Running a small business isn’t easy and little things like attitudes can make a big difference. A lot of business owners are plagued with employees growing less positive, productive and motivated over time. After you implement free pizza Fridays and add a soda machine to the break room, what’s left to help keep up morale and maintain that spark? Fine tuning the company culture!
Company Culture Isn’t Just for Start Ups
Company culture is the underlying beliefs and values that shape everything from leadership hierarchies and styles, to practices and attitudes within any business. Many people believe that “company culture” is for tech start-ups or big corporations, and not something that would benefit a small business. But nothing could be further from the truth.
Why is Company Culture so Important?
It’s never an easy task keeping a group of talented people moving in the same direction and all equally happy with the work environment. After all, everyone comes with their own expectations, leadership styles, and styles of communication. Having a clear and stated company culture helps everyone adapt to one set of expectations, one way of communicating, and one set of practices to achieve a common goal.
While it sounds simple, the results are profound. Having clear standards helps a business in many ways, including:
- Establishing levels of leadership, so any problems are directed to the right person, saving time and confusion.
- Reducing the amount of miss-communication among employes.
- Providing clear goals for achievement which can be recognized by management.
- Providing opportunities for employees to voice opinions and avoid future problems.
- Assuring all employees uphold ethical standards and behaviors.
- Allows all employees to work as a team and feel a sense of ownership of their job and its importance within the success of the company.
- Improves productivity and increases profitability.
Do You Need to Make an Environmental Change?
Developing company culture is more than a trend; it is the foundation of every business. Whether stated or not, it has a lot to do with employee performance as well as customer satisfaction. If your employees are unhappy, it’s a good time to find out why and make some positive changes.
- Find out what employees are unhappy about – is it you or something else?
- Review employee progress and set benchmarks for future achievements.
- Define your leadership style, and adapt to a new one if it will help move the business forward. Are you a positive leader or a heavy-handed manager? Leading by example is the best way to change the attitude of the company.
- Culture is defined by yourself and your employees. Talk about your goals and talk to employees about how they think company can help them reach their own goals as well.
- Finally, ensure each employee understands and strives for what you’re looking for. And be sure to acknowledge positive efforts- as with starting any new habit, goal or direction in life, people need positive reinforcement and validation that they’re on the right track.
- Remember, change doesn’t happen over night, but having a clear set of standards will help everyone move forward productively and stay the course to success.
You’d be surprised what a few changes in attitude and management can do to your overall efficiency, productivity and bottom-line. Taking the time to improve your business from the inside out ensures you’re taking steps in a positive direction and taking control of your shop’s future!