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Good leaders don’t simply expect the atmosphere at work to always be positive, they make strides to ensure that it is an ongoing reality. The culture of the workplace is an important thing for any leader to observe and attempt to steer in a positive direction. Here are just a few ways to do that:

By Being Observant

Always know what is going on in the organization. Observe employee interactions. Try to gauge how well everyone works together and pinpoint problem areas. Work closely with managers and supervisors and invite feedback, especially about problems in employee relations.

Whenever possible, address workplace issues quietly and swiftly. Never sit on a problem between co-workers. This leads to polarization and kills collaboration. Your employees don’t have to like each other, but they must be able to work together.

By Being the Example

Good leaders give their subordinates good things to emulate. Always be the example of how to behave and interact in the workplace. Everyone on the team needs to be confident that your expectations are being met and that you understand what is being asked of them.

The easiest way to do this is to let your work as a leader reflect both the quality of work produced and the environment in which it is produced. Do that and people will want to follow your example.

By Promoting the Right People

Be fair and objective when deciding who is going to advance. Don’t let it be a popularity contest or else that is where the workplace culture will gravitate. Always interview every qualified applicant.

Give every employee an equal shot at success. It is an easy way to help maintain good rapport among the ranks. No one likes the boss’s pets so don’t accumulate any. Promote the people who deserve it, not just the ones with whom you want to work a little closer.

By Understanding Their Influence

Whether intentioned or not, leaders always shape the company culture. The only question that remains is this: what kind of culture are you shaping? If it isn’t the one you want, it might just be time to step back and assess how to make the changes necessary to get it there.