As the leader of your growing company you are ultimately accountable for everything that happens in and through your business. From finances to branding, sales to site management, even to company culture, the buck stops with you. If you are serious about living up to your own ambitions, there are a lot of ‘i’s to dot and ‘t’s to cross.
Have you ever seen what happens to a machine that is not well-oiled? Spoiler alert: It’s not good. Just like a machine that isn’t well-oiled, if you don’t have a positive company culture in place, you can find your productivity slow down at work, even to the point of coming to a grinding halt when the pressure is on. And overcoming a broken down anything–whether it be a machine or a company culture–is never easy.
When people feel great at work they are more likely to perform with excellence! When your staff trust the company, they’re more likely to invest in building it for the long term. And when your customers are provided with an overwhelmingly positive experience every time they visit you, they are much more likely to spend money with you, and bring their friends and family along too. Giving all of your people something they want to buy into starts with establishing a strong foundation of core values, and communicating these well.
You can take a look around the landscape of your business today to see what you’re doing right with your company culture. And as you do, remember you’re not the only one who is looking at your business this way. There are four key groups who are directly impacted by the way your company looks, feels and operates each day. For your business to succeed in the long term, it is vital that you ensure these four groups enjoy a positive experience every time they come into contact with your business:
The experiences your customers have should reflect exactly what your company stands for, and what that looks like in the way you deliver your products and services. Are your company culture and cause so apparent that your customers are able to describe them to other people? If they’ve engaged with you and had a positive experience, then that news will spread. If that experience makes them feel something as a human that goes further than the transaction, it will spread like wildfire! A great company culture attracts people who want to do continuous and profitable business with a company.
What cultural experience do your staff get when they come to work each day? Are they inspired by your core values? Are they determined and dedicated to fulfill that mission? Do they understand just how important their unique role is in achieving those aims? A great company culture can inspire employees to be more productive and positive at work, increasing profits whilst reducing the expenses of staff absences and turnover. It can even act as your best recruiter, attracting qualified candidates who want to work for your company.
If your company is making a difference in the community you will quickly develop a reputation for making an impact. The difference that your business makes might be local, national or even global, but if you are doing it well, the effects will ripple out far and wide. Have a think about the mission of your company, and decide what you want it to look like in the world. You might make a stand on a particular social justice issue, environmental concern or fund raising for a particular cause. Whatever you affect, your company culture will be alive and well through the impact that you make.
And finally, we must turn our eyes to you, dear business owner. What are you getting out of your business? Do you feel proud of your company culture? Is it something that you can hold your head high from, because you know that you are making a difference in people’s lives: your customers, your staff and in the broader community? Do you feel a sense of fulfilment and reward that your company is on track? Or do you feel likeIf your company is dragging you down and that you’re not really achieving the mission? Go ahead and have a really honest look at your own situation and see what you get out of your business. This type of reflection is always the first step towards making things better. Even if you are already doing well, there is always room for more improvement.
These are a few different ways to harness what’s really happening in your company culture. If you address what those core groups are currently getting out of your business, you’ll be able to find you can tap into the very roots of the cultural issues that exist in your company. Your company culture is not about what you try to give to the key people in your company circles, but what they get, so focusing on the experiences you create is the best place to start to create a remarkable company culture.