It’s the standard your leaders set that determines workplace culture

Cold hard facts, every time a member of your leadership team walks past a behaviour thats contrary to your values you are eroding your culture.

Employees see it, they hear about it and they no longer believe us when we talk about our values. It unravels HR’s hard work and it exposes your leaders to your employees for what they really stand for (hint** it’s not those bright shiny values posted all around the workplace)

But what is workplace culture exactly? Because living the organisational values is just 1 element.

When I first commenced in HR my mentor at the time said “Being a good leader is essentially being a decent human being” It’s being the person you were taught to be as a kid – be kind, treat others how you want to be treated, include others, do the right thing not the thing that benefits only you. You get the picture.

Your workplace culture is the sum of your leadership team

  • It’s their leadership capability
  • It’s the systems and processes they put in place (and how human they are)
  • It’s the way they speak to, and treat other people
  • It’s the standard they walk past and the behaviours they reward
  • It’s how they treat whistleblowers
  • It’s how they deal with the brilliant jerks
  • It’s the messages they send employees about what is required to succeed in your organisation
  • It’s whether humanity exists within leadership decisions and actions
  • It’s too heavy of a focus on business outcomes at the detriment to the human factor of the workplace

“It’s too heavy of a focus on business outcomes at the detriment to the human factor of the workplace” Let me present this to you another way, your workplace culture is how you achieve business results.

Do you encourage a bit of sneaky shortcutting to get there quicker? Is it all about the number on the P&L and therefore the areas of driving a positive culture (the human elements) are not invested in. Employees are a means to achieving shareholder outcomes at all costs, and it shows in your employee metrics.

Yes, business outcomes need to be achieved and we should be looking for ways to drive productivity, but it has to go hand in hand with the employee experience.

But what if I told you that a human centred approach to leadership, culture and engagement could generate up to 17% higher profit?

Imagine the financial benefits to reduced recruitment expenses, minimising the loss of productivity from absenteeism and onboarding new employees? Your reputation as an employer – the way your current and ex employees speak about you?

The role of the leadership team is to understand culture, how it impacts the bottom line and the integral role they play in building culture.

“The culture of an organisation is shaped by the worst behaviours your leaders are willing to tolerate”

“Your culture is how your employees feel about work Monday morning on Sunday night”

“Culture is the way things are done around here”

Regardless of how you say it culture isn’t a HR responsibility, it’s everyones responsibility and it’s driven from the top.

You can read more about culture & leadership here, here and here.

If you would like a strategic approach tailored to your specific business needs contact us to arrange an obligation free chat about how we can help.

Through impactful HR we create a positive employee experience every time.

We aim to create future-focused, people centred HR solutions to accelerate organisational and employee wellbeing, engagement and performance by making HR easy.


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