How leaders can transform organizational culture
Having to save costs is one solution organizations are always in search of, especially as they expand, grow, or pivot. When employees know their leaders are paying attention to their needs and concerns and offer them coaching and mentoring that uplift them, there is a higher chance that they are going to feel wanted. This, in turn, can lead to low workforce turnover over time. Rather than leaving for other places, they form a more substantial reason to stay and bring their best efforts to their jobs, perform beyond average, and go the extra mile.
When employees feel personally connected to their leaders, they tend to stay longer on the job. This outcome is good news for organizations seeking to retain their best talents. With low staff turnover, they don’t have to spend too much money hiring new people only to lose them and start the process all over again.
Quick and appropriate response to change
Transformational leaders are best equipped to respond better to change compared to leaders who just focus on themselves. Since they are in tune with the challenges their employees are facing, and because there is that trust and candour factor, they need to have better access to information and facts to make better and swift decisions.
As transformational leaders empower their people, they make it safer for themselves to lead better. The least thing a leader wants is to be cut out of the flow of information within the organization—a scenario that can prevent any leader from being proactive to imminent change or winning in the marketplace.
Corporate learning is enhanced, when leadership creates a culture where everyone is always learning and looking for ways to improve and get better results. What this means is that the administration of the organization is grown in house, as leaders’ mentor those following them and those do the same to others. With transformational leadership, you are not only building an organization but a learning powerhouse where every employee is inspired to grow, lead, and realize their full potential.
Running an efficient organization requires excellent people skills. Transformational leaders, due to the effort they put in mentoring, coaching and leading by example, over time, they develop exceptional people skills. Meaning they can connect well with their most vital assets, take foreign concepts and translate them into simplified and compelling words, images, and doctrines that resonate deeply with their employees and customers. They can use their leadership capability and influence to create a workplace culture where employees trust and care for each other while always keeping a firm focus on attaining their shared corporate goals.
Further, when it comes to transforming culture in an organization, the leadership has first to define what the direction is going forward. As leaders, they need to explain why the change is necessary to the followers or staff of the organization, while also sharing the benefits and costs that come with the impending change.
The leaders also need to spell out the dangers that could arise if the changes are not implemented. By doing this, the leaders are laying the groundwork of good faith among the people and allowing them to be part of the journey and giving them a sense of ownership. To get the campaign started in terms of making the changes in an organization, the leaders need to make sure the new vision and road map is not only apparent to just them in leadership but is also well-articulated and widely accepted throughout the organization.
The second stage when it comes to transforming an organization within is to create a sense of urgency and maintain a sense of urgency for the long haul. Without this sense of urgency, people will easily slide back into doing things the old way. That is why it is necessary to have many of the leaders act as change champions, calling others to action by leading from the front. One way to promote urgency is to reward and recognize the small wins that occur during the initial stages of implementation. Then find ways to capitalize on these favourable circumstances and events to get the organization and everyone super excited and geared to finding solutions and delivering better results as an organization.
Beyond these actions, for an organization to be truly successful at changing its culture, there needs to be a coalition of leaders spearheading the transformation. These are men and women who are fired up and ready to go and have the motivation to be champions of the new organizational culture against all odds. When it comes to forming this coalition, it will be helpful if the leaders are from diverse backgrounds and come from different departments. The benefit being that this will lead to a diversity of ideas and smoother dissemination of the cultural values across the organization at every level, as more people will feel connected to the movement.
Another thing a leader needs to consider when it comes to connecting with the people in the organization is how to engage with different stakeholders within the organization. This engagement is imperative for the campaign to be successful because they are the ones who will be doing most of the jobs in the frontline and within the various departments. In addition to this, there must be constant communication promoting and expounding the new culture and the values so that before long, it’s entirely part of the organizations’ DNA and part of everyone’s vocabulary.
When it comes to getting the followers or staff more involved and being part of the change, it is the task of transformational leaders to create an avenue for open communication, where leaders can quickly get feedback as the implementation takes place. This avenue gives team members a voice to speak out on the impact the change is having on the organization. They are thus providing the leadership with the data they need to work out the kinks in the strategic road map and then come out with a more reliable and detailed plan. What this means is that the organization might have to realign the operations for the new vision to be truly useful. For the culture champions to be truly effective in getting the new culture in place, they need to get adequate and continuous training. This training is to upgrade their skills and keep them prepared so that they will be able to lead the organization into a new dimension.
Toye Sobande is a Lawyer and Leadership Consultant. He is a Doctoral Candidate at Regent University, Virginia Beach, USA, for a Ph.D. in Strategic Leadership. He can be reached through Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.