Every employee impacts an organization’s direction, but leadership has by far the largest and most direct effect on company culture, which revolves around employee engagement, environment, atmosphere and the success of the company and its clients.
Leadership affects the confidence of the staff and whether they see mistakes as opportunities for learning or failures that damage the self-worth of the employee. Leadership cultivates the foundation of culture to empower employees to achieve the company mission and realize how vital each of their contributions is to furthering those goals.
Leaders Embody the Change They Want to See
Leaders have a responsibility to demonstrate the beliefs of the company and reinforce behaviors that reflect those values. “Be the change you want to see” serves as a powerful motto as a CEO. You know you don’t get a break now that you finally earned your role at the top. If anything, you have to work harder and stay in the trenches to remain relevant, but you also need to diversify your efforts and research to innovate for future success.
Your behaviors at work, your communication style and how you handle wins and setbacks all affect company culture. You can’t delegate creating the culture your employees experience. If you want to reflect particular values, demonstrate those values in your actions. The most successful leaders know how to combine qualities: 13 percent of leaders focus on the person behind the data — the leader drives results and remains personable, and this boosts employee engagement.
The Leader Drives a Thirst for Continuous Learning
No matter if entry-level or senior-level, all employees have something to teach one another. Leaders hold in-depth knowledge of how the engine of their company works, learning about each employee as more than a cog in the machine. The leader expresses and demonstrates an interest in employee growth.
Experiential learning boosts retention scores by 90 percent and embodying the concept that mistakes provide opportunities for education and innovation inspires employees to develop existing and new skills. The much-desired “fast-paced” culture derives from a thirst to learn and explore, not keep up, which creates a natural atmosphere of collaboration and creativity aligned with fun and performance.
The Leader Focuses on Social Good for Employees and Clients
The drive to continuously learn comes in handy when you must resolve a vital issue for a client. Sometimes, the best resolutions occur as happy surprises in the simplest of packages. The best business strategies consider the needs of each client from various points of view and ensure your employees are on board to follow the client journey.
Ultimately, the successful leader focuses on the social good of both employee and client. This approach transforms a stagnant leader into an inspirational one who solves issues creatively while measuring the larger impact of the company’s services and products. Leaders place their attention on the deeper needs and desires of humanity which drive what supply and demand truly are in life and business. Technology connects people increasingly around the world which places bigger social responsibilities on companies, and leaders recognize that fact.
Leaders Care About Employee Well-Being
How does your company show it cares about all its employees? Dividing the professional from the person no longer applies in modern work culture. While maintaining a professional persona matters, an employee’s well-being directly impacts how they perform and engage at work.
Gallup found that employees who thrive in five particular core elements of well-being are 81 percent less likely to quit and find a new job, saving their company money on healthcare when more than physical needs are met. Work attendance increases. Customer ratings go up. Problems get solved more effectively and quickly, and employees adapt more swiftly to change. Those five aspects of well-being include physical, social, community, financial and purpose.
Many employers offer a gym membership, but many companies don’t provide much else in the way of well-being initiatives. Though 80 percent of employers offer wellness information and resources, leadership struggles with the “how” aspect of wellness initiatives. Employers can meet their staff’s needs by providing more flexibility, investing in professional development, encouraging socialization and building better leave policies than the government requires, for example.
Additionally, leadership shifts and every leader influences the changing work culture, which can easily go from good to bad or from bad to worse. Leaders must honor those who came before if the engine runs well, but change is inevitable — employees and leaders all play a part. When employees feel engaged in a dynamic and caring work culture, their performance, pride and loyalty skyrocket the company and its clients to success.