People in business might say that leadership and culture drive and motivate employees to succeed. However, studies show that work environment is actually the number one factor in inspiring employee productivity. There is a huge link between organizational culture and things such as sales growth, productivity, and service quality. When people enjoy where they work and what they do, they will produce more quality work.
What is Culture?
Organizational culture is the environment a company has created. It can be a pattern of shared norms, practices, and values that distinguish different organizations from each other. Or, more simply put, it is “The way we do things around here.”
Studies have shown that culture is primarily shaped by the leadership style of the manager. There are six distinct leadership styles, but the best managers do not rely on one style. They use a mix of all, depending on the situation, to produce the best work.
- Visionary: Most positive impact on culture; Moves people toward shared dreams; The most appropriate style when changes require a new vision or when a clear direction is needed
- Coaching: High positive impact on culture; Connects what a person wants with the organization’s goals; Used to help an employee build long term performance
- Affiliative: Positive impact on culture; Creates harmony by connecting people to each other; Appropriate to heal rifts in the team or to manage stress during difficult times
- Democratic: Positive impact on culture; Values people’s inputs and gets commitment through participation; Best used when needing input from all team members
- Pacesetting: Can have a highly negative impact on culture if used too frequently; Meets challenging deadlines and goals; best used to get high quality results from an already motivated team
- Commanding: Often misused and leads to negative impact on team; appropriate in a crisis or with problem employees
Cultural Indicators Set By Leadership
There are six indicators that show the quality of an organization’s culture. If all these dimensions are in place, the company has an outstanding culture.
- Clarity: gives the employee a clear organizational mission and expectations to fulfill it
- Flexibility: fostering risk-taking behavior; steering away from unnecessary rules
- Responsibility: giving employees an appropriate level of authority to succeed at their jobs
- Standards: consistently applying high standards on all aspects of the business
- Rewards: give tangible and intangible rewards for performance
- Team Commitment: fostering pride in the organization, employees going “the extra mile”
Research has shown that the visionary leadership style has a positive, long-term impact on all the six cultural dimensions. Affiliative, democratic, and coaching fall close behind.
Leaders Must Fit In the Culture
With all this being said, a leader that comes into an organization with a solid, positive culture must be able to adapt into it. Their skills and values have to match the skills and values that the company needs. If the culture is effective, the leader needs to understand the importance of “It’s how we do it around here” and adapt their leadership skills to this way of thinking.
Fun Team Building Can Help Improve Your Organizational Culture
Fun Team Building with Larry Lipman is an expert in helping to improve your culture. Give Larry a call today at 770-333-3303 to see how he can help your organization!