a row, but what is a corporate culture audit exactly, and what does the corporate culture audit process involve? Today, we’ll answer all these questions and more.
What Is a Corporate Culture Audit?
A corporate culture audit is a comprehensive examination of an organization’s operations, ethos, and morale. The goal in compiling all of this information is to establish a clear understanding of how current culture is helping or hindering, and how to move the needle towards greater growth and prosperity in the long run. At times, a corporate culture audit may be a reaction to red flag signals such as high employee turnover, poor performance, complaints, workplace theft, and other types of corporate investigation-worthy occurences.
In other instances, the corporate culture audit can be employed as a proactive, preventative, and enhancing tool, allowing companies to avoid the emergence of problematic cultural trends while continuing to elevate both culture and achievement along the way.
Those contracted to perform the audit will look at factors such as leadership and communication styles, workplace environment, recruitment practices, employee behaviors, brand ethos alignment, and historic company culture. Armed with this information, they will then identify culture flaws, conflicts between the organization’s goals and status quo, opportunities to improve governance, and how culture compares with that of the competition.
Choosing the Right Auditor
Thanks to the trend for corporate culture health checks, there are countless companies popping up to advertise this service across the United States. But, it is important to consider the skillset required to make these detailed assessments and the range of expertize that each candidate will—or wont—be able to bring to the table.
For example, by pairing with a corporate culture investigator from Lauth Investigations International, you will know not only that underlying problems and actionable solutions will be identified in relation to culture. In addition, you can leverage our knowledge in areas of threat and security. If a culture audit uncovers a spate of employee thefts or questionable asset handling, we can pursue the matter until the facts are brought to light. We can also illuminate holes in your litigation-readiness strategy so that your legal standing can step up onto par alongside your corporate culture aspirations.
We also offer different tiers of corporate culture audit that can be scaled and tailored for a diversity of business sizes and industry fields. At the introductory level, we will evaluate internal processes and interview relevant personnel, as well as surveying intra-corporate platforms of communication and brick-and-mortar sites before reporting our findings to you. If threats are identified, we can move forward to a corporate investigation so that you can take action on any malignant factors that may be wreaking havoc within your organization. Finally, we can provide detailed security training and assessments, ranging from digital forensics checkups to active shooter training. Whatever resources are required to empower your employees toward success, the Lauth Investigations team are equipped to assist. If you’d like to learn more about our expertize in this field, discover our corporate culture audits information page, or connect with us today for a no-obligation consultation.
No matter their talent or oversight, no business owner or CEO has eyes in the back of their head. Indeed, it is often the case that corporate culture—also known as workplace culture or organisational culture—goes sour before leadership notice the slide. Big problems like employee theft, workplace bullying, sexual harassment, fraud, non-compete violations, and all sorts of other unpleasantries can run rampant under the radar. That’s when it’s time to trigger a corporate culture investigation.
For anyone experiencing an escalation of grievances among their team, bringing in the workplace culture cavalry may be the best possible option. When internal investigations don’t seem to be improving the situation, an overarching corporate culture audit will uniquely illuminate all the real root causes that currently remain in the shadows.
In some instances, corporate entities incorporate an organisational culture audit into their standard practices in order to ensure that pervasive rot of this kind never gets the chance to take hold. However, for those unversed in the value of the corporate culture investigation, read on to discover red flags that should make contacting a workplace culture investigator the next thing on your to-do list
1. Your Team and Leadership Keep Passing the Buck
Accountability is a strong barometer of workplace culture, and when attitudes have devolved to finger-pointing, shrugs, and deflection, you can be certain that corporate culture services are required. When people are passionate about what they’re doing and believe in the values that drive their everyday role, they rarely hesitate to step up to the plate. A corporate culture investigator will be able to map out the issues behind negative patterns, and plot a clear path towards reinvigorating your team’s accountability.
2. Productivity Has Bottomed Out
A drop in productivity and an increase in passing the buck often go hand in hand, but this isn’t always the case. When productivity slows to a snail’s pace, it may be a sign that employees are unhappy, a hostile environment has developed, or communication is not flowing as it should. A workplace culture audit will reveal the source of the down-shift before helping your team get back up to speed.
