Culture is a word that gets thrown around a lot in small business as a key element to success. But, if you are not proactively building one to grow your company, someone else in your organization may be building it for their own purposes.
Why You Need a Company Culture
On this week’s Small Business Radio Show, Josh Levine, who is the best-selling author of “Great Mondays” discusses how small business owners can use culture to their advantage. As he explains, its not just having a ping-pong table and buying pizza on Fridays (those are rituals). It’s about “how you help your employees make better decisions” since they are the ones actually doing the work. Josh describes culture allowing us to move away from “micromanagement to micromanagement”. He suggests hiring people that are good at what they do and helping them understand what the company is trying to achieve so they can make the best decisions every day. They will use your culture to guide them when a critical decision must be made.
Josh says every company has a culture whether you are using it or not. He suggests a company starts this defining their culture by writing their own company’s obituary. When people talk about your company decades from now, what did you achieve? Why was your company in business?
Josh explains there are six key components to igniting cultural change in an organization. They include:
1. Purpose: What are you trying to achieve together. (For example, Starbucks inspires one neighborhood at a time.)
2. Values: Your principles applied when a difficult choice must be made.
3. Behaviors: How you expect people to act every day.
4. Recognition: How to reward the best behaviors not just value driven outcomes.
5. Rituals: Physical things you do to strengthen the relationships inside the organization that aligns with your purpose.
6. Cues: Physical reminders of what the company is trying to do.