The culture of your small business

Company culture could be defined as the character of your business. It is the spirit that emanates in your words and actions. You, as the owner of your small business, define your company’s culture.

A company culture that stresses efficiency, customer satisfaction, and pride in the work performed will attract a certain kind of employee. A company culture that tolerates mediocrity, sloth, and apathy will attract another kind of employee.

You communicate your company culture in myriad ways, many of them subtle and implicit. Certainly, explicit statements regarding policies, procedures, and plans can communicate your company culture. But the real demonstration of that culture occurs in your actions.

For example, if you complain about customers to your employees, you send a certain message. If you are apathetic about customer complaints, you send a certain message. If you are late for appointments and your paperwork is messy, you send a certain message. If your words are different from your actions, your message is confusing and hypocritical. All of these things and more establish and communicate your company’s culture.

You begin communicating your company culture to employees from the very first contact. The wording of an employment ad, your manner of interviewing, and your hiring process all communicate your expectations and your willingness to hold individuals accountable.

If you wish to attract and retain competent employees then you must act with competence. If you want to attract motivated employees then you must create an atmosphere that encourages efficiency and pride. If you want to attract loyal employees, then you must act with loyalty and consistency.

In short, if you want a certain kind of employee, it is up to you to build the kind of business that will allow him to flourish. You must create the kind of business that will appeal to him. And this culture must permeate every aspect of your business, particularly your policies and procedures.

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