Aways a difficult conversation but on that needs to be had. Written by Miles Burke of 6Q Blog.

Sometimes you look around, and all you see is a team that is unmotivated and confused about the direction of the business. You might see that colleagues are taking frequent time off, and there’s a sense of lack of teamwork. Perhaps you hear complaints around the water cooler, or worse, gossiping by email or messenger.

It’s time for you to do something about it!

Before you do though, a few words of advice…

It’s not just your manager’s responsibility to improve your company culture. She may already be very busy, and tied up with concerns you are unaware of. For a culture change to really go positively everyone within the organisation needs to be supportive of the idea; however at the end of the day, if management won’t lead positive culture change, it is destined to fail.

It’s not uncommon for people to blame their managers for something they don’t like. Make sure you consider what can they do to resolve the situation – are you just blaming your managers for your bad moods?

Issues that are really more personal issues or opinions about management styles really can be left for another discussion. Blaming company culture for why you and your boss don’t see eye to eye isn’t helpful for the overall cause.

Having said this, here are a few suggestions on raising the issue of company culture with your manager, without upsetting or offending them.

Giving feedback that could be construed as negative by the recipient is hard. It’s even harder if they become defensive or dismissive. Ensure you keep it to the situation, and don’t make it a personal attack.

If all your feedback is purely negative, then it is likely not to be received well. Try stating something along the lines of positive and negative, such as ‘It’s great that everyone in the team gets along really well, however I believe we could improve it further by…”

It’s important that your manager understands why a focus on improving company culture will provide real benefit. We have a number of statistics and quotes in recent blog posts that you could arm yourself with, such as Employee engagement strategies save money and Benefits of engaged employees.

Whenever you give feedback to a manager, explain the rationale about why you are thinking about it. Give them direct examples on how it will improve your position within the company. For example “If everyone took more responsibility for their work, I would feel less stressed and it is likely I would see fewer production issues”.

This point applies anytime you give feedback to anyone else. Instead of just stating “It would be better if we…” try framing your feedback along the lines of “We could try doing X which would improve Y because…”

Read more…How to encourage your boss to improve your company culture