3. Employees Have Lost Their Moral Compass
Strong employee ethics are a core element of a thriving corporate culture, and when evidence suggests that morality has taken a tumble, it likely means that your team is in the grips of an identity crisis. Fixing this issue requires not only reviewing mission statements and values, but also utilising an organisational culture assessment to see how those ideas are playing out day-to-day. Taking this work further, a corporate culture ethics audit will also reveal if any members of your workforce are behaving nefariously, so you can put a stop to damage being done from the inside.
4. Workforce Diversity Has Diminished and Cliques Are Taking Hold
Modern companies are increasingly clued up on the value of diversity when it comes to building game-changing brands. Conversely, when homogeneity sets in, you can be certain that your company’s potential is being stunted. A lack of diversity in terms of race, age, gender identity, or sexual orientation should always be considered a culture audit red flag. A clique mentality will degrade morale, while blinkered approaches to personnel will rob you of vital talent and innovation.
5. Returns On Your HR Investments Have Stalled
If you keep throwing resources at recruitment, training, and retention, but aren’t seeing the results you desire, then its time to answer some important organizational culture assessment questions. Leadership often don’t realize that they’ve fallen into a groove of poor recruitment, promotion, and training practices, and are actually perpetuating their own disappointment. A corporate culture audit will examine and evaluate these processes, and can even be expanded with corporate background checks.
6. You Can Cut the Tension With a Knife
The idea that working under extreme pressure is valuable has happily long been debunked. Of course, a little healthy adrenaline can be exciting in the workplace, but the balance must always remain tipped away from the perils of workplace burnout. To keep your team firing on all cylinders, it is important to shine a light on the origins of workplace tensions. A corporate culture audit will help you right the ship before it runs aground.
7. Resolving Workplace Problems Has Begun to Feel Like a Game of Whack-A-Mole
Disciplinary procedures, underperformance records, harassment complaints forms, internal corporate investigations: are these pieces of paper beginning to give you a Ground Hog Day vibe? If you’re stuck in a holding pattern, throwing resources at reoccurring issues and trying to patch up the holes made by profits lost along the way, it’s definitely time to make a change. Does any of that sound familiar? If the answer is yes, then it’s time to change the record. Comprehensive corporate culture investigation provides a wide-angle view of why businesses can’t escape their current groove. More importantly, workplace culture services also aid in building a strategy to step out of that pattern once and for all, uniting teams and driving productivity as never before. Discover more about Corporate Culture Audits from Lauth Investigations, or contact our team directly to discuss your organization’s unique cultural needs.
How much is employee burnout costing your business? In an era that sees many employees wear their weekly overtime and success metrics as badges of honor, keeping your team on an even keel has become a delicate dance. Burnout as a concept has certainly entered the collective lexicon as something that none of us want for ourselves, but increasingly, employers are looking to quantify how much team members going over the edge costs them at large. And what does the data tell us? Well, it paints a clear picture that preventing burnout in employees is key to holding productivity high, improving turnover, bolstering corporate culture, and so much more.
So, how much can a few frazzled employees really be costing you? Well, research indicates that burnout is at epidemic levels in the United States, leading to almost 120,000 deaths and $190 billion dollars in costs each year. Getting a little more specific, data from Gallup tells us that the burned-out employee under your radar is 2.6 times as likely to be actively looking for work elsewhere, and is 63% more likely to take a sick day in the meanwhile.
If runaway turnover rates are giving you a headache, then it’s time for a Corporate Culture Audit so you can get to the bottom of the issue—because these kinds of operational and ideological missteps can steer a course for expensive rapid-fire turnover and escalating losses.
Defining Burnout and Improving Turnover
In the name of preventing burnout in employees, it helps to understand the nature of the beast. Conveniently, this isn’t something we have to do for ourselves, because the World Health Organization has already done it for us. They classify employee burnout as a “syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed,” and list its symptoms as:
feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
increased mental distance from one’s job or feelings negative towards one’s career
reduced professional productivity
When the WHO take the time to define something, then we know its a widespread public health problem, which means it’s bound to be impacting every facet of the businesses who fail to address it. What’s worse is that burnout can become contagious, spreading through an organization like a rabid infection when the driving factors are not pinpointed and stamped out. So, what lies at the root of this worrying sign of corporate culture gone astray?
