How Leaders Can Shape the Company Culture
The company culture is the ethos of the organization. It’s the living and breathing of the company's core values. It’s what motivates, inspires, and drives your organization. A shared set of values, how people treat each other, how the organization is operating, and what methods are in place for interaction.
Workplace culture is not only derived from a diverse employee base but drives them to be better as a collective whole. Perks can help to have a cool feeling, but what you need to have a healthy company culture is for leaders to treat each employee as a legitimate person and an asset, an attractive player who can be the face of the company.
A leader can be anyone who has influence or authority, regardless of title, and leaders set the tone for organizational culture. Nowadays examining the company culture is becoming more important than ever. New generations of workers want a place where they are valued, mentored, and allowed to work where they do their best.
The first step for any leader looking to improve the workplace culture is to determine the values that reflect the company, and embrace what makes it different.
Once you have determined the core values that define your organization, you need to determine which concrete behaviors reflect those values. These will vary depending on the organization and the department, of course.
Core values of treating everyone with respect, trust, and dignity are expected. However, one company might give management the freedom to give time off for excellent behavior; others might have a group social to celebrate an occasion. Your company culture will dictate how you reward, and how you give any feedback to your employees.
Leading by example. Modeling your values, from the CEO to the direct manager, is a great way to showcase your company’s culture. When management models the defined values and behaviors, employees generally follow suit. Your employees will be always looking up to their leaders.
Effective leadership is one of the greatest fundamentals of building great organizational cultures. The more comfortable the employee feels with the organizational culture, the most engaged he will be with his tasks.
Higher quality and safety. Engaged employees are committed to meeting a standard of quality and excellence. Because of this, they make smarter decisions, pay closer attention to detail, and approach their work with thoughtfulness. These same actions also go far in promoting and maintaining workplace safety.
Better work/life balance. When a company encourages and supports a healthier balance for employees, they don’t just work harder, but smarter. Being able to better juggle these two important parts of life makes way for motivation and efficiency to take hold. It also decreases absences and increases your employees' loyalty to the organization.
Excellent customer service. Employees who are valued end up valuing their customers, clients, team members, and everyone else they come into contact with each day. When more care is taken to answer questions, address concerns, solve problems, and generally be of help to others, soaring sales are sure to follow.
Greater retention rates. All of these benefits aren’t only enjoyed by the employer. Employees of companies that cultivate such a culture are apt to stay put for the long term. Why? There’s simply no reason to leave when you’re feeling appreciated, heard, and allowed to advance.
Growing profitability. With an upward trajectory of engagement that fuels these benefits comes a general growth in profit, due to impressive productivity delivered from every member of the workforce.
Translate the target into organizational change priorities. It should be framed not as a culture change initiative but in terms of real-world problems to be solved and solutions that create value.
Building a strong company culture takes time and a lot of hard work, but the benefits are more than worth it. Employees care about culture. Executives who properly understand their company culture can utilize it for the benefit of both their workforce and business. If you’re not in love with the culture you’ve created, there are always ways to turn it around.
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