Case Study

Rebuilding a Toxic Work Environment

The Challenge

The CEO of a professional services firm was concerned that revenues had plateaued and that the firm was experiencing high employee turnover.

What We Did

Our first step involved extensive discussions with the CEO to understand his perspectives and objectives for the firm. We then reviewed the financials and conducted in-depth interviews with a broad sample of employees. These steps led us to conduct a preliminary market and competitive assessment.

What We Discovered

The primary driver of both the stalled financial performance and the high employee turnover was a hostile work environment. Many staff were high quality, and they quickly determined that the culture of the firm and the toxic personalities at the executive level were not to their liking.

Implementation & Execution

Over an 18 month period, our recommendations and actions spanned a number of areas:

Executive Coaching

We instituted intensive executive coaching for the CEO and select staff.


We modified meeting agendas and schedules to ensure that everyone understood the what, for what and so what of each meeting.

Culture Shift

We led the team in defining the desired corporate culture and put in place actions to make that culture come alive.

Staff Repositioning

As appropriate, staff were repositioned, and in a few instances counseled out.

Empower Employees

Changed processes and approval requirements to appropriately empower staff, and helped reset staff priorities to balance both immediate and long-term revenue generating opportunities.

Restructured Strategy

We restructured the firm strategy to reflect the changes in the market and competitive environments.

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