What’s in a Culture?

As a small business, it might seem like building company culture is something you’ll do when you have enough employees to need it.

However, that’s a recipe for losing some of your ground-floor employees, which often are the ones who are best suited to help you reach the next level in your business.

Plus, considering the job market today, many candidates have a number of options for employment, especially when they are talented and driven.  And let’s face it: you need talented and driven people in a small business more than anywhere else.  Your company culture will make an impact on how you attract and retain talented employees.

Company culture is something that addresses several needs for both the employer and employee, too. 

For employees, more and more desire a positive culture just as much as they desire a beefy paycheck.  Gone are the days (if they ever really existed) where you could just pay someone and they would show up and do their job, regardless of the environment they were working in.

Employees want to feel good about coming to work, and about the work they do.  Company culture plays a huge role in how an employee feels about their job.  

With high job satisfaction, its easier to retain employees, and employees simply perform better.  The bonus is that with clearly defined company culture, your employees will develop more loyalty to the overall vision and will work to support it.

Its an all around win-win, which means as a small business owner, you need to stop and think about this.

Fortunately, company culture is largely up to you.  You have control over it, and it doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive (though it can be, if you have the budget for it).

Start with building some groundwork to the culture by answering these questions:

>> Why does our company do what it does? (Go deep and really define the underlying motivation for why the business exists)
>> What are the core values? (These often are a reflection of your own core values, so don’t worry about borrowing from yourself)
>> What is the vision for the company? (As in, where do you want to go with the company? This is something that can change if you reach the goal)

When you have the answers, publish them.  Put them on the wall where employees can see, talk about them and provide examples of what it means to demonstrate the core values.  Recognize when an employee exemplifies the culture you are trying to develop.  

And take the results to social media.  Every company is always looking for content that isn’t just sales-focused, and company culture can provide positive content that also reinforces the values.

So, even if your small business contains just you and one employee, there is so much to be gained for your business that taking the time to invest in creating a company culture is time well spent.

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