Article by Phil Spensieri
Even if you are not thinking about the subject on a regular basis, or at all, you are contributing every day to what is called “company culture”. But what does it mean to have a company culture, how can it enhance your business structure, and how does it impact the overall morale within your organisation?
When a business owner shows up late or leaves early, they are ultimately setting the standard for their team. No matter whether you employ one, 10 or 100 people, let me emphasise that you do in fact have a company culture. This is not a concept that only pertains to big companies. Today, the value is clear. It has been found that 90% of millennials would even consider a pay cut in exchange for positive company culture.
Perhaps you have never actually thought about this before, or you don’t even think you actually have a company culture. However, being “uncultured” when applied to a business has the same (or similar) negative connotation as it does on a personal level. Not having a defined culture can make working at your company uninteresting and, therefore, uninspiring. Even worse, a “toxic” culture can lead employees to pack up because they feel undervalued, uncomfortable, and altogether mistreated.
If you haven’t already thought about this subject, I would suggest you start asking yourself some of these tough questions:
- What do you think your current company culture is?
- What do you want it to be—social, formal, achievements-based, results-based, flexible, orderly?
- How can you keep your staff (more) engaged?
- Are you trying to create more of a regimented or easygoing culture?
As a business owner, you set the tone of the culture and define it, whether consciously or unconsciously. Your staff then follows suit based on the example you set. If you come in early, stay late and work weekends, that will dictate a hard-working culture. Coming late, leaving early, and working generally flexible hours will give off an entirely different impression. Similarly, the dress code you choose for your office will convey certain expectations—casual attire like jeans and T-shirts indicates a widely different company culture than trousers and button-downs, and widely different than suits and ties.
Instilling responsibility in your staff, whether autonomously or with specific expectations, starts at the top level—there is a clear trickle down effect. I believe this is true when it comes to everything, from behaviour and responsibility, to the treatment of clients, deadlines, and so forth.
Even if you have never thought about your company culture before, it doesn’t mean it’s too late. There is always room for improvement when it comes to business transactions. Although we often focus more on our external relationships with clients and prospects, your internal operations are just as—if not more—important tools for success.
As we approach the end of the year, I invite you to delve deeper into assessing and developing a positive company culture. Where do you want yours to be in 2020? For more discussion and guidance on this subject, contact us about joining a TAB near you.