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Getting your business culture right

We often hear the term 'culture'. When a business' culture is right, the impact it has, from the Boardroom to the interns, is tangible.

Many large organisations spend a significant amount of time and money implementing and maintain a particular type of culture, because they recognise the benefits of being positive, open and customer-centric.

As a small business owner, workplace culture is equally as relevant to you.

What is a business’s 'culture'?

Culture may be defined as the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of particular people. In your business, the people that define your culture are not just your employees, but also the customers, suppliers and, of course, you.

The question for you as a small business owner is: What is your culture? Once you work out the culture that you want – based on your personality, ambition and many other factors – that will go a long way towards helping your business achieve its goals.

The better the culture – the better the results

In his book “Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit”, Jim Stengel references a ten-year study of the world’s fifty best businesses and noted that those who centred their businesses on a culture of improving people’s lives enjoyed a growth rate triple their competitors.

If we do want to establish a healthy culture in our business – one that encourages the people within it to be energised, passionate, creative and innovative – where do we start?

Your culture starts with you

It all starts with, and is aligned to, your vision, mission and core values. Your overall vision (why you are in business) will translate into a mission statement (what you will do), which then feeds into the core values of the business (how you will do it). These values define what you do every day. The businesses with great cultures have their values aligned, to drive the desired behaviours and actions from its people. These actions will consistently produce breakthrough outcomes and results.

Build a great team around you

You must involve your team and customers to create a great business culture. But remember that establishing it begins with you – as a leader people believe in, value and want to work for.

So take a step back and look at the way you do things. Ask yourself if your business culture creates an environment of fearless idea sharing, innovation and fanatical customer service. If it doesn’t, it may be time for a refreshed view of your culture. If it does, you’re onto a very good thing.