Company culture can make or break an organization’s success. Leaders have a direct responsibility for establishing and maintaining a work culture that allows employees to thrive. Although there are no one-size-fits-all cultures, there are fundamental leadership values that foster positive work cultures. These core values include being firm, fair, and consistent when leading.
A firm leader establishes rules, policies, and protocols and holds team members accountable for abiding by them. Being firm requires balance—leaders do not want to be perceived as being mean or unreasonable. However, laissez faire leadership is rarely successful either. A firm leader says what they mean and means what they say. If there is a late policy, it is enforced. If there is a time off policy, it is enforced. Team members are held responsible for meeting performance expectations. Ultimately, team members view firm leaders as confident, strong, and trustworthy. The culture of an organization is strong when everyone is expected to perform their role.
A fair leader treats team members in an equitable manner. Many have experienced what it is like to work with a leader who plays favorites—it can be discouraging if an employee is not a favorite and does not receive the perks or allowances that others receive. Unfairness manifests in the workplace as favoritism and nepotism and can even be the result of prejudice, stereotypes, and bias. A leader should strive to treat all team members in a fair manner and be conscious of how interactions with team members can be perceived by others.
A consistent leader behaves in a manner that provides structure and predictability to the workplace. A leader should enforce policies consistently, communicate on a regular cadence, and be present and visible in a consistent manner. Being consistent does not mean that a leader cannot be spontaneous or surprise team members; consistency means that the basic aspects of the organization and of job functions are understood and applied all the time and with predictability.
Firm, fair, and consistent leaders instill confidence in their team members and set them up for success. Employees who feel like they are treated fairly and are valued will always do more than what is expected. Employees who do not have to worry about the “what ifs” of day-to-day operations can focus their energy on work performance.
Being a firm, fair, and consistent leader requires that the right policies and procedures be in place. It also requires a leader to be confident and comfortable holding team members accountable and having critical conversations. If you would like assistance or support in any of these areas, I am here to help! Contact me for a free consultation today!