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Stuck in a Toxic Workplace Culture?

Is the culture already too far gone? And is there any hope things can get better?

It’s surprisingly common to hear employees leave a company claiming the culture was toxic. In this episode of Thursdays with CultureTalk, we delve into the shadows of organizational behavior to understand why leaders often miss signs of a culture that’s becoming toxic, different symptoms of toxic cultures, and how to identify and shift out of unhealthy patterns.


Listen in to learn:

  • (0.45) Why employees define a culture as toxic and how it impacts them emotionally.


  • (1.20) Why the term ‘toxic’ is a catch-all that doesn’t help leaders understand the specific behaviors that need to change.


  • (2.05) Why newly released research from Glassdoor calls the toxic workplace ‘a billion-dollar problem’


  • (4.00) How the fallout from being part of a toxic culture can follow someone into their next position

  • (5:21) How the framework of Archetypes can be used as an early warning system for the symptoms of an unhealthy workplace culture

  • (6:15) Why don’t leaders ‘see’ when a culture is toxic and a key ingredient for getting that feedback. 


  • (8:15) Why a Baseline Culture Audit can help cultures avoid ’shadow’ behavior and how to do one. 


  • (9:08) Why identifying the type of culture that actually exists (not the aspirational one) is key to shifting the culture.


  • (10:01) How a culture audit helps you identify the particular way a culture may fall into toxic behavior.


  • (11:15) A mini-case study on what went wrong at Wells Fargo through the lens of the Hero Archetype.
 (You can also see this blog: Wells Fargo: The High Cost of Culture Crisis.)

  • (16:02) Where the Everyperson Archetype needs to stay vigilant

  • (19.10) Why we believe there is no ‘right’ culture and how we use the 12-Archetype framework to identify when things are starting to move into the unhealthy expression of a pattern.


  • (22.00) Why making a shift needs to identify healthy new behaviors.


  • (24.15) How the non-judgmental framework of Archetypes provides a language that creates ownership.


  • (25.08) How to keep the hope and become part of the change that helps you influence a positive, productive workplace culture.

If you are looking for a way to measure culture patterns so that you can shift and lift the employee experience – we’d love to share this work with you.

Click here to schedule a 1:1 call with a member of our team.