The term “if you don’t manage culture, it manages you” highlights the importance of organizational culture in shaping the behaviour and actions of its members. Culture refers to the shared values, beliefs, customs, practices, and behaviours that characterize an organization. It is a powerful force that can either propel an organization towards success or lead to its downfall.
When an organisation fails to manage its culture, it can result in several negative consequences:
High turnover: When employees are unhappy with their work environment, they may leave the organization in search of a better opportunity. High turnover can be a sign that employees are not engaged, and that the workplace culture is not conducive to retention.
Poor communication: When communication is ineffective, it can lead to misunderstandings, conflicts, and low morale. A toxic workplace may be characterised by a lack of transparency, unclear expectations, and poor feedback.
Lack of trust: When employees do not trust their colleagues or leaders, it can lead to a range of negative outcomes, including poor collaboration, reduced productivity, and low morale. A toxic workplace may be characterized by a culture of blame, micromanagement, or a lack of accountability.
Unfair treatment: When employees feel that they are being treated unfairly, it can lead to feelings of resentment and frustration. A toxic workplace may be characterised by a lack of equity, discrimination, or a lack of respect for diversity.
Negative attitudes: When employees exhibit negative attitudes, it can be a sign that the workplace culture is toxic. A toxic workplace may be characterized by a culture of gossip, backstabbing, or cynicism.
Leaders play a critical role in managing culture, as they set the tone for the organisation and influence the behaviour of their team members. Leaders who are effective at managing culture can inspire and motivate their team members to work towards a common goal. They create a shared sense of purpose and vision that aligns with the organisation’s values and goals, and they communicate this vision clearly and consistently. This helps employees to understand what is expected of them, and to feel a sense of ownership and pride in their work.
In addition to setting the tone, leaders also influence the behaviour of their team members through their own actions. They model the behaviours they want to see in their team members, and they hold themselves accountable to the same standards they set for others. This helps to create a culture of accountability, where employees are expected to take responsibility for their actions and work towards the common goal.
Effective leaders also create opportunities for employees to participate in shaping the culture of the organisation. They listen to feedback and suggestions from team members, and they encourage open communication and collaboration. This helps to create a culture of trust, where employees feel valued and respected, and are more likely to be engaged and committed to the organization’s success.