Uber – Is Your Corporate Culture Getting Toxic?

A man in the jungle looks beat up with suit torn

Corporate culture can either buoy you up or beat you down. If you leave work at the end of the day feeling discouraged, unfulfilled and unappreciated, it may be the fault of your company’s culture.  Because strategy must “go through culture” to be implemented, your corporate culture is a vital cog in any growth strategy.

We define corporate culture as the way business gets done in an organization day-to-day…the norms of behavior that prevail. When a company’s culture is aligned with its talent and, most importantly, its strategy for success, everything is copacetic. Employees are engaged and happy, the right folks are in the right place doing what they do best, and the business strategy is proving its value as the company grows and thrives.  In fact, our organizational alignment research found highly aligned companies grow 58% faster and are 72% more profitable while significantly outperforming their unaligned peers in terms of:

  • Retaining customers 2.23-to-1
  • Satisfying customers 3.2-to-1
  • Effectively leading 8.71-to-1
  • Engaging employees 16.8-to-1

But what happens when the culture is dysfunctional or toxic. Just look at Uber…

While it is too early tell what is really going on, recent news stories have uncovered signs of a very unhappy workforce. It all started with revelations on social media from a former employee who reported widespread sexual harassment that went relatively ignored by HR. According to reports, harassment and potentially illegal behavior were not immediately or effectively addressed. And sometimes, it seemed that misbehavior by high performers was especially overlooked. This reveals a workplace culture that may be broken or at least in crisis. It may not doom Uber to failure, but something needs to be done and fast if the company wants to keep its growth trajectory.

It may have started small…a report filed, read and dealt with by a simple “talking-to” and warning. But employees are always watching and judging cultural norms. When misbehavior seems to be condoned, it often grows. Others feel free to be abusive. Pretty soon, there is an organizational culture where there is insufficient accountability and an environment that feels unsafe to many. If employees feel unsupported by leaders or policies designed to deal with harassment, they can only endure and stay, or leave. This is hardly a high performance culture in which to work. As the way people think, behave and work unravels, employee engagement falls and strategy execution suffers.

What can a company like Uber do?

First, leadership needs to step in and make clear, powerful statements about how harassment and other HR problems will be handled in the future. This is not the time to reiterate meaningless or aspired company values. This is the time to be clear about expectations—what are the standards for behavior?  What specifically will be required?  What will not be tolerated?  And what are the consequences?

Then leaders need to follow through…not only with effective and transparent systems of measurement and accountability but also by setting an example. When leaders model ethical, inclusive behavior where diversity is valued, employees will respond in kind.

The problem of a poisonous culture needs to be addressed directly and from the top. We are curious to see what Uber does next. Will they do what it takes to reshape their culture into one where positive change occurs? Currently valued at nearly $70 billion, can Uber earn a reputation for fair treatment of its employees? Only time will tell.

To learn more, Download The Top 5 Warning Signs Your Culture May be in Trouble

Comments are closed.

Understanding and conforming to legal compliance was very important to our company. We turned to LSA Global to provide a quality and cost effective way to ensure that we were AB 1825 compliant. Their interactive eLearning program was top-notch. It allowed our managers to learn at their own pace, and on their own time. The program was tailored to include our logo and our internal harassment policies. It was interactive and met all federal and state legal requirements. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company looking for an efficient and effective and top quality way to train their managers to be in compliance.

Kelly Warren, SPHR
Director, HR & Compliance

aeroprecision-large

SeaTel has found our partnership with LSA Global to be very valuable and beneficial. We turned to LSA to customize a supervisory/leadership solution to meet our needs. LSA delivered a customized top quality solution. I’d recommend LSA Global to any company looking for a best-in-class training and consulting partner.

Kortney Riddle
HR Manager

Cobham-large-gray

We engaged LSA to design and deliver a 6-month custom executive coaching program for a group of our key leaders. The focus of the program was to help a core group of senior leaders to leverage previous investments in management training, to ensure the engagement and retention of key employees, and to push critical strategic initiatives forward. Even with the high expectations of our senior people, LSA has completely exceeded our expectations. I would recommend them to anyone looking to create and implement a custom coaching methodology using proven tools to drive true change.

Ivan Fukumoto
Senior HR Manager - Staffing, Training, & Development

Logo - Gray - Xoma

The refreshing thing about LSA is that they focus on understanding our business situation and helping me succeed instead of selling a product. With over 150 experts, they are an invaluable resource that helps me deliver higher quality results faster. I recommend them to anyone looking to improve the performance of their workforce.

