Keys to improving small business cultureStuart Taverner
On average, we spend 90,000 hours at work in our lifetime. So, as a business owner, making sure your workplace has a positive culture, is the best thing you can do for your company.
Culture, as defined by the Cambridge Dictionary is “the way of life, especially the general customs and beliefs, of a particular group of people at a particular time”. So, what makes the culture in a workplace positive?
Culture in the workplace can make or break an organisation. Without a positive culture, employees will struggle to find value in their work. In turn, this can lead to low productivity, stress, and poor morale, which will negatively impact your bottom line. According to a 2011 study published by BMC Public Health, the average number of visits to a doctor is 26 percent higher for individuals with high-stress jobs, compared to those with low-stress jobs which means more sick days for employers to deal with.
It is no secret that when you are happy, you are more productive. Creating a positive environment for employees is key when it comes to efficiency and motivation.
As social creatures, it is important to encourage healthy workplace relationships. Connecting with colleagues really makes a difference when it comes to collaboration and teamwork. If you are confident around your colleagues, you can openly share ideas or concerns. This can lead to some amazing results. Here are a few tips to creating a positive environment where communication can flourish:
- Organise staff meetings– these are a great way to share key information, goals and objectives, achievements, or upcoming events with employees.
- Surveys– a useful tool to compile insights on employee’s job satisfaction, how they feel about the culture and performance levels. Anonymous surveys are especially useful in gathering feedback and finding out how you can improve your company.
- Reviews– important for measuring your business key performance indicators (KPI’s). Employee reviews should not only cover the individuals input and output, but also provide them with the chance to speak openly and freely.
- Transparency– vital when it comes to communication in a business. Being transparent with your employees not only builds trust, it also helps align business goals and objectives.
Out of office
Another factor to consider when it comes to building workplace connections, is out of office activities. Including employees in activities or events outside of work is a great way to add value and trust within the company.
If your company has been affected by COVID-19 restrictions, or you have employees working from home, getting out of the office with everyone might not on the books for a while. Luckily, you can stay connected from home or abroad with video conferencing software such as Zoom, or Skype.
Hire for fit
As a business owner, you have the task of growing your work force. When it comes to hiring, one of the most important qualities an applicant can have, is their values. You want to be hiring the best fit for the company, not just the best fit for the role. In our previous blog “How to hire, the right way” we dig a little deeper in to how to hire right for the culture you are trying to achieve.
A positive culture will not only help recruitment, it will also help retain employees. Positive culture fosters a sense of loyalty. Employees are much more likely to stay with their current employer if they feel they are treated fairly and enjoy coming to work every day. After all, 1/3 of our lives are spent at work, so you may as well enjoy it.
Every business has a culture, but not everyone realises the impact it can have on productivity, employee well-being and organisational growth. Everyone wants to be valued, so creating a culture that embodies the company’s beliefs, and incorporates trust, loyalty and positivity will contribute to the success of your business.