How Culture Can Influence the Success of Your Business

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How Culture Can Influence the Success of Your Business

After graduating from university, Lisa Spiden — the founder of FibreHR and Roster Right — embarked on a backpacking trip across Europe before eventually landing in London and, consequently, into Human Resources with HSBC Investment Bank and BC Global.

From there, she worked with several large organizations before taking on her first “commercial” human resources role with retail giant The Just Group, which largely influenced her understanding of how company culture affects business outcomes. It was the first role where Lisa experienced a true “sense of achievement” by being able to implement strategies and immediately see their effect on people and sales in store.

You could literally go into store the next day and see how it was actually affecting the people, you could see if it was actually working and if people were enjoying what you were doing – you could actually tell if it was making a difference to the business.

Recognized as an industry talent, several businesses soon approached Lisa to work as an HR consultant, which led to the launch of her first business, FibreHR. After working with big brands like Carman’s and kikki.K, and having also launched her second business, Roster Right, one of the most important lessons Lisa has learned over the years is that culture begins from “minute one” and will always reflect the behavior of its leaders.

Gimmicks like basketball courts or “Friday night drinks” might sound appealing, and they can be great incentives, but they don’t ensure a positive or effective work environment on their own. Culture is created by both leaders and staff following the values of the business.

For me, what I’ve seen over my journey is that it’s not one element that creates culture … if you don’t have the right people, the right leadership and a clear vision … it doesn’t matter how cool all the things you have around the business are.

Culture also varies over time. As Lisa points out, “culture isn’t stagnant; it’s not something that can be fabricated”. Businesses change and so do the people that work for them, which is why it’s important to monitor your team.

Simply conducting engagement surveys and asking questions like “what’s keeping you here?” and “what’s making you leave?” provides an opportunity for businesses to address issues and turn things around. Honest conversations with staff about how they fit in to a workplace are key to both their success and that of the business.

But the increased discretionary effort that results from a great work culture is well worth the time and labor it can take to develop. When one of Lisa’s businesses needed to hit a deadline for a client, her entire team worked for 24 hours, without her knowledge, to ensure they wouldn’t deliver behind schedule.

When culture’s working, you’ve just got a really unified team who are working all together on one particular vision … you [also] see it in attracting talent; it’s easy to recruit when you’ve got a great culture. And clients can feel it — you know, the actual quality of work … there are so many elements that just stand out when culture is working well.”

However, it’s also obvious when culture isn’t working. Even with increased benefits, talent becomes much harder to acquire and businesses end up paying more than their competitors to retain staff.

In the end, creating a positive culture is highly subjective to your staff and your business values. But that doesn’t mean you have to create things from scratch. There are plenty of successful work environments out there and applying different aspects of what works for them to your own business can be very useful.

To learn more about what creates a great work culture, watch Lisa Spiden’s WeTeachMe’s Masters Series chat.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Influence of Culture on Business Success

How does a positive company culture contribute to business success?

A positive company culture fosters a sense of belonging and unity among employees. It encourages open communication, collaboration, and mutual respect, which can lead to increased productivity and innovation. Employees who feel valued and appreciated are more likely to be engaged and committed to their work, leading to lower turnover rates and higher customer satisfaction. Furthermore, a positive company culture can enhance a company’s reputation, making it more attractive to potential employees and customers.

Can a negative company culture affect business performance?

Yes, a negative company culture can significantly impact business performance. It can lead to low employee morale, high turnover rates, and decreased productivity. Employees in a negative work environment may feel undervalued and unmotivated, which can affect their performance and commitment to the company. Additionally, a negative company culture can harm a company’s reputation, making it less appealing to potential employees and customers.

How can a company improve its culture to boost business success?

Improving company culture requires a commitment from all levels of the organization. It involves fostering open communication, promoting diversity and inclusion, recognizing and rewarding employee achievements, and providing opportunities for professional development. Additionally, leaders play a crucial role in setting the tone for the company culture. They should model the behaviors and values they want to see in their employees.

How does company culture impact employee satisfaction and retention?

Company culture significantly impacts employee satisfaction and retention. Employees who feel valued, respected, and included in a positive work environment are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs and stay with the company longer. On the other hand, a negative company culture can lead to high turnover rates, as employees may choose to leave the company in search of a more positive work environment.

How does company culture influence customer perception and loyalty?

Company culture can greatly influence customer perception and loyalty. A positive company culture that values customer service and quality can lead to high customer satisfaction and loyalty. Customers are more likely to do business with a company that treats its employees well and values their contributions. Conversely, a negative company culture can harm a company’s reputation and deter potential customers.

How can a company’s culture impact its competitive advantage?

A strong company culture can provide a significant competitive advantage. It can foster innovation, increase productivity, and enhance customer satisfaction, all of which can contribute to a company’s success. Additionally, a positive company culture can attract top talent and retain high-performing employees, further enhancing a company’s competitive position.

How does diversity and inclusion influence company culture and business success?

Diversity and inclusion can greatly enhance company culture and contribute to business success. A diverse and inclusive work environment fosters creativity and innovation by bringing together different perspectives and ideas. It also promotes a sense of belonging and respect among employees, which can lead to increased productivity and employee satisfaction.

How does company culture affect decision-making processes?

Company culture can significantly influence decision-making processes. In a positive company culture, decisions are often made collaboratively, with input from various levels of the organization. This can lead to more informed and effective decisions. Conversely, in a negative company culture, decision-making may be centralized and lack transparency, which can lead to poor decisions and low employee morale.

Can company culture influence business ethics?

Yes, company culture can greatly influence business ethics. A company culture that values integrity and transparency will likely promote ethical behavior among its employees. On the other hand, a company culture that tolerates unethical behavior can lead to a host of problems, including legal issues and damage to the company’s reputation.

How can a company measure the impact of its culture on business success?

Measuring the impact of company culture on business success can be challenging, but there are several indicators that companies can look at. These include employee satisfaction and retention rates, customer satisfaction and loyalty, productivity levels, and the company’s reputation. Additionally, companies can conduct regular surveys to gather feedback from employees and customers about the company culture and its impact on their experiences.

Eleanor ScottEleanor Scott
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Eleanor Scott is a Melbourne-based writer, editor and content strategist. With over five years of experience, she has worked with many publications and brands to help them tell important stories and connect with their audience. Visit her website at eleanorscott.com.au.

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