SMEs often suffer an unhealthy work culture, which leads to employee and customer dissatisfaction, in turn, an unstable business. So, why is the work culture unhealthy in small and medium scale enterprises? Let us checkout.

1. Lack of a SOP

A structured approach to any problem is very important to get the apt solution. If you do not have a system in place to make sure that activities are taking place as mapped and providing the desired results, you are encouraging an unhealthy working environment. The first big mistake made by SMEs is they do not frame a SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for their business. They do not have guidelines like what amount of work is to be done every day, when stocks are to be replenished and who is responsible for which job. A SOP is an organized link between the various departments of a company and lack of a SOP means when a problem arises no one is ready to take the ownership of the issue, leading to an unhealthy work environment. The blame game never helps and this kind of unhealthy practice ultimately leads to order delays and dissatisfied clients.

2. Lack of HR policies

A HR team does not exist in a company just to recruit people and maintain payroll. They exist to maintain a healthy relationship with and among the employees; they exist to resolve employee issues and maintain transparency in all dealings with the employees. A SME often lacks an efficient HR department and concrete HR policies. These companies are more about money making than looking into the welfare of the employees. People often do not get paid on time, do not get their annual, sick and maternity leaves and often do not have PF and pension accounts; plus, there is no specific policy regarding the exit of an employee. This is the reason people always feel that their job is not secure in a small or medium enterprise. How can an employee give his or her best when there is no job security? When there is no confirmation about getting paid on the right time? Hence lack of a HR policy leads to an unhealthy work culture.

3. Toxic middle management

In a small and medium scale enterprise the power is concentrated in few hands. The middle management feel themselves to be more talented and superior than the rest and always trying to take credit of others’ work. They are often biased and good work is often not appreciated. This kind of negative attitude leads to mistrust and low morale among the employees; employees do not have any expectations of appreciation and rewards and hence the productivity deteriorates.

4. Autonomy

In a small or medium enterprise what the owner says is the ultimate decision. The voice of employees is not respected in kind of organization. There is clear lack of communication between the business owner and the employees and it often happens that employees are made aware of a decision after it is implemented. In this kind of environment, employees do not feel as a part of the company, leading to an unhealthy work culture.

5. Employee Conflict

Now when there is no proper management, how can an organization have loyal and peace loving employees. Your staff comes from different backgrounds, have different personalities and qualifications. A SME often runs on the concept that minor problems between the employees will dissolve on its own, which is inappropriate as with time, these small conflicts become huge and leads to a destructive working environment. Unhealthy work culture is also caused by unhealthy competition among the employees. People tend to insult each other and lack the zeal for teamwork to get better hike or promotion. This kind of behaviour needs to be handled with strong hands. In SMEs, supervisors and managers often ignore such issues and concentrate only on the productivity; ultimately promoting individualism. There is no one to offer right solutions to insults and conflicts. Under such negative environment, employees always feel to be dissatisfied and deprived.

So is your business facing these same problems? Is the work culture really toxic out there? Fix the above mentioned issues to get a healthy working environment; have happy employees, happy customers and a sustainable business. If you dream to be big and transform your business into a brand, frame the SOP and learn the best practices from industry experts who have been able to maintain their stronghold on the market.

YRC is a Management Consulting Company with head office in Pune, India. We work across 03 verticals, Startup, SME & Corporates. Our expertise lies in developing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for companies and helping them organize and expand. We have a cumulative experience of more than 15 years. Our holistic approach helps us to devise the best of the management practices for the organization.