It is very important to cultivate a winning culture in the company to stay competitive. However, most businesses often ignore this and let the workplace culture form on its own in the company.
A recent report highlighted that around 63% of business leaders and CEOs in small-to-mid-sized companies strongly agree that workplace culture is integral to their company’s success today. However, just around 40% reported that they took efforts to develop and create a healthy company culture. At the same time, only around 11% of the participating leaders said that they were happy with the workplace culture in their company.
Work culture needs to be built and maintained well while it may also develop naturally on its own in some companies. Naturally developing culture can both be positive and negative which is why business leaders should try to create a healthy culture before things get out of control in the organization. If leaders take it with laxity, workplace culture can be influenced by strong personalities and it can shift in the direction they want. This often leads to company politics and gossiping. Therefore, workplace culture should not be left to develop by chance.
Business leaders should sharpen their mission, vision, purpose, and core values of the company to define the culture at the company. This will ensure to make the employees feel that they are valued and part of something important. Below are four elements that leaders should incorporate in their strategy to build a great workplace culture.
Incorporating trust in the company will connect the employees and allows them to stay focused on their individual goals that will work for the success of the community. Business leaders should set good examples to instill trust among employees as it flows from the top. For that, leaders should:
- Be consistent in how they treat the employees
- Show integrity when making a decision
- Be transparent with the data, updates, and news
- Interact with employees regularly to build good relationships
Note that every type of interaction that leaders have with the employees will contribute to building or destroying trust. Therefore, leaders should be very careful with their approaches.
Elements of Culture
These are the five main elements of culture – values, language, communication, behavior, and customs.
- Values refer to the qualities that are most important to the business. Having a good set of values will form the company’s character and remind employees of how it helps shape the future.
- Language defines how employees see workplace culture. Having a structured mission, vision, and purpose will help the company be consistent in their approaches and communication with employees. This will ensure better cultural alignment across the organization.
- Communication is the factor that influences the sense of transparency and connection experienced across the company. Proper communication ensures that no rumors are spread amongst employees, and instead, helps to strengthen the trust and belief in healthy workplace culture.
- Behaviors form the standards of the business. It defines how leaders interact with co-workers as well as how they set examples for them. Punctuality, professionalism, and organizational skills are all important parts of behavior.
- Customs and rituals also determine how successful the workplace culture is. It will be based on how business leaders take weekly meetings or monthly celebrations.
Every business needs to combine its business strategy with workplace culture. This means that the company should have a strong mission and vision statement.
The mission statement should define the objectives of the company and describe what the business is all about. With a clearly defined mission statement, the decision-making will become much simpler across the company.
The vision statement should define the direction of the business, both in the short-term as well as long-term. This should include what the company aspires to do. That will give leaders the idea of the future expectations of the company and help them determine how they can plan and work to achieve those goals. This will also help them set their priorities right and make the best decisions for the company.
The purpose of a business is much more important than stating the bottom line. To create a healthy culture in the company, the purpose of the business should be structured and it should connect the values, beliefs, and social responsibilities with the goals and objectives of the company. Infusing purpose in the workplace culture will motivate employees to work for the common good beyond their paycheck.
A purpose-driven business will define what makes them different from their competitors and why they exist. A company with a strong purpose will easily define its social, environmental, as well as financial goals, and can perfectly line the business models aside these objectives.
How Can Leaders Influence Company Culture
Business leaders should understand the importance of a winning culture and work to create one in their company. For that, they should:
- Make culture a priority of the business and a part of the day-to-day work.
- Connect workplace culture to metrics and assess employee engagement or satisfaction based on that. This can help define retention rates as well as new recruitments from employee referrals too.
- Lead by example and consistently demonstrate the business values and goals.
- Express the mission, vision, and purpose of the business clearly.