Leadership plays a fundamental role in creating a great organizational culture. You can be a leader to the extent that you have authority or influence in your field or among your peers and colleagues. A leader is someone who sets the tone for the corporate culture.
One of the primary responsibilities of leadership is to reinforce company values while simultaneously empowering employees. Your influence on others can be positive or negative, depending on your leadership style. Additionally, the execution of a strategy also influences how a leader builds the work culture of an organization.
According to SHRMleaders must be deliberate in creating a corporate culture where the workforce can thrive.
Why is corporate culture important?
When a leader creates a thriving work culture, they provide opportunities for employee engagement. Your employees will be committed to meeting quality standards and excelling in their efforts. Your strategy as a leader to create a company culture will enable your employees to make smarter decisions, approach work with thought and attention to detail.
According to Harvard Business Review (HBR), establishing a healthy organizational culture retains your workers. For example, providing employees with a culture to maintain a better work/life balance will result in lower absenteeism and motivate them to be more productive in their tasks.
Another benefit is a higher retention rate, as employees enjoy working for the company and have no reason to leave. This will help your business show an upward trajectory of profitability through better performance delivered by an experienced workforce.
The culture of leadership and its importance
A leadership culture is how you, as a leader, interact with your peers, team members, and employees. The way you operate, make decisions and communicate is part of the company’s leadership culture.
Therefore, you need to determine if your culture or leadership style is helping to create the corporate culture you desire. Here are some of the things you need to look at to assess the effectiveness and usefulness of your leadership culture.
- Look at how company leaders hire people.
- How do they create productive and high performing teams?
- How do they execute trading strategies?
- How do they interact with their employees?
- Do they offer help in building a strong and collaborative work culture?
If you are a business, you need to understand your leadership role. Effective leadership development is not about taking training courses or hiring the right people. The most effective way to ensure a positive leadership culture is to create modern leaders.
What does a modern leader look like?
Good high-level leaders care about bringing out the best in their colleagues and workers through listening, mentoring, and coaching. Modern leadership is about mentoring and coaching rather than control and micromanagement.
This means, as a modern leader, instead of trying to do everything on your own, stand up for your team and empower them to do their best. True modern leaders value their employees, provide opportunities for growth, and share in their success. So, to become an effective leader, you need to be naturally inclusive and make efforts to bond for your teams.
4 Essential Elements for Modern Leadership
To adopt a modern leadership style, simply follow these 4 steps.
1. Strive to be a role model
Being among the upper hierarchy as leaders, you must practice what you preach without exemptions. If an executive violates the trust of the company or employees, a sincere apology should follow in a timely manner. If instances where an apology is not enough, the company must have a culture where even a leader must face the consequences of grossly negligent conduct.
2. Observe with patience
As a leader, you don’t have to be quick to act all the time. Some situations require you to sit down and take in everything going on around you to get a clearer, bigger picture. Even subtle details about the work environment and the behavior of your employees will have a lot to say. You can gain new insight into how your company culture works, and then make changes as needed.
3. Offer an open door policy
You can offer a quick response to questions from your employees and team members by providing an open communication platform or an open door policy. It helps your employees feel heard and it’s also a good way for you to reinforce company values and goals.
4. Make meaningful comments and actions
Feedback not only helps employees, but also leaders. You can ask for feedback on current strategies and work environment and take helpful actions that can help create the company culture you desire.
5. Contribution of leadership to the creation of corporate culture
A positive contribution from leadership can help create a strong foundation for an organization. Your company’s management can focus on work culture in several ways. Let us mention the most important.
6. Provide Opportunities
Your employees spend a large part of their lives working for the company and create a strong personal and professional connection with their job duties and responsibilities. However, a leader is responsible for creating a corporate culture that can provide their employees with a sense of motivation and the opportunity to be the best at what they do.
7. The art of appreciation
According to BNC News, 79% of employees quit for lack of appreciation, making it the number one reason employees leave a company. Therefore, don’t let your best talents leave the ship; instead, invest in them by celebrating their accomplishments and career milestones.
With personal recognition for their hard work and dedication, your employees will feel valued by their leaders, peers, family and friends.
8. Ensure employee well-being
Wellness isn’t just about eating healthy or living a physically fit life. Employee well-being also involves social and emotional well-being through a strong support system within the company. So, leaders need to create a healthy, communal work culture so everyone feels involved, engaged, and supported.
9. Empower your workforce
Creating a corporate culture that reinforces empowerment paves the way for greater innovation and breakthroughs in problem solving. You must entrust your employees with contribution and responsibility for their efforts. This will help establish a healthy and competitive work culture where employees strive to outdo themselves and exceed the expectations of their leaders.
10. Failure is not a fatal state of mind
As a leader, you need to establish a work culture where employees don’t fear failure because of the consequences that follow. Let them know that sometimes failure is inevitable and it won’t jeopardize their career or job unless, of course, a breach or mistake was intentional.
Acknowledge their efforts to try their luck and don’t punish them for trying. This will encourage your staff to learn from their mistakes, improve and perform better next time.
11. Recognition Questions
Good leaders always recognize the experience and skills of their employees, as this can motivate them to strive for success. Open recognition of employee efforts and performance brings a work culture that offers a sense of security and reciprocity from employees in the form of loyalty.
There are many ways to encourage and establish a thriving work culture through recognition. Here are some events that can help you in this endeavor.
- Offer daily rewards
- Celebrate the triumphs of team spirit
- Reward big wins
- Introduce safety improvements to ensure employee well-being
- Rewarding Service Steps
- Birthdays in the workplace
- Company-wide celebrations/annual day
- Achievements in health
12. How to reward your employees
Here are some of the most tangible ways to recognize employees’ hard work and communicate your appreciation and value as a leader.
- Award plagues or certificates
- Assign restaurants, stores and other gift vouchers/cards
- Reward them with electronic devices/gadgets
- Present jewelry and/or watches
- Present bouquets
- Donate household items
- Present a work of art or a sculpture
- Offer event or concert tickets
These are just ideas; as a leader, you can choose to reward employees however you see fit. You can even ask employees to choose what they would like to have in a budget, because they would like this idea to be much better than having someone else choose something.
Now that you know how great leadership can be at creating company culture, it’s time to put that knowledge to use. Ask your employees what your company culture currently offers them and what additions or improvements they would like to see.
Make them feel heard and show that you really want to hear how employees view the organizations work culture. Find out what aspects resonate with your employee and get rid of those you are unsure about.
You can even delegate tasks to your direct reports and peers to conduct a company-wide survey of employee perceptions of work culture. However, choose the right people who can lead this exercise in the most authentic way for adequate feedback, because a lack of genuine feedback will prove more dangerous than you can imagine.
Once you get the feedback, read the writing on the wall and take quick action to create company culture. A culture that empowers your employees through appreciation, recognition, mentoring, coaching, support, collaboration, communication and engagement.
Everyone in the company’s hierarchy, that is, from managers to workers, must align themselves with the basic principles of work culture. Ultimately, you must allow the organization, people, and culture to thrive while reaping the benefits of being an impeccable leader.
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