Pinpointing The Causes of Burnout and High Turnover
The most common causes of employee burnout include poor direction, support, and feedback from leadership; unrealistic performance pressures; eroded culture; inefficient operational practices; and work overload. All too often, employee burnout is an entirely unnecessary impact of poor communication, workplace silos, strategic flaws, or a festering toxic corporate culture. The good news is that all of these things can be easily addressed once identified.
The key to uncovering the factors at play is a comprehensive overview, and the best route to achieving that is a Corporate Culture Audit. If you need more convincing, it’s handy to note that more than three-quarters of American workers are being negatively impacted by workplace stress. Armed with that knowledge, you’ll know that elevating your team out of that pool will give you quite the competitive edge.
Our expert corporate investigators are always ready to deploy, outfitted with just the skill set required to bring problematic permeating factors to the forefront. Their role is to help your organization lay out a clear path ahead. One that includes preventing burnout in employees, improving turnover, boosting performance, and more. If you’re ready to eliminate the beast once and for all—improving the longevity of your workforce in the process—then our team is waiting to discuss how they can assist.
If your enterprise or organization is riddled with issues like employee theft, sexual harassment, hostility, or fraud—and internal corporate investigations aren’t throwing up a bean—then it’s pretty clear that you’re going to have to call in the corporate private investigations cavalry. But, what if if you haven’t spotted any obvious warning signs but nothing is going as smoothly as it should? That’s where a corporate culture audit can come in handy.
Sometimes, the signs that corporate culture has slid sideways are glaringly obvious, but at others, they can be a little more demure. If you know that your business is not meeting its true potential, a corporate culture audit is just the solution for the job. This proactive and comprehensive assessment offers up a health check for all areas of your businesses, providing evidence-based strategies that will help you turn the corner once and for all. If this has piqued your interest, then lets dig a little deeper. Read on for seven indicators that you should take as a sign that urgent action is needed.
1. Pervasive Problems Have Become a Broken Record
If the same old loss reports, harassment complaints forms, or underperformance records just keep on sliding across your desk, then it’s time to raise the alarm. Ask yourself: Have you been pouring resources into internal corporate investigations and disciplinary actions, or perhaps sucking up holes left by minor but repeating corporate theft?
Either way, the nature of the problem—be it small or large—is fundamentally insignificant. Whether rooted with internal processes or personnel, until you get to the source of the pattern and address it, the cycle will not be broken. In contrast, when corporate culture is corrected, operations and employees alike can begin to truly flourish.
2. Accountability Has Fallen Out of Your Team’s Vocabulary
If your workplace meetings and exchanges tend to tumble into a charade of shrugging and finger-pointing, you can be certain that corporate culture has grown sickly. Engaged, happy employees within a healthy workplace environment are far more likely to step up and take responsibility for their actions. When everyone seems more interested in deflecting accountability, it comes with the cost of slumping productivity, and wasted time on all levels.
Particularly perilous, when leadership is behaving badly a mindset of “If the boss is doing this, it must be okay.” sets in. Grappling with executives and leaders who aren’t holding themselves accountable can be particularly challenging for internal corporate investigations, but an external investigator is perfectly poised to make impartial assessments, and suggest effective remedial options.
3. A Contagious Form of Apathy Has Struck
We all have our better days and our worst days in terms of productivity, but when activities have mysteriously slowed to a snails pace office-wide, you can be certain that a hidden cause awaits discovery. A healthy corporate culture shines with engagement, elevating the experience of both employees and customers. If your team instead exude a vibe of sapped energy and drained morale, then whatever lies behind it needs to be identified and neutralized before your profits and reputation take a hit.
4. The Employee Ethics Compass is Spinning
When we talk about employee ethics, we mean something universally shared rather than the cumulation of individual moral stances. It’s down to companies and organizations to establish a clear framework of values that employees can get on board with. This means more than talking the talk—the walk has to be walked too.
