The Role of Executives in Sustaining Company Culture

Culture is a corporate asset that shows the character of an organization. Research shows that 94% of executives and 88% of employees consider office culture as a primary factor to business success. It gives dimension to employee productivity, further engaging and motivating employees.

Company culture also demonstrates the values in which an organization lives its day to day. How employees respond to high-pressure situations and how they factor work into their regular lives determine whether they are part of a happy workforce or a toxic dump.

A toxic work culture can bring down company morale, as employees struggle to find value in their work. As the face of the company, executives play a crucial role in avoiding those pitfalls, shaping the workplace culture and turning it into a competitive advantage.

Positive cultures can emerge even without a budget, but no one else but a company leader would be suitable for maintaining the office environment. Here is how an exceptional executive can sustain a positive company culture.

They communicate company values

Company culture is not undefinable. Leaders identify the core values of their business and craft the culture around those values. Workplace culture then becomes a strategy that aims to attract talent and serve clients through a particular mindset and behavior.

Many employees learn about a company’s culture as early as the first phone call or the job interview. Others learn about it by observing and interacting with key office figures. Exceptional executives lead by example, living out the core values as soon as they enter the office.

Instead of drilling these core ideas into employees, CEOs go out of their way to make a connection. As head of the company, they decide which ideals are acceptable within their culture.

By communicating the core values to the team, they also urge employees to center their work around those principles. Some executives even reward employees who are carrying out the business culture through a rewards system and performance management programs.

They encourage change and diversity

Culture is a culmination of different patterns and experiences, and exceptional CEOs understand that they cannot create it alone. Building a positive work environment doesn’t require leaders to burn platforms but to merely find potential in the company’s current culture.

As such, employee backgrounds and experiences all contribute to a collaborative work environment that strengthens the workplace culture. These factors can help improve the workplace, making it diverse, inclusive, and globally competitive.

Executives also hold platforms like focus groups and conduct surveys to encourage employees to speak up about the workplace. This helps uncover cultural inconsistencies, as well as evaluate the work environment in its current form.

Employers welcome culture assessment, as it improves responsibility within the workplace and boosts employee morale. A review of existing culture entails an unlearning of old habits that may no longer be effective and discovering new potential that allow the company to evolve.

At the same time, CEOs frequently reinforce and communicate the culture that they want to lead. Even a melting pot of diverse experiences maintains clear objectives that everyone in the team can support and achieve.

They hire for a cultural fit

There is a difference between employees who genuinely want to be part of the team and employees who are only in it for the paycheck. Employers who place importance on company culture tend to weed out the latter and take in talent who share the same values as their company.

Likewise, more potential recruits now gun for their ideal work environment. In fact, a survey by the Korn Ferry Institute shows that company culture is now the number one reason why candidates choose a job over another.

This is a leap from a little more than five years ago, when a company’s compensation package served as the deciding factor. With a younger workforce that seeks work-life balance and attaches itself to the idea of self-care, a well-established office culture is now more attractive to rockstar employees.

During the interview, the company executive may ask about the client’s beliefs and experiences first before providing the potential talent a preview of the office culture. To the right fit, it is important to clearly communicate their roles and responsibilities.

A survey by Glassdoor shows that transparency helps prevent employee turnover. Moreover, a clearly articulated culture positively affects business performance. Employers should be upfront about what employees should expect from the organization and how they envision the future of the company.

They create and regulate subcultures

It’s unavoidable for an organization to have multiple cultures. While an organization has one distinct culture with a specific set of objectives, different departments under this umbrella also have their own goals.

Multiple cultures can lead to healthy competition within the organization, which can boost innovation, creativity, and productivity. Subcultures also come with cross-cultural learning and knowledge sharing, which improves team collaboration.

Naturally, conflict may arise from differences among personalities and leadership styles, which is why company leaders need a firm hand in regaining control of the company’s culture. This means addressing challenges and eliminating systems that don’t work.

While company leaders can foster friendly contests with subcultures, they still need to guide departments to keep all hands on a single, larger deck by reminding the team about the company culture to which they should tie down their tasks.

They pay attention to global issues

Over the past years, several organizations have taken their office across the world or merged with international companies to grow their business. Failing to meet the national standard may just spell doom for the company, so executives pay attention to the national cultural differences.

Company leaders, especially those of global businesses, consider the national culture over organizational culture. As such, executives make sure that they understand the national culture enough to implement culture management initiatives.

Executives maintain workplace culture by focusing on international issues and analyzing how these affect their employees. Company leaders also pay attention to cultural values in other countries and anticipate differences in communication, especially when dealing with leaders from another country.

A successful international merger creates an even more diversified environment that can benefit from cross-cultural exchanges, providing insight into different perspectives and stimulating creativity among employees.

Managing Office Culture

A positive workplace culture takes time to create and sustain. It should not be treated as an afterthought but as an integral business service. A strong culture fosters productive individuals and boosts office performance, while a poor office culture brings down employee morale.

Company executives are expected to move the business forward, and are responsible for creating the appropriate work environment that would eventually contribute to the success of the organization.

How employees act in relation to the organization’s mission and vision determines whether the workplace culture is a success.

Executives should be models of the culture that they aspire to lead. They need to finely-tune their approach in order to influence a diverse workforce so that the team reaches towards the same goals.

A CEO who always delegates tasks misses the opportunity to become role models within the culture. On the other hand, a CEO who personally involves himself in shaping the office culture can build a positive work environment that keeps employees onboard.

More than that, a company’s work culture cements the legacy of the executive.