So hopefully you read my companion article about the four keys to creating a good, happy, vibrant, gosh-it’s-nice-to-work-here company culture. Because if you didn’t the title for this one probably doesn’t make a lot of sense. Who would want to create an awful culture?
Nobody, really, except for sociopaths and evil supervillains. And yet awful places to work abound.
If yours is not sufficiently awful, then it could be you’re not trying hard enough. Just like creating a great place to work is a significant challenge, it’s no cakewalk to create the kind of working environment that inspires people to opt for early retirement. But it can be done!
So if you’d like to dread the idea of setting foot in your building every morning, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Subtle, yet effective. Studies have shown that people don’t like looking sallow, waxen, unhealthily pale, mottled, ghoulish, or drained of all life. Whoever invented halogen lights obviously had no idea the terror that would soon be wrought upon the planet, but its yours to take advantage of!
No holiday parties, shared hashtags, happy hours, early morning yoga, birthday parties, or anything else that might allow people to feel like they are part of a family. Unless the ‘family’ you’re trying to emulate is the kind that goes to a restaurant and avoids eye contact as much as possible while staring into their respective phones. That’s the only kind of family dynamic I can get behind, OK?
Wall of Shame
Some companies are foolish enough to highlight and even occasionally reward people for doing a good job. So consider posting photos of people alongside a written list of all their failings and mistakes. No better to learn from your mistakes than to have them broadcast to the entire world, right?
If doors were meant to be open, we wouldn’t have doors – we’d have arches or something. Your office should be designed to separate people as much as possible, so that they never have the opportunity to communicate effectively or do anything else that might threaten the status quo. And speaking of the status quo…
Stay The Course!
Never mind that things are always changing, and that you’re not the same person today that you were even six months ago. New initiatives should be greeted with the same fear and disdain that we all use for greeting strangers on our doorstep. We don’t want your coupon books, OK?
Profit Above All
The point of a business is to make as much money as possible. It’s not to make the world better, or provide a good living for the people who work there, or create a community. A relentless focus on earnings has been known to make even the most money-hungry individuals feel hollow and frustrated, so imagine what it can do to people who aren’t primarily motivated by money?
There are more, of course, hundreds of other things you can do to create the kind of working environment nobody wants to work in. But I’m tired of writing right now, and you probably have something more important to do. Like use some of these ideas to destroy morale. What are you waiting for? Get to work!