Leadership and workplace culture are extremely important in any company. They’re different, but they’re intertwined. Culture is a key piece of your company vision and strategic plan. The way you exert your leadership and the example you set for your employees determines your workplace culture. Your company values and culture will either repel or attract the best employees and the best customers.
The following steps will help you make sure your values and mission are embedded into your company culture.
Step#1: Communicate it
As the leader of a company, it’s your job to articulate the culture and spread it throughout your employees. You must have an expression of your culture and values as part of your mission statement. Develop a vocabulary with adjectives and nouns that reinforce your mission use them in your internal and external communications, as well as in your daily conversations.
Step #2: Demonstrate it
You lead by example and the decisions you make every day will help to transmit your values and create the culture. Remember that your actions are contagious. So if you’re showing up early and working hard, those around you will understand that they’re expected to do the same. But if you’re preaching one thing and doing another, then that culture of hypocrisy and deceit will pervade your company. And if you don’t believe in your values yourself, neither will your employees.
Step #3: Hire for it
Of course there are certain technical positions where you need to prioritize skills and experience, but core values cannot be taught, so make sure your hiring managers have the tools to spot the traits you’re looking for. Make your cultural language a big part of your recruiting, onboarding, and training procedures.
Step #4: Hold others accountable
Keep a close eye on your staff so you can determine whether or not they’re keeping your values and mission alive. The traits you’re looking for should match how you evaluate your employees in performance appraisals and what you require when you look to promote from within. Point out behaviors that are inconsistent with the organizational culture you’re trying to achieve.
Step #5: Reward for it
Make an example of your employees who best demonstrate the culture you want, publicly when possible. When your employees have actual examples, they’re more likely to emulate it. When you dole out perks, benefits, bonuses, and rewards, make sure to make your cultural vocabulary part of the process to reinforce your mission.
Step #6: Commemorate it
When your desired culture has been reached and your company is enjoying the fruits of that labor—securing a new account, improving efficiency, attracting new customers—celebrate with your employees. Articulate that the success is attributed to their hard work, and those strategies and tactics will become accepted as part of everyday life.
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