Culture in a small business often gets overlooked because our businesses’ day-to-day operations consume so much of our time. There is barely enough time to put together our strategic plans, let alone work on the company culture. However, an extraordinary small business culture will change your business for the better and have considerable benefits for you and your people.
Having an effective culture is one of the most impactful strategies that will drive your small business forward.
The word culture is often associated with the corporate and enterprise-level business. However, culture is alive and kicking in all companies, but is it the culture that allows the business to thrive or barely survive? What exactly is culture?
Why Culture Matters
- Culture is what guides the behaviour of your people
- Culture guides your people to know what to do when no one is watching
- Culture helps us make decisions and to analyse new opportunities
- Culture tells us how to respond to client requests or complaints
- Culture is the difference between your employee speaking up and contributing to the continuous improvement of the business
- Culture allows your team to feel safe and happy at work
- Culture means the business owner has peace of mind and trust in their team
Culture is what enables teams of people to defy the odds and achieve the remarkable.
Why It Is Important For Your Team To Be Happy
When your team feel safe and are happy to come to work, something rather special happens; they become more productive. And when your team is more productive, the business works faster, there are fewer mistakes, and you overtake the competition. So, investing time and effort into building an effective and sustainable culture is well worth it.
Summary of benefits:
- Better job satisfaction
- Great teamwork creates better outcomes
- Higher productivity
- More motivation
- Increased morale
- Better quality hires
- Less stress
- More loyalty, less turnover
“If you are lucky enough to be someone’s employer, then you have a moral obligation to make sure people do look forward to coming to work in the morning.” – John Mackey, CEO Whole Foods Market
How Culture Benefits Your Business
Culture is what sits behind everything that you do in business. One massive benefit to having a great culture is that people will be attracted to the company and want to work for you. The right people will appreciate the culture and may even value the culture more than the remuneration.
Having a culture of openness, freedom, and trust will attract talent and cut down on employee churn. And we know that having a high employee turnover is expensive. Employees, of course, leave from time to time, but if you have a great onboarding process for new employees, you’ll dramatically reduce your training costs and time.
Focusing on culture means that you have working principles. Your team will understand how the business works “The Way” and live by the principles. Your culture will guide you in your hiring and firing decisions and have all your team on the same page. Culture is what binds the company together.
Without a positive culture, many employees will struggle to find value in the work they do, and this ultimately leads to them leaving.
“Create the kind of workplace and company culture that will attract great talent. If you hire brilliant people, they will make work feel more like play.” – Richard Branson
What Makes An Extraordinary Small Business Culture
Recruiting the right people to fit your culture
When hiring, it’s crucial to hire people who are aligned with your company’s values. Those employees will go on to represent your business, both internally and externally.
Having the wrong fit can be detrimental to the entire business. One bad employee can quickly bring down the team morale and poison the culture. Strong company culture is one of the best ways to attract talent and give the business a competitive advantage.
Having a shared purpose
Your company purpose and core values serve to drive, align your team and energise the business. If there is no commitment to the purpose, it’s a mediocre job with nothing very special to keep them hanging around for most employees.
Most employees want more than just a place to go between 9 and 5. They want to be a part of something bigger and have a meaningful impact on the company they work for and the greater purpose.
Your people want to know that they will be heard and feel they have the freedom to speak up and contribute. The majority of people do not want to be micromanaged; they want to be trusted and work autonomously.
More often than not, as companies grow, they squash these freedoms and involve them less in the key decisions; they turn good people into production line workers. The culture created is one of going to work, following instructions and waiting for the end of the day.
It’s a win-win for businesses when their more talented people are given some space and flexibility to shine and not be continually told what to do.
Where there is a safe environment for employees to express ideas and make suggestions freely, they are much more likely to remain engaged, be happier and more motivated to put in extra effort at work.
Being a team
Working as a team has long proven to be the most efficient way to get things done. Teams celebrate together when times are good and stick together when times are tough. It always feels better to share.
Positive cultures facilitate more social interaction and communication between teams. When your team are inflow is when you usually see some amazing results.
“Businesses often forget about the culture, and ultimately, they suffer for it because you can’t deliver good service from unhappy employees. I view my role as trying to set up an environment where the personalities, creativity and individuality of all the different employees come out and can shine.” – Tony Hsieh, Founder of Zappo’s
Building a unique and extraordinary culture can be achieved by any size of business with any size of budget. As long as the intention is to genuinely invest in the workforce’s happiness and health, a strong culture will thrive.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to build a responsibility-based workplace where everyone contributes to a common mission.
A strong culture places a pivotal role in the implementation and adoption of processes and procedures. When your team are aligned and on the same page, creating, managing and following processes no longer becomes a chore.
If you would like to learn more about how culture speeds up the systemisation process, get in touch and let’s see if we can help you build a systemised business.