Education

HOW DO LEADERS INFLUENCE THE CULTURE OF AN ORGANIZATION?

Written by Jimmy Rustling

The core aim of every business is profit maximization. Some companies spend heaps of money on advertisement, while others try their utmost in retaining only their existing clients. Everyone has a different approach to this goal. You might be doing everything correctly, but what if your business is not strong enough to grow? If the organizational culture lacks mutual understanding, respect, and proper management, it can halt business operations. Believe it or not, but a resilient culture starts with effective leadership.

Organizational culture and leadership are two elements that go hand-in-hand. They influence how the company will function while promoting a creative environment in the workplace. Leaders reshape the culture by reinforcing workplace norms and devising disciplinary policies. They focus on forming a collaborative culture where employees can thrive and direct the company towards its goal. Simultaneously, they set the tone for how employees perceive their work experience.

A leader’s domination in the organization culture wipes out all chances of incompetence. It ensures the culture aligns with its goals and values, opening doors to growth and success. Do you know how to maintain a progressive environment in the workplace? Here we are unfolding seven ways leaders can influence the culture of an organization.

1.    Vision, Value, & Purpose

When it comes to influencing an organization’s culture, leaders should determine the principles and values they want workers to share. You might wish employees to demonstrate decision-making power to keep up with evolving marketing trends. In comparison, a non-profit organization focusing on child welfare wants workers to show compassion and concern for the youth. A clear vision and purpose will help leaders in setting real and measurable goals.

Unsurprisingly, aligning vision and values with the purpose of the organization need strategic planning. If you want to upgrade your expertise, enroll yourself in leadership and management courses to establish a dynamic organizational culture. You will learn how to motivate employees, lead in times of crisis, and accomplish organizational goals. After all, a solid vision and strong corporate values are vital to maintaining a healthy environment.

2.    Stay Active in the Community

In the hustle-bustle of life, we forget that there is more to us than our careers. Therefore, leadership in the workplace should not limit their involvement in delegating and assigning tasks. It means leaders have to take part in their community, state, and the world. It influences a progressive culture that is meaningful and worthwhile. You can start with corporate social responsibility (CSR) to make a difference in society.

Start planting trees, contribute 2% sales receipts to charity, or feed people if you are operating in the food industry. Every leader aspires civic involvement to maintain a place in society while inspiring the new generation. After all, when employees see their leaders being socially active, they follow their footsteps.

3.    Reinforce Culture of Accountability

Do employees respect the principles of transparency? What are the benchmarks to meet goals? Leaders have to seek answers from employees to implement a culture of accountability in organizations. Stats suggest, 91% of people want to see answerability in the workplace. It helps people understand that their actions can have consequences, encouraging them to be careful. Without accountability measures, the leader’s word will fall on deaf ears as employees know they are not answerable to anyone.

The culture of accountability begins with detailed job descriptions and a clear set of goals to make employees understand their responsibilities. Alongside this, define every goal with specific deliverables to include it in the performance management plan. Employees achieving these targets will enjoy other positive reviews, while others can try to improve their expertise. However, accountability doesn’t mean punishing employees for mistakes; instead, making them feel responsible for their jobs.

4.    Maintain Organizational Unity

Are you familiar with cultural differences? In offices, leaders will come across people from different religions, countries, races, and ethnic backgrounds. Therefore, leaders have to develop an environment that welcomes cultural diversity. Usually, employees tend to divide themselves into smaller groups and subcultures, opening doors to conflicts.

Influential leaders can recognize the team-building opportunities in these subcultures. Likewise, they also know how to encourage team-cooperation and information sharing. You can initiate cross-meetings and teamwork exercises to promote a collaborative working culture.

5.    Maximize Employee Engagement

Organizational culture is incomplete without a ‘team of believers’ who genuinely believe in the vision. As a leader, you have to focus on engaging the employees to keep their morale up. Firstly, make sure they understand how individual jobs play a role in achieving business goals. In a winning culture, leaders inspire teams to go some extra mile and perform out of the box.

The high cost of disengagement can put the business in crisis. On the other hand, employee engagement can help companies achieve profit maximization three times faster. Instead of having a strict environment, offer some leverage. You can encourage socializing and small celebrations to keep employees motivated. A fun and lively culture in the workplace can also have a positive impact on productivity levels.

6.    Lead by Example

Leaders can’t expect to influence culture and change behaviors if they have the same habits. If you want to bring a change, walk the talk and display the same actions you expect from your team. For instance, if you want employees to fulfill their commitments, you also have to keep your promises. It develops mutual understanding and a culture of trust in the organization.

Although leaders have many responsibilities, they should actively participate in projects rather than just giving instructions. Employees can benefit from your understanding of industry and expertise, offering them a learning experience. Most importantly, when you make a mistake, own it. It will encourage employees to accept their mistakes, promoting a transparent culture in the company.

7.    Look Beyond Productivity

Autocratic leaders only care about getting the work done and generating results. Do you think this is an appropriate organizational culture? As we move towards the digital era, situations and circumstances are changing. Instead of questioning employees on how many widgets they can produce in an hour, focus on bringing innovation and new ideas.

You have to encourage results without making employees feel like a profit-making machine. As per the stats, 79% of employees quit their jobs due to a lack of appreciation. If an idea or product didn’t work, recognize and praise the efforts an employee put into it. The concept of leadership is about having people with vision who can make things happen more than getting work done. It encourages employees to keep trying until they come up with something big.

Wrap Up

Organizational culture has a significant impact on how the company is performing. A business with demotivated employees, divided groups, and an assertive boss is unlikely to succeed. Leaders with knowledge and expertise in the current business world know how to reshape the organization’s culture. They model behaviors, engage employees, and promote accountability to make the company succeed.

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About the author

Jimmy Rustling

Born at an early age, Jimmy Rustling has found solace and comfort knowing that his humble actions have made this multiverse a better place for every man, woman and child ever known to exist. Dr. Jimmy Rustling has won many awards for excellence in writing including fourteen Peabody awards and a handful of Pulitzer Prizes. When Jimmies are not being Rustled the kind Dr. enjoys being an amazing husband to his beautiful, soulmate; Anastasia, a Russian mail order bride of almost 2 months. Dr. Rustling also spends 12-15 hours each day teaching their adopted 8-year-old Syrian refugee daughter how to read and write.