5 ways a good leader can influence company culture

5 ways a good leader can influence company culture

November 30, 2022

Lately, corporate culture has become one of the most popular buzzwords. It seems to be one of those terms that are often used but poorly understood, as virtually every company strives to develop its culture in one way or another. What is it really? And how does this affect your business?

What is corporate/company culture?

The simplest definition of corporate culture is the way things are done in an organization and how people within the organization interact with each other. This includes your goals and values, work-life balance, and whether collaboration or independence is emphasized. It also covers aspects that can impact the day-to-day satisfaction of your employees, such as the layout of the workplace and the general atmosphere, and typically the effort in fostering a “speak up” culture.

Keep in mind that fostering a strong company culture will not only help retain your best employees but also foster a positive reputation that will help attract new talent. If you as a leader or manager believe that there is potential for improvement in your organization's culture, here are five ways that a good leader/manager can influence the company culture.

1. Establish clear models for team communication

Even if they are not aware of it, employees receive their behavioral cues from their superiors. If leaders are encouraging, employees are more likely to help to encourage their co-workers. Employees will take more responsibility for their activities if leaders are honest and responsible.

Changing a leader's personal communication style can be difficult. In some situations, managers may choose to hire a management coach to help them, for example, learn how to communicate in accordance with cultural norms. This is a rewarding endeavor – if the leaders start communicating effectively, the rest of the team will eventually follow suit.

Also read: 5 things whistleblowers wish were taken more seriously

2. Keep employee feedback high

No one knows your company's culture better than your staff. They are the ones who experience it daily. They are the richest source of information for examining your company culture. Communicate with them, conduct regular employee surveys, and use this data to identify areas for improvement. You can see further proof of this in the post 5 Employee Feedback Stats That You Need to See by Maren Hogan on LinkedIn.

Also, remember that employees only open up if they trust you and the organization. In an unpleasant atmosphere, employees may not dare to express themselves openly and honestly. In such cases, you can start by providing completely anonymous employee surveys. If your employees perceive that you are committed to real change, they will feel more comfortable participating as time goes on.

3. Help employees fully understand their roles

There can be a gap between a company's stated goals and the everyday reality of employees. Every so often, it takes a good leader to help people connect the two and discover the value in their work. It starts with examining the company culture.

Are you concerned about intelligent product design? Excellent customer service? Regardless of the purpose, managers must know how to help each employee, regardless of their position, and understand how their efforts benefit the greater mission.

Read also: Motivate whistleblowers to report misconduct

4. Help employees develop their skills

Managers can collaborate with employees to increase their working knowledge of their sector, develop their skills, and add new challenges and responsibilities to their job. Maybe it's a matter of training many people, so they can move across different departments as needed for a new challenge and a fresh sense of connection to the larger organization. Sometimes, the opposite is true – it just depends on your organization and the individual.

It can be a magnificent way to nurture talent internally and for people who previously held lower roles to assume senior roles within the company in the future. This is something that ultimately benefits both the employees and the organization itself. If changing work roles do not suit your organization, there are many other ways to help employees develop.

5. Review more than just productivity

The notion of leadership arises because we require individuals with visions who can get things done. Because surely the workplace is much more than how many e-mails we read in an hour, or how much money we have earned? In addition, a clear and well-communicated vision can benefit both productivity and profitability.

One of your most important tasks as a leader is to foster success without making your employees feel like little spokes in a wheel or cogs in a profit-making machine where they are not getting their share. Getting it right is something that over time can have an incredible impact on productivity and lead to very positive results in the long run.

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