To be honest, I am not necessarily a big fan of the word “culture” as often I see eyes glaze over at the mention of the word. That said, providing a positive environment (or culture) for our employees to work in is critical to those employees being engaged in their jobs and subsequently providing the value you require of them.
Leaders and managers at various levels influence their workplace environment more than anyone else. Workplace culture is often considered a social phenomenon by leaders and managers, but culture is fundamentally driven by the values and behaviours that each employee demonstrates consistently, on a day to day basis. These values and behaviours significantly influence each employee’s actions hence building your culture – be that positive, or not.
It is no secret that employee’s perceptions of their workplace and its culture are in direct alignment with their leader’s actions, decisions, communication and language. Of course, as a result, that perception forms the employees’ level of engagement, driving their behaviour either positively or negatively.
Managers and Leaders will always get tied up with day to day operational matters, strategic initiatives, financial performance and so on, however ensuring your employees are respected (and that they respect each other) is crucial. This can be achieved by providing consistent messages through regular communication and ensuring accountability is promoted, not only in relation to performance but also in behaviour with clear standards of what is and isn’t acceptable.
Improving workplace culture is not easy – it requires strong and aligned leadership and not just from time to time. Standards of performance and behaviour need to be 100% aligned with those positive workplace standards, values and behaviour. Every person with responsibility for employees must be on board otherwise they will drive negativity, poor standards and can influence negative behaviour and actions. If they can’t change their ways and you are serious about improving your culture – they may have to go!
If you wish to discuss workplace culture, get in touch at:
The HR Guy
M: 021 543 510