The best way to manage company culture? Avoid blame

In business, the difference between succeeding and failing resides almost solely in the company culture. Having a toxic blame culture can be detrimental, and in the totality of a company that is solely focused on short term gains for long term pain, will ultimately sacrifice culture for marginal profit gain.

In most organisations, finger pointing is a way to hold people accountable. If someone thinks that someone else has done a bad job, they can give a piece of feedback to ensure that the same error is not made again. Pointing the finger can be positive in some ways, if there is implicit trust in the person receiving the feedback that there are altruistic intentions.

If done poorly, pointing the finger at someone can lead to blame culture.

What is blame culture?

Blame culture is the manifestation of a group of toxic individuals who choose to blame rather than assist. Instead of saying “what did I do to contribute?”, people will say “who can I blame for this?”.
Quite often, blame culture will manifest in people saying things like “you should have done this” or “I think this is your fault because of this”. This type of toxic culture only manifests when people lack the confidence in their own ability, and in lacking confidence, choose to instead blame others for their predicament.

Blaming stems from the psychology of misattribution. Deep down inside, people have their own beliefs in who they are and what their ability is. For some, blaming is an escape route, because it’s much easier to blame someone than to look at your own performance to see where you went wrong.

How do you avoid blame?

Well, for a start, for a company to be involved in blame culture, there needs to be something inherently wrong at the very top. If those at the top do not have ability, what they will inevitably do is shift the blame and responsibility for company performance, to hide their own incompetence. This trickle down effect can flow all the way down to the middle management, and eventually infest the entirety of the company itself.

At its absolute worst, companies will look at hiring people, just so they can blame them for the company failure. To avoid this, if something is toxic, cut it off. If a company is built on toxicity, it won’t survive. Firing people for bad culture fit is far better than firing people for poor skills. Skills can be learned, culture cannot be.

What is the opposite of blame?

The opposite of blame is recognition. It doesn’t have to be something major, but simply saying that someone did a good job is enough to shift blame culture. If you can make a difference by showing gratitude, loving your job and loving yourself, you can shift blame culture. Of course, you’d need a medium to record all your messages of thank you and support.

What better way to say thank you than to use an employee recognition platform?

WooBoard is a peer to peer recognition platform where your employees can send public messages of thanks and appreciation to their colleagues. Sign up for your free 14-Day Trial of WooBoard today.


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