The leaders of an organisation are responsible for steering the whole workplace. They’re a powerful influence but, as we all know, with great power comes great responsibility
This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared on About Leaders
If a leader doesn’t have the ability to shape the workplace culture for the benefit of the organisation, they’re going to have some real trouble on their hands. However, if they manage to create an influence that’s positive, the results can be incredible.
If you’re looking to refine your leadership skills, or are just interested in how the process actually works, here’s all you need to know about how strong leadership can positively influence workplace culture.
What’s the relationship between leadership and workplace culture?
An organisation is largely defined by its leader. Even though workplace culture can have a huge influence on an organisation’s success, it’s still down to the leader to influence and change the culture to suit the needs of the organisation.
Workplace culture is, essentially, comprised of the core beliefs and values held by staff within an organisation; it can affect, among other things, productivity, staff relationships and the overall happiness of employees.
A good workplace culture can also make an organisation seem more appealing to outsiders, whether they be potential clients or potential employees. This culture is learned and passed down through the people who make up the workplace, starting at the top with the leader.
The leader holds the reins and has the power to either drive or divide employees. There’s a fine balance between the two, and that balance is something that you don’t want to get wrong.
As a manager, how can you influence workplace culture?
Start with you
Before you try to influence your employees, and the workplace culture, in a positive way, you need to make sure you’re ready to do so. Strong leadership is a must. A leader should be firm but fair and have the respect of their staff. Without the right kind of authority, you won’t get anywhere.
You also need to set the example yourself, just as a parent does with a child. If you want your employees to be hard-working, focused, and approachable, you need to display those characteristics first. If you don’t, how can you expect your staff to?
Observe and listen
One of the key characteristics of a strong leader is that they observe and listen. By keeping an eye on your employees, and noticing even the slightest change in morale and behaviour, you can help avoid any big issues by dealing with them when they’re still small.
You should also always be ready to listen to both positive and negative feedback. Being able to take the advice of your employees, and use their experiences to influence the workplace positively, is essential to keeping everyone happy. Their opinions matter, and letting them know this makes them feel respected and important.
Create a team that believes
Strong leadership can create a team that believes in your workplace, what you stand for – a team which actively wants to help you succeed. This is at the core of every flourishing organisation.
Essentially, your job as a leader is about selling the vision of your brand to your employees, which isn’t always easy. To do it, you need to be motivational and inspirational, as well as showing each team member the importance of their role within your workplace.
Engage and entertain
Being a leader isn’t always about strict, serious organisation – having fun is a huge part of keeping your employees engaged and creating a workplace culture that’s positive and driven.
Keep a sense of humour, treat your staff well, and don’t forget that hard work always needs to be rewarded. A lively spirit, and kind approach, can go a long way in positively influencing workplace culture.
Essentially, every organisation needs a strong and supportive leader. If you’re not displaying the qualities that your staff need in the person they’re meant to follow, they won’t be able to trust you.
So, make sure you remember to brush up on these skills every now and then, and communicate openly with your staff to make sure they’re happy with how you’re doing, too.
The way you work can really change the way your workplace does!