The kind of CULTURE you have in your business is a bit like air. Air is hard to describe and you don’t really notice it being around you. Culture is a bit the same. But like air, when it isn’t there, or is stale and bad, then you really notice it. Because it is by-and-large invisible it is easy to forget and not put any proactive effort into getting it right. Big mistake. Culture affects a lot of areas of the business and can make a HUGE difference to company performance and success.
Culture and Values are beliefs which owners and employees hold in common and endeavor to put into practice. The culture and values guide owners and employees in performing their work. Specifically, you should ask, “What are the basic beliefs that we share as a business?”
Just imagine a business being run by its owner on a day-to-day basis. How dramatically would the business change under the following two different management styles!
Owner #1 has an autocratic style and has always believed that employees steel from them, don’t work toward the best interest of the business and are only there for their self interest. This owner does not believe that any of the staff are responsible enough to take on any task without full supervision. Owner #1 believes that their suppliers are trying to overcharge and under deliver and are always late with delivery. He also believe that their customers are out to take advantage of them and are always accusing them of wrongful dealings.
Owner #2 involves the supervision staff members in their decision making process and treats all staff with respect. Owner #2 still makes the decision and does so with efficiency and the full loyalty of their staff members. Owner #2 understands that 95% of most problems arising in the workplace are system related and finds ways to combat and correct any problems. Owner #2 believes that the staff are doing the best that they can and given the choice only want to see the business improve.
In the example above the owner would create a culture for the business. If a culture is not designed for the business and that culture adhered to, then the culture will be randomly selected by the owner or other key staff in place … mainly by their undying personality and how much “noise” they make. If that noise is moaning and negative, you will have a negative culture. If the person is upbeat and positive, then you are lucky and will have a positive culture. Don’t leave it to chance.
What sort of business environment do you want to create in your business?