Bad Habits – A Virus That Infects Your Entire Organization

Businesses, like individuals, have habits. Most companies are not even aware of them. They go unnoticed by its leaders and company personnel. Habits are automated routines that occur without thinking. Some habits are good and some are bad. Organizational bad habits can be as infectious as the Ebola virus, spreading throughout the organization, infecting one employee after another. These organizational bad habits, when left unchecked, will eventually become a part of your company’s culture, hampering your growth. Below is a list of some of the organizational bad habits that you might not even be aware of in your company:

  • Email – Employees continuously checking their emails throughout the day. There is no such thing as effective multitasking. Humans are simply incapable of focusing on more than one task at a time. Each time an employee checks their email, they become disengaged from the task at hand. They shift their attention, even momentarily, each time they check their email. Studies show that a person who is interrupted, takes 50% longer to accomplish a task. This wasted time creates inefficiency that adds up daily, monthly, annually and over the course of an employee’s career with the company. Not only that, employees make mistakes switching back and forth from from tasks: work to email and back to work. Checking email throughout the day wastes time, causes mistakes and costs the company money. The fix is to create an organizational good habit requiring every employee to isolate a block of time each day to check their email.
  • Gossiping – Gossiping is a bad habit. It is destructive communication. It damages working relationships and distracts employees from getting work done. Their minds are elsewhere, after being stabbed in the back by gossip. Plus gossip is a negative use of time. Employees gossiping about other employees or their boss is a negative use of time. When employees spend time gossiping, they have lost valuable time communicating about other important work-related issues that may need solving. They are focused on negative, destructive communication, rather than positive, constructive communication. The best most successful companies have a “no gossip” policy. Dave Ramsey, famed radio host, has a “no gossip” policy in his company for this reason.
  • Blame – Something is always going wrong when you run a business. It’s part of the business environment. How you deal with mistakes and failures, as an organization, can dictate the overall success or failure of your business. When leaders assign blame to employees for mistakes and failures, and when this blame causes negative career consequences to that employee, they are creating an organizational bad habit. Too many organizations have a Cover Your Ass mindset rooted in the planning and assignment of blame whenever anything goes wrong. Eventually, this infects the entire organization. The fix is to create a culture of seeing mistakes and failures as a good thing; a learning experience. That employee’s failure or mistake may very well uncover and important “what not to do” lesson that could benefit others in the organization. Organizations who have a culture of encouraging mistakes and failures, grow. They create a culture where employees have no fear and readily take individual responsibility for their mistakes. They own the mistake. Companies who punish for mistakes don’t grow, lose market share and eek out a small profit or loss. In my organization I reward mistakes because that means we learned something that will help us in the future become better as a team.
  • Excessive Planning – Too much planning is a bad organizational habit. Excessive planning is rooted in fear. Fear holds organizations back from growing. It is far better to take action and fail then to plan for every possible contingency. Only through action will companies find out what works and what doesn’t. The fix is to set a deadline on planning for new accepted projects. When that deadline comes, action commences. Even if it means all of your ducks are not lined up. Organizations who act, grow. Those who don’t, stagnate.
  • Ignoring Employee Feedback – Feedback is critical to growth as an organization. Unfortunately, too many businesses feign interest in employee feedback but never act on that feedback. This disempowers employees, and will eventually lead to no feedback whatsoever. Acting on employee feedback empowers employees and motivates them to brainstorm for solutions, knowing their feedback will be acted upon.

Have you ever given any thought as to what organizational bad habits are holding your company back from moving ahead in achieving the overall goals of the company? Changing your organizational bad habits is a 3 step process:

  1. AWARENESS: Leaders need to seek feedback from their employees to help identify organizational bad habits.
  2. SUBSTITUTION: Once they become aware of organizational bad habits, they can eliminate them and substitute them with organizational good habits.
  3. TRACKING: The final step is to track the adoption of new organizational good habits throughout the organization at all levels, not just at the higher levels.

Companies need to make good organizational habits a part of their culture if they want to achieve their overall vision and goals, which is how organizations grow.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley understands the difference between being rich and poor: at age nine, his family went from being multi-millionaires to broke in just one night, due to a catastrophic fire that destroyed his Dad's thriving business. For fourteen years they struggled with poverty. There were eleven in Tom's family, and they lived in constant fear of losing their home.

Driven by the desire to unlock the secrets to success and failure, Tom spent five years studying the daily activities of 233 rich people and 128 poor people. He discovered there was an immense difference between the habits of the rich and the poor. During his research he identified over 300 daily activities that separated the “haves” from the “have nots.” Tom decided to write a book to share what he learned. That book, Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals (1st Edition), went on to become an Amazon Bestseller in the United States forty times over a three year period. To give you some perspective, in order to be a true Amazon Bestseller in the United States, where you actually receive a specific Bestseller designation from Amazon, you need to be in the top 100 of all books sold by Amazon in the United States in a given day. Rich Habits did that for nearly thirty straight days, rising as high as #7, eclipsing such Bestselling authors such as Stephen Covey, Robert Kiyosaki and J.K. Rowlings. Imagine that - an unknown, first-time, self-published author selling more books than J.K. Rowlings!

Tom now travels the world, sharing his Rich Habits and motivating audiences at industry conferences, corporate events, universities, multi-level marketing group events, and global sales organizations’ presentations and finance conferences. He has even spoken on the same stage with famous entrepreneurs and personal development experts, such as Sir Richard Branson, Robin Sharma, Dr. Daniel Amen, and many others.

Tom has shared his insights on various national and international network, cable, and Internet television programs such as CBS Evening News, NBC News, Yahoo Financially Fit,, India TV, Australia, and a host of others. He has been interviewed on many prestigious nationally syndicated radio shows, including the Dave Ramsey Show, Marketplace Money, and WABC.

Tom has been featured in numerous print magazines—such as Money magazine, Inc. Magazine, SUCCESS Magazine, Entrepreneur magazine, Fast Company magazine, More magazine, Epoca Magazine (Brazil’s largest weekly) and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine—and various online publications, including USA Today, CNN, MSN Money,,, and the Huffington Post. Tom is a frequent contributor to Business Insider,, and a few other media outlets.

National publicity has garnered international media attention for Tom and his Rich Habits research spanning 23 countries. Broadcast media, online publications, and television throughout Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the United Kingdom, and Central and South America have shared his powerful message.

In an effort to help parents, grandparents, teachers and adults become success mentors to the younger generation, Tom released his second book, Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to be Happy and Successful in Life in 2014. This book was the self-help category winner of the 2015 New York Book Festival and Runner-up in the prestigious 2015 Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards Contest. In 2016 Tom released his third book, Change Your Habits, Change Your Life. This book provides the latest science on habit change as well as more of Tom's unique research on the specific habits that helped transform 177 ordinary individuals into self-made millionaires.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, and hold a master’s degree in taxation. As president of Cerefice and Company, CPAs, Tom heads one of the premier financial firms in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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