Stacie Rodgers
VP of Human Resources

Cutera

We partnered with LSA Global to help us invest in our people in the areas of performance coaching, diversity, and inclusion. They focused on helping us succeed and were very flexible in meeting our specific needs. LSA Global exceeded my expectations from a speed, quality, and value standpoint. I would recommend LSA Global to anyone looking for a true business partner.

Anita Luckinbill
Director, Human Resources

Skadden-large-gray

We consider LSA our true business partner in the areas of Learning and Organizational Development. From Strategic Planning to Presentation Skills and Management Training, they continue to provide excellent value and extremely high quality solutions – not just one time events. I recommend them to anyone looking to drive true business results.

Michelle A. Mitchell
Vice President, Worldwide Human Resources

RiverStone-large-gray

We recently partnered with LSA Global to offer our Supervisors and Managers a customized two-day management training program. Everyone who attended said it was by far the best management training program they had ever attended. The content was rich and highly interactive. The case studies were relevant. Each participant walked away from the training much better equipped to lead their teams.

Jeff Coon
Director of Human Resources

Cobham-large-gray

LSA exceeded all my expectations. We interviewed 7 potential training and consulting partners and selected LSA due to their expertise, flexibility, and breadth and depth of solutions. We were able to construct a management training course from the modules most appropriate to our needs, and are able to provide additional training from their well developed portfolio of experts. Our managers galvanized as a team throughout the session and are better prepared for the rigors of a competitive market.

Mitch Mandich
CEO

Edify

I am very impressed with the quality of work and talent. LSA did a great job of listening to my needs and providing the exact management training program expertise I needed to get the job done.

Don Pryor
Director, Business Planning & Analysis

Skyy-large-gray

LSA’s consultant designed and delivered a half-day team building solution for our recent conference. It included careful customization to integrate the design with our new mission and values. Everyone had fun and identified key issues with our teamwork. Altogether a great program!

Bob Ward
Director of HR

Pa1mOne-large-gray

LSA has become the gold standard in team building and management training at Genomic Health! I have a hard time finding facilitators that come close to their expertise and experience.

Emily Couey
Director of Human Resources

genomic-large

In the Next Generation Management Development courses, I was trained with skills and tools that have made me and my team more productive, motivated, and successful at communicating with other departments.

 

Kevin Ashman
Firmware Engineering Supervisor

IGT-large-gray

LSA’s Employee Engagement Consulting and Survey work has provided critical visibility into: how well our people are holding up under the general economic environment, as well as, the specific challenges that face biotechnology companies in their efforts to discover and develop new medicines; their level of alignment and commitment to XOMA’s Vision and mission critical strategies; how leadership practices and management systems support an environment that engender commitment, and the specific actions that our leaders can take to improve on areas that are important to our people. I highly recommend LSA’s employee engagement solutions.

Chris Wells
Vice President, HR and IT

Logo - Gray - Xoma

Congratulations on your pro-activity in establishing this program and developing such an effective New Employee Orientation course.

Farhat Ali
President and Chief Executive Office

Fujitsu

In my years working with LSA, it seems like I’ve had a personal consultant at my fingertips to help me identify just the right solution to satisfy our needs. The entire LSA team has become a trusted friend of Actel — assuring we provide state-of-the-art learning to meet our complex, high-tech business and people needs.

Linda Mitchell
Training Manager

actel-large

Evaluate your Performance

Toolkits

Toolkits

Download key published insights and tools from industry experts highlighting best practices in the areas of talent, strategy and culture.

More

Health Checks

Health Checks

Want to know how you stack up against leading organizations?  Receive a complimentary benchmarking analysis courtesy of an LSA Expert.

More

Whitepapers

Whitepapers

Get up to speed on timely solutions critical to your business. Published by LSA Experts based upon client feedback and key industry trends.

More

Methodology

Methodologies

First we identify the key metrics you want to improve. Then we assemble a dedicated team of elite experts who have successfully solved similar problems with similar clients.

More

icon_expert-blog

Blogs

Stay up to do date with the latest information on how we help high growth companies align their culture and talent with strategy.

More

Case Studies

Client Case Studies

Real world consulting and training approaches from LSA projects, providing insights on how your company can outperform the competition.

More