Company culture is something that business owners tend to become most aware of as their businesses grow. As a small business, it’s not uncommon for culture to be something that happens rather than something that we plan for.
SocialKiwi is a small business like many others, and we’re focused on growing with a culture that rewards both our clients and our employees. That’s easy to say but takes time and effort to achieve. We decided to take a look at what company culture is, why it’s important, and how it can be improved.
When it comes down to it, culture is the personality of your business. In very small businesses this is probably a strong reflection of the personality of the leader. As companies grow, the focus becomes on scalability – how to keep that personality true when it’s translated to a workforce of 20, 50, 100 employees.
The culture of your business is essentially a set of core values and beliefs that translate into the behaviour of your business. I.e. if you value people, your company will have a number of policies and strategies in place that put your staff and your customers at the heart of the way that you operate.
Why is culture important?
In its 2016 Global Human Capital Trends report, Deloitte found that 86% of respondents viewed corporate culture as important or very important to company success. The fact that culture is important to a business is widely agreed on. But why?
Good company cultures drive success. Firstly because if your business has a reputation for having a great culture then people want to work for it and with it. That means that culture positively influences your brand and the way that people perceive you. So get it right and it adds tangible value to the way your company performs.
Attracting the right employees gives you access to the talent you need to make your business a success. It also increases your chances of retaining that talent. This is a win-win scenario. People are coming to you because your values work for them so they in turn will strengthen your values with their behaviours.
Putting creative minds into the right environment yields positive results. And this is true for other thinkers too. So having a great culture as a business also translates to increased productivity and a positive impact on your bottom line. It’s easy to see why culture is important to companies when it has such a far reaching impact.
How do you improve your culture?
If you’re starting or growing a business, you may be keen to make some proactive improvements to your company culture. Culture is important to business and can impact your results. So working out how to make it work for you could be worth investing time in.
Improving the culture of your business effectively is unlikely to happen overnight. Company culture is not just a few freebies and some motivational statements. You could spend years trying to get the culture of your business right or it may just come naturally. You may choose to recruit a consultant to guide you through change or opt to do-it-yourself and take a look at what you stand for.
Building the personality of your business starts with defining a set of values you believe in, and then working out how those translate into behaviours. If your business is just beginning it may be an exercise you can do on your own. If you’re established you may prefer to engage your team in the process.
The culture of your company sits at the heart of the way that you do business. It influences the way that you work, recruit, and interact with clients and customers – often without you even realising it is happening.
At SocialKiwi we’re committed to maintaining and growing a culture that our team love, our clients love, and we can hold onto as we grow. Have you got thoughts or ideas about how culture can influence success? We’d love to hear your feedback so get in touch and share your thoughts.