Lessons on Company Culture for Small Business

Blog located in posted on August 27, 2018

Company culture has been an overused concept in recent years, but it remains a key tool in providing productive meaningful work for your employees. And among company culture models, a culture of innovation is proven for fuelling growth. So how do you create a good company culture when you are a small business? Many business owners pay lip service to it rather than work actively to create a good company culture. Often, leaders just don’t know how to innovate their company culture because of fear of failure or over-reliance on an outdated leadership style. As a result they often unknowingly contribute to creating a culture of obstacles as opposed to a culture of openness.

Positive Workplace Energy Used to Create Good Company Culture

In order to transform your working environment from the fearing stage to the action mode stage, you need positive energy. Very much like going to the gym, in order to feel energetic, you need to exercise at least three times a week, eat a healthy diet to provide good nutrition to your body, and set aside time each day for reflection and deeper thinking.

Create Good Company Culture with Positive Leadership

In order to initiate change, think about how you can turn a negative thought into a positive. For example, instead of saying “this is too hard”, say “let’s give it a shot”. Allow room for mistakes and celebrate successes.

Create a positive environment by adding light or happy art and positive sayings.  Treat your employees well. Don’t gossip.  Look at how you can serve others, help your coworkers and add something positive to your environment.

Earn the Right to Press the Pause Button when Building Company Culture

We are surrounded by digital technologies, whether it’s the Apple watch, the Google glasses or the Fitbit, notwithstanding our cell phone (commonly known as an extension of ourselves). There are no rules to prevent us from putting these devices on pause.  Similarly, when you are working on making changes in order to keep up with the fast pace of change, give yourself permission to pause.  We’ve all heard before: “sometimes you need to pause in order to move forward”. If you don’t do this, sometimes life will push the button for you. Pausing to ask yourself what, how, and why you are doing things can be exactly what you need in order to resume forward progress.

It’s A Matter of Skills Set

Often, skillset is the challenge to create good company culture.  Leaders must have the skills to listen, to draw people out, think about things, before they start adding or changing. Most importantly leaders must begin to own the change themselves and then innovation can become much more widespread.

The same skills are useful to learn in a multicultural environment. However, they will be used differently across cultures. For example, a client of mine originally from Thailand will not say “I need this to be done” bur rather “it would be nice to do this.” Therefore, if you don’t know this cultural trait, you will not understand the request. In today’s world, it is an essential skill to learn about different cultures in order to manage them well and ensure they are engaged in their work. This is a better perception than feeling like you are an obstacle within the organization.

Training is an Important Step toward Building Good Company Culture

Your employees will need to learn how to innovate. You need to get excellent performance out of your team members while helping them grow.  An effective training method is to provide real situations that will require innovative thinking.  As such, innovation is not just a concept but through true examples, employees get the fast way to be innovative.

Provide the means and the support to move from the training space to real life. Instead of fearing failure, your employees will learn from testing. Stay close to the outcomes and make sure you reward the successes. Your employees will feel empowered and will recognize their value-add to the organization.

It’s so much easier to create a culture of obstacles! Conversely, it is a lot harder than creating a culture of innovation. However, by following these above steps, you will develop a framework for a sustainable and good company culture. What will be your next step with your company culture?