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Leadership Styles and Their Role in Company Culture Change

Leadership’s role in changing Company Culture

Maintaining company culture has become more challenging as hybrid and remote working practices have become more prevalent. Despite this, culture has remained a pivotal element for organisational success and research shows the instrumental role of leadership in fostering and transforming company culture.

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The significance of leadership in culture change

Leadership is not only about supporting the organisation to reach its goals; leaders also shape the ethos and values that define the company. They will act as role models who will find their behaviours and attitudes mirrored by their teams, greatly influencing the organisation’s culture.

Many organisations have found themselves with an undesirable culture when leaders aren’t committed. You may find them saying one thing but doing another, imposing changes without seeking input from their team and failing to get buy-in. Or even approaching change with enthusiasm but failing to sustain this over time. Poor leadership practices can hinder progress, breed cynicism amongst employees and ultimately lead to the failure of culture initiatives.

So, how can leadership styles positively impact company culture?

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Empathetic Leadership

Leaders who show empathy create a supportive environment where employees feel their contributions are valued and feel understood. This promotes a positive culture and significantly enhances employee wellbeing and job satisfaction. Recent research has also shown that empathetic leadership can directly impact employees’ emotional health and engagement levels.

Taking the additional time to regularly check in with team members to explore their workload, any challenges they’re facing or even ask about their weekend plans can transform team dynamics. Genuine interest leads to increased morale and a noticeable boost in productivity.

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Transformational Leadership

Characterised by the ability to inspire and motivate employees to achieve higher levels of performance, transformational leaders set a compelling vision, encourage innovation and foster an environment of collaboration and trust. Research has shown that transformational leadership styles are effective in promoting a proactive culture in which team members demonstrate initiative and drive.

Having a clear vision for the organisation’s future and encouraging contributions from employees at all levels creates an inclusive culture. This sparks innovative thinking and fosters a sense of ownership and responsibility for achieving the organisation’s goals. This not only creates a culture of trust and collaboration but supports greater organisational performance.

Resilient Leadership

Crucial for maintaining a strong and adaptable company culture, resilient leadership is characterised by the ability to adapt to change and guide organisations through times of crisis. Leaders who demonstrate resilience at work inspire their teams to embrace change and remain committed to the organisation’s values and goals, even through times of challenge.

Demonstrating transparency by communicating, not just upcoming changes but also the reasons behind them, helps to ensure that everyone is on board. Good communication is of paramount importance during times of uncertainty as it’s crucial in sustaining morale and driving positive change through a culture of resilience and innovation.

Leadership lies at the heart of company culture

Leadership lies at the heart of every organisation’s company culture and recent research highlights the importance of empathetic, transformative and resilient leadership styles. By adopting effective behaviours, leaders can drive positive transformations that will resonate throughout the company.

The behaviours you model today will shape the culture of tomorrow.

Are you experiencing change in your organisation or planning them?

We're supporting companies through leadership development, cultural change programmes and helping businesses to adapt to change to achieve long-term success and productivity.

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