If employee ethics have lost their clarity, your team are likely to exhibit signs of an identity crisis—with cohesive productivity paying the ultimate price. One of the elements tackled by a corporate culture audit is assessing collective understanding of and quality of mission statements and values. From there, worthy common goals and a shared sense of purpose can be established.
5. Your Workforce is Lacking in Diversity
When it comes to corporate culture, one of the biggest red flags to be alert to is a lack of diversity in the workforce. What’s more, allowing homogeneity in terms of race, age, gender identity, or sexual orientation to become the status quo means actively stunting your organization’s ability to develop and grow.
Statistics tell us that the most common version of this picture is cisgender, straight, white men in leadership roles—recruiting, promoting, and mentoring others who tick the same boxes. However, a rut in terms of diversity can take many forms, and all are equally limiting. Employees who are able to bring a variety of experiences and perspectives to their team provide the strongest path towards innovation, evolution, and staying ahead of the competition. Not something to let slide!
6. Employees Are Working in a Pressure-Cooker Atmosphere
It’s true that the capacity to work under pressure is a prerequisite for plenty of job roles. However, all forms of baked-in stress needs to be effectively counter-balanced to avoid workforce burnout. Employees who are running on empty will not only lose engagement, but they may also begin to fall into a mentality that raises risk of corporate theft, misconduct, workplace bullying, or even white collar crime.
Employers who safeguard their employees’ wellbeing—harnessing workplace support, benefits, paid-time-off, and vacations—are more often than not rewarded with a team that can fire on all cylinders whenever required. Specialist corporate investigations can help to highlight an impending burnout that hasn’t been spotted by leadership, before major damage is done.
7. Poor Investments in People Keep Sending You Back to the Drawing Board
All too often, leadership can be entirely unaware that they are stuck repeating bad recruitment and promotion practices. Inescapably, investing in the wrong people is always a huge drain on resources—as the hiring, on-boarding, and training stages are repeated again and again.
Muddying the water further when individuals don’t meet expectations, focus frequently remains solely on retention strategies. While this is an important part of forging a strong corporate culture, investing in the right people from the get-go is also crucial if terminations and turn-over are going to be brought into line. In this area, a corporate culture audit may extend from examining recruitment and promotion policies into carrying out corporate background checks.
Corporate culture audits are a fantastic way to gain comprehensive insight into the health-status of your business—something that is often impossible to achieve from within. The results of our investigations will allow us to provide expert guidance on how to bolster the wellbeing of every aspect of your business. With a trusted corporate investigation specialist on hand, you can also be confident that investigations can be scaled as necessary, for impactive and cost-effective results. Learn more about Corporate Culture Audits from Lauth Investigations, or contact our team today for a free quote.
When it comes to your business, you don’t know what you don’t know. Successful corporations are more than their bottom line, and corporations must be conscious of all their internal operations to ensure they’re getting their maximum output or profit. Leadership must be vigilant in seeking problems out in their organization to ensure there are no leaks in the bottom line. That’s why more executives are opting for seasonal corporate culture audits to identify corporate weaknesses.
Weakness is a subjective word, but definitively, we’re talking about structural or personnel weaknesses that contribute to weekly disruptions within the corporations. These disruptions can come in many forms, including employee misconduct, theft of trade secrets, external theft, and worker’s compensation fraud. Whatever the problem, a comprehensive corporate culture audit can serve as a net to catch these unseen problems. Purveyors of corporate culture audits can range from corporate intelligence firms to independent private investigators, but regardless of the size of the operation, diverse experience in corporate investigations is key. After all, the investigator must know what they’re looking for in order to identify corporate weaknesses.
Think of a corporate culture audit like a medical checkup for your business or corporation. Just like a medical checkup, a private investigator proverbially acts as a physician routinely looking for problems. Just like a physical, a private investigator can identify corporate weaknesses that the “patient,” or client, did not previously know existed. In this way, leadership can stay on top of things and eliminate any internal problems. The most pervasive corporate crises are likely to fly under the radar, with the perpetrator(s) making competent attempts to cover their tracks. Unfortunately, this means that the problem can go undetected until irreversible damage is already done, not unlike a debilitating disease that has gone untreated.
