Grace Smith
January 3, 2024

Did you know that 78% of CEOs rank company culture as one of the top five influencers of an organization’s productivity? It’s hardly surprising. When considering a new job, one of the first elements prospective employees evaluate is the company's culture. Moreover, it's a crucial factor that determines whether employees stay long-term. Enlightened leaders recognize this and prioritize cultivating a culture-centric workplace.

If you aspire to be among these forward-thinking leaders who grasp the significance of nurturing a positive work environment, you’ll find valuable insights here. Stay with us as we delve into the essentials of building a culture that enhances productivity and employee satisfaction.

Does Leadership Actually Affect Company Culture?

The impact of leadership on company culture is profound and undeniable. Leadership has such a huge impact on company culture that, we believe, stands second to none. Leaders are the reflection of the values and culture a company embodies. Employees look up to leaders for guidance and motivation. The way a leader conducts themselves and operates in teams can have a super big impact on creating a good company culture.

Leaders can spin employee failures into learning experiences. They can channel the company mission and vision into actionable activities. These are excellent ways in which leaders become the walking, talking embodiment of company culture. In other words, a company's culture is as good as its leader. So yes, leadership actually and most definitely affects a company culture in more ways than you can imagine. 

10 Tips for Leaders on Building a Positive Work Culture

If you are a leader, manager, supervisor, or basically anyone who looks over a team or teams, this list can be helpful. There are a lot of things that can go wrong when it comes to creating a positive organizational culture. But there are even more number of things that can go right. Here are 10 to help leaders build a positive work culture.

#1 Make clear communication your agenda

A strong and meaningful company culture stems from clear and transparent communication between employees and employers within an organization. As a leader, your primary focus in fostering a positive company culture should be to ensure alignment and mutual understanding with your employees. Consider conducting quick and regular meetings if your employees are agreeable to this.

Seeing their leaders regularly and collaborating on company goals instills a sense of purpose among employees and can significantly boost employee engagement. Conduct all-hands meetings weekly to communicate the latest company goals and objectives. It's important to ensure that these meetings are meaningful and do not waste valuable employee time.

#2 Identify the values you stand for

As a leader, it is crucial for you to analyze the mission, vision, and values of your company. It might not seem consequential in the everyday activities of employees, but it actually does make a bit of a difference when we look at the big picture. It’s quite tricky to understand the right meaning behind the mission and vision statements of a company.

But once you get a hold of these elements and communicate them with employees under the right context, they become a major source of intrinsic motivation for employees. 

For example, the vision statement of Apple is: “To make the best products on earth and to leave the world better than we found it.”

Now who doesn't like to work for a company that makes this earth a better place? As a leader, leverage on the mission and vision statement of your company and the values it upholds. It is a great place to start when it comes to creating a good company culture. 

#3 Employee resource groups

No matter what style of leadership you uphold, when it comes to creating a good company culture, you have to give room for employees to do things themselves. Employee resource groups are a great path for them to discover their common interests and explore them as a team. ERG brings together employees belonging to a common demographic, job status, or background to form affinity groups. It can be a wholesome activity where they get to explore the other side of co-workers and get to know each other better. It builds a culture of trust and friendship.

#4 Never leave diversity and inclusion for the last

A company culture without room for diversity and inclusion will hit a dead end sooner rather than later. Your organization must prioritize hiring diverse employees not just because it is policy but because it has an actual positive impact on company culture. A diverse and inclusive work environment provides a welcoming and safe space for employees to truly express their complete selves. It also makes the workplace a kinder place.

#5 Make the onboarding process spot on

Employees get the first taste of your company culture through your onboarding process. As a company and as a leader, it is the single most important opportunity ever for you to make a good impression and lay down the foundation for a good company culture. Whatever it is that you uphold as your core values, conduct the orientation in such a way that it reflects the same.

Make serious efforts to help employees feel seen and heard.  If your company culture puts light on employee engagement as a core value, conduct ice-breaking sessions to help employees get to know each other and make themselves comfortable. In a similar way, structure your orientation to reflect your company culture. 

