Workplace culture and engagement seem to be at a definite ebb—64 percent of employees in a recent study felt they didn’t have a strong work culture and 49 percent were not satisfied with their supervisor. This low engagement results in a 33 percent decrease in operating income and an 11 percent decrease in earnings growth, according to a report by TruPath. Many organizations are falling short in providing their staff what they need to succeed in the workplace.
Workplace culture may sound like a trendy concern, but don’t underestimate its importance. Culture sets the stage for success. It represents the things that bring people together as well as the things that distinguish them. It’s the culture of an organization that that is the strongest reflection of its shared values, whether they’re solidly pointed toward success or careering toward failure.
As a leader, you build organizational culture through your actions:
Create it. Great leaders build and drive great cultures. They know it is their number one priority. They know they cannot delegate the task—they must create and lead a culture of greatness. Leadership begins with the process of creation.
Teach it. Too often, leaders don’t feel a need to keep their employees informed about what’s going on or show them how to succeed. Instead, they leave people to their own devices to figure it all out. If you want to have a successful culture, take the time to provide instruction and illustrations.
Shape it. Cultures are constantly changing, and as a leader you must always be working to keep it in shape. A culture of greatness doesn’t happen by accident. It comes about when a leader expects greatness and each person in the organization builds it, lives it, values it, reinforces it and fights for it.
Humanize it. People are at the center of every effective organizational culture. You can implement all kinds of processes and procedures, you can set up mental models and theory-driven systems, but at the end of the day if your culture isn’t humanized you’re missing the mark.
Support it. Cultures that thrive have the support of the organization’s leadership in addition to that of ambassadors throughout the organization who believe in what is being accomplished. No culture can succeed without widespread buy-in and support.
Trust it. If you trust your vision and direction and take ownership of them, others will trust and take responsibility themselves. When everyone holds themselves accountable, you have an organization based on trust—and trust is the cornerstone of any healthy culture.
Respect it. The undercurrent of any sound organizational culture must be one of respect. People who respect one another behave with courtesy and civility.
Live it. Too often leaders talk about what’s required for the team to be successful but fail to hold themselves to the same standard. Leaders who truly live their values can expect those values to spread into every level of the organization. The best company cultures are built on a set of core values that every leader and employee knows and lives out.
Appreciate it. Regardless of what sort of culture you want for your company, there has to be an element of appreciation and recognition for others. Recognition means people care about each other and are invested in each other’s success. They recognize and appreciate diversity.
Embrace it. Embrace your organization’s culture by engaging in behaviors that support it. Too often, leaders focus on what’s not going right, which creates more of the same. Instead of placing attention on what’s wrong, focus on what’s right.
Your organization’s culture is a reflection of its values. It is the voice of your business, and it takes you and each member of your team to ensure its success.
Lead from within: When you provide an environment in which people enjoy spending time, they will not only do their job but will outperform themselves every day.
N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
Photo Credit: iStock Photos
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.