One of the greatest examples of these undetected risks is white collar crime. When it comes to misconduct, any official action will inevitably cross an executive’s desk. Because of their level of access and oversight into all company matters, it’s frighteningly simple for an executive to cover their own tracks in an ongoing pattern of misconduct. In the case of an independent private investigator, they can easily infiltrate a business and place themselves in a strategic position where they can observe and document the behavior of all employees without being detected. This preserves the integrity of the investigation and ensures that the executive cannot suddenly destroy all of the evidence. One of the most common is embezzlement, or other forms of financial fraud within the corporate structure. Hiring an investigator to complete a corporate culture audit not only buys oversight, but objective intelligence-gathering. When an investigator attempts to identify corporate weaknesses, they do it with an independent an objective point of view. This ensure that no stone will remain unturned, and that all results of the investigation are subject to only the highest level of scrutiny in any subsequent legal action against the corporation.
If your corporate needs a corporate culture audit, call Lauth Investigations International today at 317-951-1100 for a free quote on our corporate culture audit services. Our team of investigators is staffed by former military and law enforcement personnel, and we carry a glowing A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Call Lauth today to learn how we can identify corporate weaknesses with a corporate culture audit.
Working from home used to only be a dream for some people.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in many significant ways, but none so illuminating as how the workforce views capitalism and corporate culture. At the onset of the pandemic, most businesses were forced to cease onsite operations in order to comply with the stay-at-home order. While some employees were furloughed due to the changed economic landscape, other employees had their positions transitioned to some form of telecommunication—zoom calls, chat boxes, and email inboxes that have become impossible to clean out. Everything has changed, which has left some working people wondering why working from home is an impossibility in an age where it can help change a corporation’s culture.
Working from home can give an employee a better sense of work-life balance. Everyone who has worked a full-time job has at one time or another craved a greater work-life balance in order to maintain their health and happiness. Many Americans across all industries and tax brackets have expressed some desire to work less for a myriad of reasons. Employees who have never had flexibility in their jobs before are enjoying the flexibility of working from the comfort of their homes. While this is not comforting to all employees, especially ones with children who are also in the home and likely involved in virtual learning, the sudden cushion of their own couch underneath them while working from home makes them wonder why this was never possible before.
Corporate culture is the manifestation of the relationship between leadership and their employees. It is sometimes referred to as organizational culture. It concerns how policies and communication from the top of a corporation can directly influence the level of employee engagement and satisfaction at multiple levels of an organization. When a company’s management does not show initiative to improve operations surrounding these types of complaints, it can create a culture of silence & resentment within the workforce. Healthy corporate culture creates a cycle of satisfaction and productivity that both benefits the bottom line and improves employee engagement for a balanced, stream of operations.
The mandate of working from home has placed some companies on notice, as the situation has exacerbated the stress of many in an already turbulent time. As work and life and work continue to pass over each other, braiding themselves into context with one another, employees are starting to expect more care from their employers were regards to their corporate culture.
There will always be businesses and business models that cannot support telecommuting as a way of day-to-day operations. Studies have shown that separating work space from living space, the routine of commute and workday operations, the continued face-to-face contact with other employees and how it impacts daily output. Not to mention that every corporation and team is unique. Every work environment is a complex eco-system in its own right—internal structure, policies, how those policies are enforced, leadership, the personalities of all interacting employees—all of these factors creating unique professional experiences. Working from home continues to recontextualize life for working people, and leadership must use this open window to start investing in their corporate culture audit.
Think of a corporate culture audit like a checkup for your business. An investigator comes into the workplace, interviews employees, reviews daily operations and polices, and how those items are enforced. The investigator looks at all of these factors and how they effect the cycle of corporate culture. The investigator then provides leadership with methods to improve their corporate culture by investing in the happiness of their employees.
If you find your business is in need of a corporate culture audit, call Lauth Investigations International today for a free quote on our corporate culture audit services. Our corporate culture audit can be customized to fit businesses of all sizes and needs. Our private investigators are made up of former military and law enforcement personnel and we carry an outstanding A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Call 317-951-1100, or visit us online at lauthinvestigations.com.