Is your company culture good for business?

Rod Davies discusses the creation of a company environment where your business can thrive.

Your business is your people. If you’ve chosen well your people will be skilled and ambitious, and they’ll look to you to motivate, encourage and challenge them. If you’re doing this well, they will be making your vision a reality.

Should you feel frustrated that your business isn’t performing as well as you want, or it isn’t the entity that you envisaged when you launched it, I’m afraid the buck stops here. Whether it’s sellability you’re aiming at or the next stage in your business’ growth, it’s time to examine your company culture; its values, ethics and staff engagement.

The headline finding of the latest CIPD/Halogen Software Employee Outlook Survey, published last month (June), suggests that most employees desire a meaningful connection to their job.

‘… Regardless of organisation size,’ the CIPD states, ‘the vast majority of employees want to work for a firm that has a family feel and is held together by loyalty and tradition.’

How do you think your company culture shapes up to the needs of its people?

  • Do you have a problem retaining good staff?
  • Do employees arrive with a positive attitude to the day ahead?
  • Are they enthusiastic about meeting challenges and problem solving for your customers?
  • Do they become defensive when receiving constructive feedback?
  • Is there a fear of risk-taking?
  • Are talented hires under-delivering for a reason you can’t fathom?
  • Are you receiving customer complaints?
  • Are known issues being resolved, or are they continually returning?

It’s not impossible to turn around an ineffective company culture. In ‘Breaking Big’ we identified nine steps to creating an environment where your business can thrive.

  1. Communicate your dream and ensure it is operable
  2. Be clear about what you stand for
  3. Shape your organisation for what it needs to win
  4. Get your team right
  5. Set standards high
  6. Keep on training
  7. Do symbolic things that create some buzz for your team
  8. Expect to win, and act accordingly
  9. Have a goal and live it

There’s a tenth step actually: a free business health check. The perspective a business coach can offer, at the stage where you’re trying to work out what’s wrong, can be invaluable. Take this step first.

Rod Davies is co-founder of Business Doctors.

Ben Lobel

Delphine Hintz

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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