Do you own a company that makes you excited to go to work everyday?
Do your employees love coming to work too?
Your company culture directly impacts how you answer those questions.
Cultivating a healthy company culture can be the difference between running a company you like vs. one you LOVE.
What does company culture affect?
And I mean EVERYTHING.
After hundreds of interviews with my clients over the years, I noticed something huge.
Your culture determines:
- Who will buy from you
- Who will want to work for you
- If funders will give you money or not
- How your organization fits into your community.
Your company culture decides the type of people you spend time with everyday. It shapes your work environment. It’s the reason your employees love coming to work everyday— or not.
Company culture influences your business results at every turn.
And the good news is, as the leader, you have the greatest impact on your culture.
Being a great place to work is the
difference between being a good
company and a great company
Brian Kristofek, President + CEO, Upshot
Who is company culture for?
I could answer this one with EVERYBODY. And I’d be telling the truth.
But there’s more to it.
Her boss is part of the “inner circle” and often brags about how great the culture is “around here.” Maybe for her!
The truth is, the work environment is toxic.
This is because her leaders don’t pay attention to their employees wants and needs.
This resulted in my friend feeling indifferent and frustrated. It negatively affects her work ethic.
Culture is experienced primarily by employees and customers. As the leader, it’s your responsibility to build a healthy culture. For everyone!
True company culture comes from concrete actions made by you. It’s how you think. How you let your emotions affect the office space. What systems you give highest priorities to.
So what can you build into your company culture to motivate your employees?
During a project in graduate school, I interviewed employees to learn what motivated them.
I noticed they wanted to feel like they belonged. Their individual input needed to be valued. They wanted to have a fun time and follow a passionate leader.
These were overall more important than money.
Influence your employees by rewarding them in different ways, without money being your biggest focus.
At my Travel Agency, we celebrated birthdays, we ordered in lunch and ate together every Friday (oh those were the days), little things that made a big difference.
Motivated employees allow you to step away from day-to-day operations.
In doing this service for them, you’ll see them do a service for you.
A healthy company culture benefits everyone.
Who has the biggest influence on company culture?
As the owner and leader of your business you have the biggest influence on your company’s culture.
Company culture is affected by how well you are organized, focused and disciplined.
Don’t forget your temperament, your hopes and fears. They influence your culture too.
How you handle all these things is a reflection of your values.
And your values are the overarching thing that affects your culture.
People who value fun tend to want to have a fun environment. People who value organization prioritize their systems being understood.
What do you value and how do you want those to show up in your company culture?
What you give the most attention to has the biggest affect on culture.
How can you transform your culture?
Now, you know what you want your company culture to look like. The question is, how can you turn your wants into a reality?
I recommend consistency.
Align your values with your actions.
Say you value community. And you want to give back even though you don’t always have enough profits.
In order to have both profitability and community reflected in your culture, you need to implement consistent systems and procedures.
What you give the most attention to is reflected in your culture.
Don’t then be afraid to talk to your team about profit. And how being profitable ensures you can give back to the community. Ask for their input, then really listen.
Then consistently hold regular financial review meetings, include your team and invite them to become more accountable.
Model that accountability, by keeping your word.
Consistency comes from knowing what you do daily, weekly, quarterly and yearly. You have clear procedures, reports and other regular tasks.
Your business is predictable.
Being predictable reduces confusion and anxiety in both employees and customers. This creates a stable and familiar company culture in your business.
People buy from companies they trust. Being predictable develops that trust.
Consistency is the key to influencing company culture.
When you look at your company culture, do you like what you see?
Chances are you are doing a great job and have a healthy company culture.
It’s also an empowering thing to realize you want to make some changes.
Know that you can make small positive changes to brighten even the most negative working environments.
Here are some effective tips on changing your culture:
- Listen to your team. You will learn a lot and they will feel great because they were heard.
- Create an environment where company values are recognized. That includes not tolerating bullying or any form of harassment.
- Share your vision of how you want everyone to feel working in your small business. This includes you, your staff and especially your customers.
You can shift your company’s culture and improve your business!
What do you think?
What’s one thing you didn’t know about company culture? What’s one thing you want to add?
Ask me in the comments!
As always, here to help.
Until next time, enjoy your Entrepreneurial Journey!
If you want direct feedback on your company culture,
you can ask a SBC coach