What do we mean by culture?
If you ask any business executive to define corporate culture, they will all give you a different response.
The truth is that business culture is difficult to define.
Essentially, its about the atmosphere and environment in the workplace. Company culture has become a hot topic, particularly as perceptions have shifted over the years. Now young, new workers put a stronger emphasis on culture, and if your business has a negative culture that impacts on the happiness of workers, you’ll find employees dropping out of your organisation and finding roles elsewhere. I
It’s not just about providing office fruit bowls, bean bags, or table tennis tables; it’s about shared values, inclusivity, wellbeing and it all trickles down from the conduct of a company’s leadership.
Some people believe that company culture relates to a firm’s purpose statement as well as its founders’ values and views.
Others define organizational culture as a collective force comprised of people, interactions, and the working environment. Many people refer to a company’s culture as its DNA, soul, or personality.
A positive corporate culture is built on trust, respect, and the ability for people to engage in shared ideals and enjoy what they do.
It’s a natural process that begins at the top and works its way down. It’s not something a company can buy into, but there are a variety of tools that may help you to evolve your process. Company culture, in our perspective, is similar to an ecosystem that has to be nourished in order to grow.
The foundations for actual, measurable business success are laid by a strong company culture. It’s centred on open, constructive discussions and assists businesses in identifying problems and coming up with solutions as a group.
The culture of a small business
SMEs have an edge in this area. Internet-led entrepreneurship enables SMEs to work on their businesses from the inside out, with fewer major corporate hierarchical structures and more millennial-led startups forming each year.
SMEs can respond fast and change their corporate culture to achieve a pleasant work-life balance for their workers since they have more options for face-to-face contact and flexible working arrangements.
On the other hand, disregarding your employees’ requirements and developing a “toxic corporate culture” has severe consequences for overall business success.
What is the significance of organisational culture?
In a nutshell, establishing a positive corporate culture is critical not just for employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention, but also for laying the groundwork for a successful organisation, regardless of the economy.
Over the last decade, organisational culture has grown in importance and pace, encouraging CEOs, HR consultants, and company executives to ask the proper questions that lead to honest appraisal and change.
After all, it is only by identifying and establishing what can be altered that we can begin to resolve challenges and disputes in order to improve and expand beyond our own boundaries, as well as those of our business competitors.
Results that are based on a person’s reputation
It’s no exaggeration to say that one’s reputation is everything. Media scandals and current headlines have given voice to major and small corporate wrongdoing in an era where internet publishing, blogging, and company trolling are commonplace.
Due to the required exposure of misguided corporate and employee welfare practises (such as the BBC gender pay gap, Uber, and, of course, Harvey Weinstein’s #Metoo movement), HR consultants are being pushed to get through the ‘fluff’ and focus on what matters most: their people.
If there’s one thing we can learn from these Big Players’ mistakes, it’s that corrupt corporate cultures are harmful to productivity and profit. Offices that ignore the value of employee autonomy, flexibility, and role fulfilment risk creating customer scepticism by bashing their reputation.
On the other side of the water cooler, we’re now witnessing the beneficial influence that corporate culture assessments have on firms as a whole, not just individual employees. (Kudos to Uber and Netflix for recognising and correcting their errors.)
Employee and financial well-being
Employee and financial well-being are crucial indicators of a company’s culture.
Great corporate culture ideas, such as the HBR Framework and the Schein Culture Model, clearly show that firms that prioritise profit and monetary incentives over human empathy and employee understanding are more likely to harm business success.
The report’s findings go much farther, demonstrating clear relationships between corrupt corporate cultures, employee happiness, and tenure.
Employees’ emotional and physical health are jeopardised by such split working communities, which may also have a negative impact on our society and the UK economy.
Growth, stability, and performance are all important factors in a company’s success.
Business growth, longevity, and outcomes are all influenced by corporate culture
Studies show that the most lucrative organisations are not always the most profit-focused, contrary to what some HR professionals assume. Employees and employers alike receive better role fulfilment by shifting their focus from profit to purpose, which boosts productivity, efficiency, and quality outcomes. And what is the end result of quality? Of certainly, there will be profit.
As a result, by ensuring that all workers are aware of their company’s culture, aims, and goals, all team members will be on the same page from the outset.
Setting the groundwork for success, a firm’s employee engagement, staff retention, business longevity, and growth objectives are more likely to align when it starts with sound foundations, resulting in results that the entire organisation can be proud of.
Toxic work environment
Organizational politics and a hostile working culture may be causing more damage to your company than you realise.
Poor company culture costs UK firms £20.2 billion every year, according to our new culture economics analysis.
