5 Glaring Signs of a Bad Company Culture

| 3 min read
bad company culture

A bad company culture usually means high employee turnover and a less motivated workforce. Having a great company culture is important for employees and organisations. It could become the deciding factor on whether employees will give more, be more innovative, be great team members or not.

As a career professional, the negative effects of a bad company culture on your career is huge and most times, it cannot be easily equated. Below are 5 glaring signs of a bad company culture.

Micromanagementbad company culture

A 21st-century workplace should encourage professional to get the most done with minimal scrutiny or none at all. Micromanaging people creates an atmosphere of fear, rancour and doesn’t encourage the culture of taking initiative or being confident in working within a team. This brand of bad company culture stifles your confidence and leaves you dependent on others. As a career professional, this does not give you the space you need to learn, develop your leadership or acquire management skills to help you reach goals

Employers and managers should ensure their work environment allows employees thrive. This encourages employees to become more responsible for their tasks.

Bottom Linebad company culture

Businesses are usually in the business of making profit but if the bottom line is to the detriment of the people, it’s a glaring sign of a bad company culture. In a research, Deloitte discovered that 69% of organisations that don’t have a strong sense of purpose tend to focus more on profit while another 52% focused on short-term goals.

As a career professional, you want an organisation where profit and people are jointly seen as important elements that make up the whole. It’s always easier for employees to leave such companies where the bottom line is more important to the company than its people.

Indisciplinebad company culture

Allowing indiscipline or unethical behaviour to go unchecked spells doom for any organisation. This promotes unprofessional conduct and abuse of policies within any company and stands out as a bad company culture.

Regardless of an employee’s job level or perceived importance within a organisation, management must always respond adequately and in good time. This also serves as a deterrent to others.

Zero Leadership

Organisations that have poor leadership structures within the company culture lack the capacity to inspire employees to be more productive. Zero leadership, as a bad company culture, will also reflect in poor management of teams and employees.Negative_Corporate_Culture_-_Zero_Leadership

As a career professional, you want to be where you’re a mentee and a mentor because learning as a process should be unending. Organisations should encourage leadership and mentorship as this helps in boosting employee innovation in the workplace.

Poor Communicationbad company culture

Poor communication within an organisation is a recipe for disaster. It discourages a lot of bottom-up communication, which can affect how employees understand values, goals and tasks. Diverse levels of communication should be encouraged from employees to management and vice versa. This promotes respect rather than fear.

These different levels of communication would ensure employees do not feel intimidated and it’s a great boost to give employees a strong sense of belonging.

In conclusion, a bad company culture can stall and distort your self-development and career progression. It’s important to identify them and ensure they do not impact negatively on your career or organisation’s culture. Have you experienced any bad company culture not listed above? Kindly share them below.

Princewill Akuma
Princewill is a marketing maven, who is passionate about user-centric marketing. His experience spans Tech service, Recruitment, Media and Entertainment sectors across Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Tanzania. He's a career adviser, mentor, hobbyist DJ and a lover of cardio exercise with a personal record of 23.49 km. Let's connect, i'll love to hear from you.


  1. Thank you Princewill for your value-add articles. I have been upset with Jobberman for a long time but with these useful articles, I am relaxing my stand. Lol

    • Hi Linda,
      Thank you for the kind words. Please, always know your feedback is very important to us. Don’t hesitate to email me if you have any further concerns, we are open to resolving and learning from them. Best Regards

  2. Thank you Princewill, we get the gist really. Especially about micromanaging which can stunt ones career growth.

  3. I think this nailed it. Though I could mention one bad company culture whereby employees are always reminded that millions of pple are out there searching for jobs…staff work in fear, No job security, No staff welfare, No trainings and so on. I guess this is what you call a job and not a career, Mr Princewill?

  4. Hi princewill I so much agree with you on every point listed and had a total experience of such bad company, seriously, the fact is that it kills your self esteem with no room for growth and development and leaves an after now side effects that you have to consciously deal with even when you have left the said bad company.

  5. Hi Mr princewill. I love this writeup. Resigned from my workplace a week ago and have been having mixed feelings of guilt/regret. But with this article I just read, I feel liberated from such feelings. My boss, a woman monitors her employees private lives. She sends cleaners and messengers and cleaners in the office to eavesdrop on our conversations amongst employees. She does not communicate with the heads of departments about any new policy or innovation. If any event is coming up, she notifies people a day to that event. She slashed our salaries by 50% without informing her employees and she shouts us if we are not ready to work, we can exit the organization. We don’t work on Saturdays but she may call us most Saturdays to come to work without any incentive except for serving us food at the canteen. If you try to ask questions from her , she will shut you up or eventually sack you. She sacks people at will and if she brings in a new HR she does not introduce the HR to other employees and will tell the HR to be bossy to the staff. When I dropped my resignation letter to my immediate boss. She was shocked and dejected because she felt after working with her for two years , I won’t be able to leave. I hope I am on the right track?

    • Hello Wunmi,
      Kindly do not second guess yourself; in hindsight, I would have advised you find a job will there. So here is what to do, update your profile and get a new CV, check our blog for career advice to find your next job. Also be on the lookout for red flags from your last employer while you job hunt. We are always here to help, please do not hesitate to write to us for further insights or advice.
      Best regards

  6. The “We just did you a favour syndrome” Most employers in Nigeria, especially in the non- multinational private sector have this mindset of we did you a favour employing you and thereby believe they have valid rights to manipulate your life as they deem fit.

  7. Very insightful… one other bad company culture I have experienced- was with a company who didnt understand the need for a culture at all! It created a very unprofessional environment… they ticked all the boxes in this article.

  8. Divide and Rule is one major bad company culture. I stand to be corrected though. I also believe that Nigerian employees should stop allowing employers trampled on them simple because of the peanut they pay . To the best of my knowledge , it is a contract both parties signed;meaning the employer pays the employees for the services rendered. Truth is most Nigerian employers see themselves as mini gods especially the so called one – man businesses.

    • Hi Ruth,
      Educating both the employers and employee is very key to ensuring our workplaces have less bad company cultures and this what we are committed to doing.
      Thanks for sharing

  9. Thank you for this wonderfully articulated article. It is the summary of many Nigerian employer’s attitude to their employee. I think “Divide & Rule” tactics/practices is also another major bad company culture used by many employer.

  10. Thanks for this article cos I’ve learnt a lot from this article and I’ve realized the condition i’m in now.

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