Role of leaders in transforming company culture

Work culture is an intangible ecosystem that has the ability to make or break organisations. As Peter Drucker would put it ‘Culture eats Strategy for breakfast’. In a nutshell, the ideology of an organization is what constitutes its work culture. A positive ambience can make or mar your performance no matter how talented you are. You can only work to the best of your capabilities and creative skills when you are surrounded by an encouraging environment that encourages human resource rather than drives it.

Today work culture is not just a buzzword. Companies have already started taking efforts to reshape their work environment that’s suited for the changing times. So the big question is how does any company initiate this transformation phase?

Here’s how leaders can help transform the work culture:
Walk the talk:
Change needs to begins at the very top. The management can introduce many innovative changes but unless they walk the talk, their employees won’t be much inclined to get out of their comfort zone, except for a select few. Sending out company wide emails is no longer the right way to bring about any change and neither is it wise to expect everyone to immediately come on board any new ideology. It needs to be understood that work culture is largely influenced by the actions and behaviors of leaders.
Explain the reason behind the change:
It is very easy to dictate what changes are going to take place in the organization. While the management may have sound reason to introduce this change, the way it is communicated matters a lot. Employees should not feel that change is being forced on them. It will only make them resist much harder.

Leaders need to communicate and explain why this change is important to the organization as well as all the employees. Getting someone to change against their will and getting someone to get on-board of their own free will is the difference between success and failure.
Handle all objections:
It rarely happens that new ideas are successful the very first they are implemented. They need a few trial and errors before the management finds the right way to go about it. In such cases, employees may have many questions about what needs to be done and what should be avoided. The leaders need to be patient and handle everyone’s queries till they are satisfied. They should also be open to receiving suggestions so that individuals can freely share their thoughts on how the ideas can be further improved. After all, listening is one of the most valued trait of a great leader.

The fundamental job of leaders is to lead and influence the behavior of others. Some of the biggest companies today are successful because it was the leadership at the top that led its employees from traditional way of working to innovative working.

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Dr. Soniya Yadwadkar

Dr. Soniya Yadwadkar

Dr. Soniya holds a Doctorate in Management Sciences and has over 22 years of professional experience in leading and implementing Strategic Business and People Management Initiatives in diverse industry segments. She is proficient in conceptualizing and implementing corporate level Strategic Business Management and HR OD initiatives such as Strategic planning, Balanced Score Card, Competency based HR Processes and Systems, Organizational Restructuring and Cultural Transformation, Post Merger HR Integration, Organization Development and Change Management.
Views expressed are of the author.
Dr. Soniya Yadwadkar

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