So, if you’ve been focusing just on the bottom line, you’re probably cultivating a poisonous culture as well.
Don’t worry, you’ve arrived to the correct location. We’re shedding light on some of the most common harmful workplace errors.
Is the culture at your place of business toxic?
In most circumstances, a poisonous workplace culture emerges gradually. This usually falls into one of two categories:
- results-oriented leadership (i.e., culture was not seen as a key investment strategy from the start), or
- immaturity of business culture (i.e., culture is being examined, but developing a healthy one is still a work in progress).
So, how can you know whether your company’s culture is becoming toxic?
There is no communication.
Employees have a broad sense of uneasiness and worry as a result of poor communication in any firm. Gossip is also accelerated by a lack of clear communication. Taboos against speaking up have a harmful impact as well.
Leadership that is disrespectful or ineffective
Disrespect and bullying, particularly from a superior, are clear indicators that your company has a bad culture. It is true that disrespect feeds disrespect when it comes to creating a scared environment. Bullying and a blame-based culture do not foster accountability, respect, or collaboration.
A poisonous organisational culture may be caused by even poor leadership. Without a sense of direction, everyone’s excitement dwindles. As a result, there is indifference and poor performance.
Discrimination and bias
Your corporate culture is poisonous if employees are treated unfairly in terms of salary, opportunities, and promotions, or if they are subjected to discrimination, sexual harassment, or unprofessional behaviour.
Unfortunately bias is still prevalent in the workplace. The oil and gas industry is a good example of how sexism has run rampant in businesses. Shockingly, only 3.6% of offshore workers are female, and the bias in this industry begins early on in the hiring process. To avoid company leadership from acting on bias, unconscious or otherwise, hiring an energy recruitment agency with a reputation for supporting woman and minorities to find positions in the industry is first step in changing your company culture.
Leadership’s lack of trust results in rigid working procedures. Employees cease caring if their bosses lack empathy and give little flexibility.
Micromanagement and a lack of recognition
When people aren’t trusted to accomplish their jobs, they feel disempowered. Micromanagement eliminates the notion of opportunity since employees are hesitant to take chances, even if such risks might be beneficial or provide blunders that lead to a positive development.
At work, people require a certain measure of autonomy. Employees require real compliments. Another apparent symptom of a negative corporate culture is a disrespect for criticism and suggestions.
No one benefits from a shattered culture. A positive company culture benefits the firm, its workers, and the community. It’s also a potent tool for social transformation.
What SMEs think about company culture and performance
We questioned 500 SME senior decision makers in the UK in our latest research on The Culture Economy if they feel workplace culture has a beneficial influence on company success. Company culture has a favourable impact on business success, according to 72 percent of the 500 participants; 9 percent indicated it had no effect on performance, and 19 percent stated they didn’t know.
Surprisingly, when the firm grows, the percentage statistics alter. In small firms with 10 to 49 people, 77% agreed that culture has a good impact on business success, while 10% disagreed and 13% didn’t know.
Only 7% disagreed, and 6% said they didn’t know, whereas 88 percent of medium-sized business correspondents (50-249 people) said corporate culture has a good impact on business outcomes.
Medium-sized organisations appear to understand better than small businesses that even the finest strategic plans may fail if the appropriate people aren’t in the proper jobs, and they appear to be more devoted to enhancing employee engagement. That isn’t to imply that there aren’t plenty of tiny firms that get it right when it comes to corporate culture.
Small organisations appear to have difficulty preserving culture around the third or fourth year of their development period. “Small enterprises (50 people) are on average 7% less productive than large firms, and there is a larger and lower tail of small firm laggards,” said Andy Haldane, Chief Economist of the Bank of England, in a lecture.
Because so much time is spent on the immediate urgent day-to-day difficulties in many small firms, it can be difficult for leaders to find time to learn about best practises for establishing a positive corporate culture. The first step toward engagement is to recognise the effect of corporate culture on business performance. Let’s look at what those consequences are.
What are the advantages of having a positive business culture?
360 respondents agreed that business culture had a beneficial influence on company performance during our research for The Culture Economy report.
The following are some of the favourable effects:
- Improved morale, environment, and interpersonal interactions (69 per cent)
- Employees that are willing to go above and beyond (61 per cent)
- Increased customer satisfaction and retention through improved customer service (60 per cent)
- Increased individual productivity and performance (55 per cent)
- A decrease in employee turnover (49 per cent)
- A greater number of individuals are contributing ideas and supporting innovation (49 per cent)
- Absenteeism has decreased (45 per cent)