We often talk about culture in organisations but since establishing an SME, I’ve come to realise just how important our culture is to making sure the environment we work in is both fun and productive for the whole team, including me. Promoting the right kind of culture helps to motivate employees, encourages them to stay and to buy into what we are trying to achieve. So it’s about the team being happy and as a consequence, the business thriving because we all play our part in its success.
A workplace should be somewhere that people look forward to coming to, where they enjoy the job they do, being with their colleagues and the atmosphere. While their work may be challenging, the right kind of culture can help to alleviate stress associated with this and enables them to be more productive.
Promoting the culture of an organisation is important even before an individual is brought on board to join the team. Demonstrating a positive culture helps to develop the employer brand, attracts the right kind of talent and establishes the guiding principles that we want them to work by and when times get tough it helps to get everyone through. It’s important to recruit by the principles of the culture; working in a small business as a team we all need to be prepared to help each other out and provide support and feedback for each other. Technical ability and experience is, of course, important, but when recruiting, I also look for people who ‘get’ what I am trying to achieve and who want to be part of it. Bringing the wrong type of person on board impacts not just on the team, but on our customer’s perception of the business as a whole. The more the culture is embedded and demonstrated by the business and its people, the more likely you are to attract those individuals who fit that culture.
As a business grows it becomes even more important to promote and communicate the culture of the company and the values that manifest from this, so that everyone can understand how they fit into the business and their role in helping it to develop and grow.
Keeping people involved in the decision-making processes of the business as it grows is also key so that their freedom and creativity is not restricted. Businesses are more productive when they are not driven by hierarchy, with the right kind of people in place who fit the culture and have the right talents, good decision making can be found anywhere in the business. All employees have individual needs, but the development of a positive culture comes from working together on both projects and on a daily basis, encouraging each other and communicating constantly.