Leaders Can Change Culture by Serving Others

Wednesday, February 1 2017
LeadershipRemember the last time you were moved, inspired and encouraged at work? Was it motivating?

Perhaps you can’t easily recall an example from your workplace. Sadly, for many of us, it is often easier to think of times when we were demotivated, unappreciated or discouraged.

Most organizations today know that they need to embed a particular culture into their organization. However, describing a culture does not make it happen automatically. Too often individuals and organizations state what they value and then behave in ways that do not support and even contradict those values.

Research from the Hay Group shows that those who work in positive environments outperform those who work in negative ones by 10 to 30 percent. They also discovered that leadership style has a big impact (up to 70%) on the workplace climate. This suggests that one major role of a leader is to serve his or her team; ensuring the right climate exists at work; and, that the needs of team members can be satisfied. Get to know your individual team members and understand what motivates them.

Leaders who behave in ways that support the desired culture can change the workplace climate. When individuals feel supported, included, and appreciated the desired results will follow. Are your behaviours aligned with the company values?

The only way you can create an environment that encourages great performance is to be aware of your leadership style and how it impacts performance.

Here are four key areas to focus on:


Clarity about roles, responsibilities and scope of work is essential. Set clear deadlines and provide positive feedback on results. Lack of clarity can result in increased anxiety and low performance.

Workaholic Climate

Reframe your expectations regarding work. People who work or are connected 24/7 do not have time for play, exercise, and maintain healthy relationships with family and friends.

Purposeful Work

In his book, The Purpose Economy, Aaron Hurst states that only 23% of employees work with purpose. It is important to ensure people believe their work adds value and that they are progressing in their careers.


Individuals benefit from time, within each workday, to rejuvenate. Consequently, many companies are seeking to realize a benefit by providing employees with opportunities to recharge in the workplace – games tables, yoga classes or meditation chairs.

Creating a culture that is highly productive is an essential role of the leader. Leaders who serve their teams by creating a work climate that inspires and motivates are laying the foundation for improved results.