Culture in the Workplace
The concept of culture in the workplace covers a wide array of characteristics of a business. Culture can be observed visibly in how the business looks and the way the employees dress but can be felt deeply in the attitudes of the workers, the setting of goals, and the manner in which business values are communicated to employees and customers.
The workplace reflects the personality and management style of the business owner and the management team. People in leadership positions impact the culture of the workplace. Culture is always the responsibility of the leadership or management because they are the face of the organization. The top manager may run the organization with buttoned-down attitude or he may give his employees wide room for flexibility.
Cultural Direction Must be Set by Leaders
Defining the cultural direction of the organization is one of the most important responsibilities of a business owner or the leader. An organization’s culture is often the result of long and deliberate thought and analysis. Culture must be able to identify the central values that are important to the business. It must be shared by members of the team and it must impact their day-to-day functions.
Culture evolves over time. It is either shaped by the intentional design of the leaders or it may just evolve by itself.
Culture that resulted from natural evolution can be traced to the failure of a manager to proactively manage it. The absence of proactive direction gives way to the formation of an unwieldy culture that may create results that are not compatible with the views of leadership – a situation that may produce conflicts at the end.
The organization’s leadership must ensure that the culture developed in the workplace will encourage individuals to work and interact in a manner that will be consistent with the vision and mission of the company.
Managers Must Create Clear and Transparent Expectations
The organization’s leadership can create a cultural identity through a simple and easy-to-understand vision of what it is trying to accomplish coupled with the kind of behavior, attitude, and approach that will reflect the values of the organization.
Leadership must clearly describe to all members of the organization the culture that it wishes to create. This must be done in written form to prevent any misunderstanding and for the message to be distorted by different interpretations.
For team members to fully understand the organizations cultural vision, formal discussions of the leadership’s expectations from the organization as a whole and from the individual members must be carried out to eliminate or minimize confusion or deviation from the desired vision. This is very important in businesses or organizations that have experienced frequent changes of leadership that presented several strategic shifts.
Are You a Leader Who Walks the Talk?
A great workplace culture begins with the top leadership and other managers who will proactively set the tone in the organization. The culture will easily permeate throughout the whole organization when employees see the example being set by the core leadership.
Actions of leaders will showcase the workplace culture. The leaders will show good examples if they will rightly and consistently ‘walk the talk’, making others to willingly follow them.
To learn more about culture from Chris Edmonds, click here to listen to his interview with Steve Caldwell
As a self-professed “manager from hell,” Steve Caldwell learned through the hard knocks of making mistakes while building a career. Today he serves as a leadership coach, mentor and role model guiding high achieving managers to become the strong leaders their companies, employees and the world needs. He is also author of the book Manager Mojo – Be the Leader that Others Want to Follow (available on Amazon).
“In all arenas, we suffer from a lack of leadership talent,” Steve observes. “Every day employees are promoted into management with no training or support to guide their development into leadership positions. You don’t have to be born to lead. You can learn to lead.” He can be reached by email at Steve@ManagerMojo.com or by phone at (415) 670*9543.