Boston Private’s Patrick Dwyer on how leaders can play a crucial role in building a company’s culture.
While people primarily work to earn a living, the difference between loving and hating your job lies within the company culture. A healthy environment with work-life balance, productivity, and supportive coworkers are more desired than a toxic work environment with drama, disrespect, and stress.
Each place of business will have its own unique culture. Company culture is usually defined as the behaviors, attitudes, and values within an ordination. In short, the company culture is what makes the company tick.
Company culture often starts with the leader – the founder, CEO, or supervisor. As someone coworkers look up to, leaders have the opportunity each day to model how everyone else can contribute to healthy company culture.
Model healthy work behaviors
A work-life balance is what many employees strive for nowadays. Some people overwork themselves to the point of burnout. It may sound counterintuitive, but taking breaks increases productivity. Leaders should not hesitate to take any legally mandated breaks to refocus their minds. If an employee is noticeably stressed out, a leader can cover for that employee while taking a quick break. On the other hand, if a leader is constantly on their phone or wasting time or finding ways to avoid work, that sends the message that it is okay for the rest of the workers to do the same. Find the balance.
Be open to change
Changes to policies and procedures are to be expected throughout a company’s history. Some employees are very resistant to change and will be quick to complain about new ways. As a role model for behavior, leaders should openly embrace the change with a positive attitude. If a leader focuses on how a change will be beneficial to the company, the excitement will transfer to the rest of the team.
Leaders do not simply bark orders and expect their employees to follow through. Leaders must take action to ensure the goals of the company are achieved. Having a plan for healthy company culture is not enough – leaders must follow through and do their part every day to contribute to that culture.