5 Simple Ways Leaders Can Shape Their Company Culture

Culture is a Leadership Responsibility

With the rise of Millennials in the workplace — they now account for the largest generation in the US workforce — job expectations have shifted from climbing the corporate ladder to finding value and connecting with a mission. The concept of leadership is being redefined accordingly. Positional leadership, where hierarchy and climbing the corporate ladder reigns supreme, is on the down turn.

Now, leaders are asked to inspire team loyalty through expertise, vision, and judgement. These leaders are less focused on hierarchy and more focused on increasing drive and performance.

They also have the power to impact an important driver of business success: company culture.

Your company’s leaders guide its culture. In fact, they can make or break it. In our survey of over 28,000 employees at 340 companies (featured in this free report), we found a correlation between confidence in leadership and high-performance cultures.

That confidence goes a long way. As we’ve discussed here, a strong company culture has a direct impact on your company’s engagement, productivity, and retention.

So, where to start? We’ve outlined five simple ways your leadership team can drive your culture forward — and boost your business as a result.


1. Embody the 10 Qualities Common to High-Performance Companies

As Alsatian theologian Albert Schqeitzer said, “Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.” If your leadership team embodies your company culture each day, your employees will follow suit.

One way of looking at it is to consider these 10 qualities common to high-performance companies: collaboration, innovation, agility, communication, support, wellness, work environment, responsibility, performance focus, mission and value alignment.

Ask yourself as a leader how you’re supporting and modeling these qualities in your organization. Do you model effective communication? Do you connect the projects you assign back to the company’s mission?

By addressing these 10 culture qualities on a consistent basis, you’re setting your team and company up for success. The image below shows what tracking these looks like on the CultureIQ dashboard.



2. Take Simple Steps to Show You Care

Forty-three percent of employees leave their jobs due to a lack of recognition. As a leader, you can easily develop a culture of appreciation and recognition among your team — and cultivate their loyalty to you, their teams, and the company as a result. Here are some easy, quick ideas to get you started:

  • Go the extra mile with hand-written thank you notes
  • Celebrate work anniversaries with team lunches
  • Step into their shoes: shadow employees for a day
  • Circulate accomplishments across leadership
  • Give feedback on jobs well done
  • Establish employee awards
  • Surprise your team with treats
  • Have employees share their wins each week
  • Celebrate personal accomplishments
  • Let your team leave early after finishing big projects