How does culture impact your business?
The majority of business owners or leaders fail to understand how culture drives the performance of their business. Culture is reflected in many ways. Here’s just some of the ways culture impacts your business.
- shared values of the business
- behaviours that support the values
- the way employees treat each other
- treatment of customers
- how employees are recruited
- the way you communicate with each other
- the speed at which decisions are made
- you become an employer of choice
- the right customers are attracted to you
- your brand becomes known
- everyone is working towards the same goal
Zappos is an online retailer, now acquired by Amazon, and is famous for its company culture. I asked Kelly Wolske, trainer at Zappos, how culture impacts the performance of their business. She said;
” It has a huge positive impact. We put culture first and it is our belief and our experience that it is our culture that gives us the opportunity to create great experiences for our customers, our employees, our vendors and investors. “
A great culture creates employees who are engaged
Employees who are engaged make a positive impact on performance which increases revenue and profit.
Some evidence on how culture and performance are connected comes from Queen’s University Centre for Business Venturing. Using data over a ten-year period of employee engagement surveys and company results, it discovered the following for companies that had an engaged culture:
- 26% less employee turnover
- 10% more unsolicited employment applications
- 20% less absenteeism
- 15% greater employee productivity
- 30% greater customer satisfaction levels
” I used to believe that culture was ‘soft,’ and had little bearing on our bottom line. What I believe today is that our culture has everything to do with our bottom line, now and into the future. ” – Vern Dosch, author, Wired Differently
A good culture creates a great place to work
As the business owner and leader it’s up to you to create the culture of your organisation, but you can’t do this on your own. You need your team around you to support you and to give their ideas on what it means to work for your business.
Now I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that creating a culture is easy because it’s not. It’s hard. It takes commitment, dedication and focus.
If you are serious about your business and are looking for growth then you need to devote time and energy to creating the culture of your organisation.
Culture is an ongoing process
Many business owners are put off developing their company culture. Why? Because it’s an ongoing process. You don’t just come up with a purpose and some values, tell everyone the values and expect it to happen and that’s culture ticked off the list.
That’s the sort of business I worked in when I was an employee many years ago. There was a purpose and vision for the business, with values displayed on the wall. But no one lived those values so they didn’t mean anything to anyone. The exercise had been completed, and they spent £1,000’s having posters designed to put everywhere but it was a joke. Why? Because the leaders didn’t live the values.
Many business owners do exactly the same and then wonder why the culture fails. It’s because they don’t put in the time and effort needed and don’t understand the importance of embedding a culture. If you want to be like the majority of business owners who struggle with staff turnover, have problems with performance and everyone is pulling in different directions then crack on.
Do you want your business to achieve success?
If you are looking to scale or exit then culture needs to be your priority.
Assuming that you want employees who will go that extra mile, who love coming to work, who tell everyone how great it is to work for your business and where the best people are queuing up to work for you then culture needs to be your priority.
You see culture is something you develop, measure and keep working at forever. If you want the success that you know you deserve, that your business deserves then you must commit to doing this.
Remember all the hard work you have done over the years, the late nights and early mornings, the weekends, the family events and parties you have missed because you needed to get stuff done and no one else in your business ‘got it’. It was all down to you. No one else understood why you were doing this.
Wouldn’t it be great if the whole team understood and wanted it to work, wanted the business to be successful? Do you know what, it can happen and I can help you, but it’s not for the faint hearted.
If you want to continue with your people problems and let the people disease spread, then do nothing and it will spread. Trust me, I know. This is not a tick box exercise. It’s hard work.
If you’re thinking do I really need to create a great place to work and bother with this culture thing, then you don’t have the right mindset.
The workplace is going to look very different in the future. Ask yourself this question…. Is your company ready for the workplace of the future or will you get left behind?
Download a free chapter of Recruit, Inspire and Retain – How To Create A Company Culture To Grow Your Business