The culture that you nurture within your business is more important than you might think. While some people feel that business culture is a buzzword or that time is better spent on scaling your business, you absolutely need a strong and clear business culture to reach your goals. But this isn’t only true for massive companies with thousands and thousands of employees – it is equally important for small and medium-sized businesses as well.
But why on Earth is business culture so critical to the success of your organization? First off, consider that your business culture defines how your business interacts with people – both internally and externally. Not only does it act as a moral compass to help guide employees’ decision making processes in their day-to-day duties, but it also affects how members of your organization interact with partners and suppliers. As your company grows, it is imperative that your employees understand how they are expected to behave professionally, and they won’t have a solid idea of these expectations without shared values. And having these ideas in place will help ease growing pains as your organization matures.
Connecting with People as Human Beings
After going through all the trouble to hire top talent in your industry, it would be a real pain if your employees sought other opportunities because they weren’t happy working in your organization. But business culture will not only help you retain the employees you have already hired, but even attract new talent and partners. People will want to engage your organization more frequently if you share common goals, ideas, values, and beliefs. Though your product or service may be extraordinary in its own right, you will find greater success if people believe in what you stand for. Business culture can be the “why” behind all of your plans, goals, and actions – which will make your business more personable. And it can really help your business stand out from the crowd. By differentiating yourself from your competitors that lack clearly defined values, you can make a greater impact in your industry.
The Bottom Line
Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos, has an intimate understanding of the importance of business culture. Essentially, he believes that hiring someone who doesn’t fit into his organizational culture can poison his bottom line by harming productivity, crushing morale, and causing all sorts of other problems. When Zappos was experiencing growth in its infancy, he made some hiring decisions that he believes costed the company $100 million dollars. Though you may not run an organization anywhere near as large as Zappos, one thing remains clear: lacking a well-defined organizational culture can cause massive setbacks down the road. They say that a smart man can learn from his own mistakes, but a wise man can learn from the mistakes of others. As such, it would be wise to learn from Tony Hsieh’s mistakes to help your business reach its goals for the coming year.
If you know you need to create a solid internal business culture but just don’t know where to begin, contact John M. Ruh and Associates. We can help your business in a variety of ways such as developing a business culture and creating a business plan for the coming year.
Written by John Ruh
John M. Ruh and Associates are mission based business advisors who partner with growth oriented leaders to create the right P.S.T. support: the right People, the right Structure and the right Tools.