#6 Use technology to get insights and make things clear

Be it for communication or for recreation, use technology to create online spaces for employees to do the same. There are many employee digital experience tools available in the market that allow them to take part in online discussions pertaining to their daily tasks. Here, make sure you choose a platform that goes hand in hand with your company's technology.

There are CRM tools, collaborative tools, cloud storage, and project management tools available, which allow seamless functioning of the tasks without any hitch. These tools and platforms help a company communicate its culture in subtle ways and create a positive work environment by reducing the hassle of mundane tasks. 

#7 Recognize good work and encourage employees

By now, you already know how extraordinarily unavoidable and crucial employee rewards and recognition are for a positive organizational culture. An employee who feels seen and recognized for their hard work gets more engaged with their work, which leads to increased productivity. It also improves employee satisfaction, which is a happy by-product. Now, before you start with the reward and recognition program, conduct a thorough survey to understand the preference for rewards. It will help you curate a reward and recognition culture tailor-made for your employees rather than some cookie-cutter program. 

Also read: 10 best fun award ideas and inspiration.

#8 Give people chances to grow

Any company that hinders the growth of employees by not offering them enough opportunities is doing them a big disservice. If you want to grow as a company, you have to make sure that your employees grow with you as well. Curate employee development programs and offer them a change to explore further career paths. It makes so much of a difference. This culture alone can do wonders for your organization. If an employee recognizes that you value their growth as much as they themselves do, then you create a loyal employee right there. Retention increases, and turnover plummets. 

#9 Give employees a sense of security

And not just a sense of security, provide them with actual job security as well. If employees feel they will be fired any moment if their work quality dips, then they will always be on high alert. If you do not want to create such a high-pressure environment for your employees, then make them feel secure and valued. Invest in making them better rather than filing them on their first fault. A company with a culture that invests in its employees seldom fails in the industry. It is an excellent way to make the organizational culture positive. 

#10 Make the expectations and results clear

Clear communication is one thing, and clear results are another. Although one can consider it under the same umbrella, there are some differences. To build a positive organizational culture, setting up goals and objectives based on OKR (Objectives and Key Results) can be a good idea. It helps you come up with the right objectives and goals to work towards, and it clearly communicates the kind of results you expect from employees.

It is different from plainly stating the objectives to be achieved. It also makes sure that the employees and the leader are always on the same page. When this happens, employees tend to be more engaged and perform better, thus enabling them to meet and achieve expectations faster. It would also help if leaders ask their team questions that will help assess their engagement and create a more vibrant and harmonious workplace.

Tying The Ends Together

A leader wears a lot of hats for the company. The most implant hat would be that of the sculptor of a good company culture. As a leader, you have immense power in shaping the right company culture. But where to start? From the employees, of course. Let us start by conducting an employee feedback survey where you get a chance to understand where improvement is needed. ThriveSparrow helps you create customizable surveys with ease, and we help you analyze what those replies mean. This way, you have a place to start.

FAQs

1. Can leaders directly influence an organization's culture?

Leaders play a pivotal role in shaping an organization's culture. Through their behavior, choices, and the values they emphasize, leaders set the standard for the work environment. They influence culture by showing the kind of behavior they expect, communicating the company's goals clearly, and making sure the workplace aligns with the company's core values.

2. How do the leaders help to create the culture of the organization?

Leaders help create the culture of the organization in several ways:

  1. They clearly articulate the mission, vision, and core values of the organization. This helps employees understand and align with these principles.
  2. Leaders lead by example, demonstrating the behaviors and attitudes they wish to see throughout the organization.
  3. Leaders promote a diverse and inclusive atmosphere ensuring all voices are heard and valued.
  4. When leaders acknowledge their teams' hard work,, it encourages them to perform better, and it also reinforces positive thinking and behavior.
  5. Leaders show commitment to the advancement and well-being of their employees by providing opportunities for their professional growth.
  6. They maintain transparency and communicate openly to keep everyone informed of the company's progress and challenges.
  7. They clarify expectations, helping align individual goals with that of the organizations'.