Levers You Can Pull to Impact Work Culture

Culture is the system of shared beliefs and behaviors that shape the environment we work in. Organizations have a culture, as do departments and teams.

It's estimated that up to 70% of workplace behavior is defined by culture. We modulate our behavior to fit into the culture we're in. In other words, culture eats character for breakfast.

So what can you do to influence the work culture you're in as a leader? Here's a few suggestions:

  • Role modeling: "Do as I say, not as I do" is lethal. Consistently demonstrating the attitudes and behaviors you want exhibited in others is the quickest way to reinforcing cultural values. If you're not leading by example, you're not leading.

  • Empathic communication: Attune yourself to the aspirations and concerns of your people and speak to them directly. Make sure your tone matches the employee experience.

  • Visual management: Make the scoreboard clear, public, and celebrated. Find the metrics that matter, measure them relentlessly and celebrate the wins lavishly. What gets rewarded gets repeated.

What would you add? What's been successful in your experience in shaping the culture of a workplace?

h/t to Jennifer Geary for the inspiration on this one.

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