Work Relationships

7 ways leaders can shape their company culture

Written by Guest Contributor

Sure the majority of people in an organization are employees, but it’s the leaders who make or break them. Leaders have a lot more power in their hands, so it’s up to their actions and decisions for a company’s culture to be on the right track or not. Effective leadership is crucial when it comes to the success of a company, and the sooner leaders realize this, the better.

It’s hard (if not impossible) for a company to thrive if leadership and culture are not coordinated. If the leadership is weak, it can shape a toxic culture, and no one wants that. Data from a study by Deloitte shows that 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a “distinct workplace culture is important to business success.” But how can leaders shape a company’s culture? Here’s what they can do to be more influential:

Appreciate your employees

If employees don’t feel valued, they’re not going to stay…or they won’t be happy, which doesn’t help company culture either. Almost half (43 percent) of employees leave their jobs solely due to a lack of recognition.

You, as a leader, need to recognize your employees’ unique strengths and share that recognition with them. If you develop a culture of appreciation and recognition among your team, they’ll cultivate their loyalty to the company, as a result. You can do it only by showing them you care. It can be through feedback on a job well done or letting them leave early after finishing a big project, or various other ways. You have to show an effort to get effort.

Be transparent

Always be accessible and transparent with your employees. Share your vision of the future with them, and let them know any goals the company is moving towards. It doesn’t always have to be good news that brings optimism; sometimes obstacles and challenges bring a team together and build trust.

Hoarding information is the leading cause of turnover if done intentionally and repeatedly. A manager who hoards information might do it to control their environment, but it will result in people not being able to trust them. Since the foundation for any good relationship is trust, that foundation cannot exist without transparency at work.

Share your vision for the department

Sharing your vision for the near future or long-term plans is a great way to motivate your team. It helps them remember that the work they do every day serves something more substantial, and they’re not doing meaningless work. Sharing is, indeed, caring!

Communicate with your team

A good work environment can’t be created without good communication. Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson writes about the importance of communication:

“Communication makes the world go round. It facilitates human connections and allows us to learn, grow, and progress. It’s not just about speaking or reading, but understanding what is being said — and in some cases what is not being said. Communication is the most important skill any leader can possess.”

Holding regular meetings makes everyone be almost three times as likely to be engaged than having been completely ignored.

Actively listen to your employees

Feedback shouldn’t be given/taken only once a year. Give them the chance to provide ideas every day by doing ongoing, consistent check-ins. This is a must when trying to improve company culture. By consistently requesting feedback, you’ll always know what needs changing. Be flexible and know that there’s still room for improvement, and your employees know best.

Encourage self-development

Leadership might be the soft skill you need to perfect yourself, but there are plenty of other soft skills that are important for the workplace that you could teach your employees. Always help your team grow!

However, when an employee is passionate about self-development, their input will always be superior, and they will have intrinsic motivation to take more responsibilities at hand, which benefits the workplace and themselves. So, instill in them lifelong learning, and it’ll be a win-win for the company and them.

Make yourself available

Making your employees believe just because you’re the CEO you don’t have time to deal with their concerns is a toxic habit.

Credit Karma founder and CEO Kenneth Lin believes in an open culture of communication for a more enjoyable workplace. He operates with an open-door policy, which is a great idea for your employees to know you’re always there when they want to have a word. “I want new employees to feel like this is a mission we’re all in together. An open-door policy sets the tone for this. Whenever I’m in my office and available, I encourage anyone to come by and share their thoughts about how they feel Credit Karma is doing,” says Lin.

Remember you’re part of the team, too. Don’t let the power you have as a leader get to your head! Lead them the way you’d like to be led and work together towards a healthy company culture.

About the Author:
Dafina Zymeri is passionate about ongoing, self-motivated and self-paced learning. She writes for Kiwi, which is a restaurant LMS that aims to help restaurant owners train their staff in an easier and more effective way. Moreover, they offer online training courses for different Restaurant services.

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