Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What's The Culture Of Your Business?

What do you think of when you think of culture?   A specific ethnic culture of dress, speech, or lifestyle?  Culture as it applies to knowledge of the arts or literature?  Whatever your definition of culture may be, chances are good that you haven't put much thought into defining or nurturing the culture of your business.  Does your business even have a culture, in your mind?  Sure it does -- you've probably just never recognized or identified what it is.

Generally speaking, your company's culture is going to be decided by you, and how you and your actions  demonstrate your personal beliefs.  Watching you and emulating your behavior (or not), your employees will help create your general company culture.  If you demonstrate good values, a good work ethic, good customer service practices, ethical treatment of both customers and employees, and good management skills, you probably have a good basic work culture.  But what else have you got? 

Do your employees look forward to coming to work, or do they spend the day watching the clock?  Do they enjoy each other's company or do they just tolerate each other?  Do they have ideas that you could utilize to help your business grow?  Have you ever asked?  Do they know and appreciate all you did to start your business, and what your vision is for continued growth?  Is there a place for them in your vision?  Do they know what that is?

I've found some great quotes from CEO/business owners on what they do to encourage their own special company culture.  The thing that strikes me is the sense of "belonging" they all create for their employees, actually illustrating to those employees their importance in the company's "big picture."   People who feel their work is appreciated and their opinions count become more than just people who want a paycheck -- they become invested in your success.  

Here's a quote regarding something every business owner can easily implement into practice .... the daily meet.   “Each morning, we get together for the only mandatory part of our schedule: the morning meeting. We go around answering first, what we’re most excited about doing that day and then second, a silly question. (Examples include favorite children’s book, first pet’s name and No. 1 Thanksgiving dinner staple.) It’s a refreshing way to start the day and laugh a lot (one of our core values).” ~ Derek Flanzraich, Greatist

That may seem elementary, but it's important to note that in the other examples I'm sending you to, that same "work hard, but play too" theme is used in different ways.  These companies have a culture of "closeness" .... it keeps employees happy at work .... keeps them focused .... keeps them "hands on" involved with problem solving. 

To read more about different company cultures, and how they work, click here.

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