6 Reasons Company Culture is Critical for Small Business
Company culture impacts every aspect of your business. Cultivating a healthy one should top any business owner's agenda.
Culture defines corporate identity
Try this short thought exercise: write down five attributes that describe your company’s culture. A few examples might be “we try to make other teammates happy” or “we prioritize a healthy work-life balance.”
Now, consider why your company has these values. Write each of them down, too.
If your list was public knowledge, what would others think of your business?
That’s the impact company culture has on a business’s brand and personality. It determines how others see the people you hire, the way you do business and what you represent. It’s simply fundamental.
Culture attracts business
Customers and clients have a private list of requirements when they shop. But knowing about corporate identities can influence their choices.
Consider this example. There are two similarly-priced options for the same product or service. One option comes from a company that habitually mistreats its employees and customers. The other option comes from a company known for acts of selflessness and friendly customer service.
Which one would you choose?
Make sure your clients know about your culture. Look at one of your marketing campaigns. How can you integrate your culture into it?
Culture transforms employees into advocates
Ads aren’t the only way to talk about your culture.
Have you ever had a friend who loves where they work? They openly talk about their employer or freely share their company's social media posts.
They do this because they're proud of their work tribe and what they stand for. If someone knows a company's ins and outs and still publicly supports it, others see that as a massive vote of confidence.
To turn employees into brand ambassadors, start with a frank conversation. What’s one thing they are most proud of about your company’s culture? What changes would they make if they were in charge?
Genuinely consider their feedback. Showing that you listen to employees is a great way to get on their good side.
Culture retains loyal workers
When companies make personal connections with their employees, it makes employees want to stick around. They feel obligated to invest in corporate success.
Start capitalizing on this with an empathy exercise. Imagine you’re an employee. Jot down what’s important to you in the workplace. Then consider trying your ideas out in your business’ day-to-day.
Culture improves productivity
Happier employees aren’t just loyal. They also do more than unhappy employees. If someone feels valued, they're more likely to find meaning in their work.
Unhappy employees don’t do more than the minimum. And why would they? Someone who feels unappreciated won't go out of their way to please others.
Have you tracked your productivity lately? If one employee’s having trouble, it might not be their work ethic. Their dissatisfaction might come from the company culture.
Culture drives strategic planning
Strategic planning furthers company goals and priorities. Making such a plan requires knowing how a business will get what it wants.
With a clear cultural foundation, it’s easier to make ethical and financial decisions. Those decisions will drive any company to achieve its goals.
So let’s recap
Without a healthy company culture, it’s easy to feel negative, directionless and unproductive. There’s plenty to gain from tending a culture in terms of marketing, profit and ethics.
You've invested time in your business. Now, invest in company culture to help your business grow.
Guest post courtesy of Talus CEO Scott Cruickshank