January 17, 2019

How Healthy is Your Business’s Culture?

temperature cold to hot

Business culture is all about attitude. As a business leader, the culture you foster within your business directly affects the attitude your employees will have towards your business and towards their roles within the business. Your employees’ attitudes in turn impact their productivity and your business’s growth and bottom line.

Although culture is probably one of the most important parts of your business, it’s not something you can easily measure. However, the following indicators can usually tell you a lot about your business’s cultural health.

Assessing Your Business’s Culture:
1.Is your turnover rate high or low?
Employees like stability. They like to work in places where their time is valued and without pressure. That’s just human nature. If many people are leaving, it means that they’re not finding that in your company.
2.Are your employees performing their best?
People tend to do their best when they have job security, along with the knowledge that if they invest their time and energy into your business, they’ll be appreciated and rewarded. If they don’t get that, why should they work hard? There’s nothing in it for them – just for the business, and that’s not a good motivating factor.
3.Do you know what everyone does to fill their time?
If the answer is no, this is usually a result of one of two problems:

  • They don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing, so there’s no job description or expectations to live up to.
  • You don’t know how your business operates, so you can’t understand the nuances of each person’s job.

Whichever the reason, they’re both dangerous. It means that you, as the business owner, are out of touch with your staff and the functioning of your company.

4.What does your atmosphere “feel” like? Is there any tension?
Most people can feel happiness, tranquility, stress, or tension in the air. The vibes your staff send out clearly reflect their emotional state. Tense people perform poorly. Tense people make mistakes and look for other employment options.

Improving Your Business’s Culture
Regardless of having a strong or weak culture, here are 5 action steps you can take to increase the strength of your culture and allow your business to thrive:

1.Create team feeling
Humans are born with a need for the support of other people. When you have team meetings, ask for input, create social events, encourage interactions, or assist each other, you’re creating a supportive community for your team.
2.Make sure they know you support them and value what they do
People respond very well to positive reinforcement. In my experience, people in businesses that lavish praise and recognition of good work perform better than people in businesses that reward good performance solely with monetary prizes (although the combination is a sure-fire way to support your team!). If your people know you value them and will support them with whatever they need, you’ll have commitment, security, and open communication.
3.Create clear job descriptions
Document what it is your staff does, why they do it, and who they interact with. Not only does this concretize their work efforts, it gives you an understanding of each employee’s value, and a measure to use to monitor performance.
4.Make sure technology supports the team
Living in the 21st century, there’s no good excuse for poor technology or slow computers. If the equipment you give your staff is optimized for them to do their work well, they’re more likely to do it well. People perform better when they like what they’re doing.
5.Create open lines of communication
One of the most common complaints I hear from employees is that they don’t know what’s going on in the rest of the company, they don’t have a way to share or find resources, and they don’t even know how to go about contacting other people in the company. With software like Slack, Hangouts, Hive (and many, many more), there’s no reason not to open the channels of support.

A good culture means a strong business. Take the time now to make the changes that will allow your company to thrive!

Click here if you would like to set up a time to talk with me about your particular business’s culture, health, or growth.

January 17, 2019