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Building a culture that supports growth

For small businesses, it’s common for revenue growth to be front of mind. Things are going well; you’re scaling and looking to grow both your team and your profit.

One thing many companies struggle with is how to transition to a larger business. Small business and start-ups have just a few people running everything and can be wary of the complexities of implementing the processes you need to manage more people.

The good news? Small businesses don’t have the heritage and clunky processes in place you’d find in a large corporate. Responding quickly and adapting your company culture can be much easier!

A huge part of growing your business is developing a culture that people want to be a part of. A strong employee culture doesn‘t happen by accident; it’s a well-planned component of a successful business venture, which has a knock-on effect on employee’s behaviours and decisions.

The impact of employee culture

Made up of the shared beliefs, values, people, processes, and historical successes, employee culture is unique to every organisation.

Don’t wait until your payroll is double-digit before thinking about employee culture; it should form a part of your business – and your hiring strategy – from day one. Consider the ideals your company is striving for, the working environment you want to create, how you want to communicate; essentially, what should working for you look like?

It’s not about having motivational quotes plastered around the office or a foosball table in the break-out area (although these can be nice!). It isn‘t even your leadership style. Employee culture is the way a company cultivates growth by giving employees a voice and encouraging healthy day-to-day behaviours, attitudes and ethics.

People need to believe in what the company is doing, which will help to maintain high levels of engagement and productivity amongst employees. If people feel they’re contributing to making the world a better place, they‘re more likely to put the extra effort in for their employer.

Attracting and retaining talent

According to millions of reviews shared by employees on Glassdoor, an organisation’s culture and values are the strongest predictors of employee satisfaction, followed by quality senior leadership and career opportunities.

“Having a compelling mission, culture and values are critical when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent in a competitive job market – it is what differentiates every employer,“ says Christian Sutherland-Wong, Glassdoor President and COO.

Glassdoor surveyed over 1,000 adults in the UK (and a further 4,000+ in U.S., France and Germany) and found that 77 % of people consider a company’s mission and purpose before applying for a job, with 57 % saying workplace culture is more important than salary when it comes to job satisfaction.

Any business can improve employee culture

Whether your business is just starting out or you’re already on your growth journey, you can fast-track profits by improving your employee culture. Investing in a better employee experience should be your number one goal. As your business scales, the happier your employees, the easier it will be to attract and retain talent.

Employers must consider what drives their employees and what ‘gets them out of bed in the morning’. With a strong company culture, this will be strongly aligned with your values, helping you find and keep the right people.

How do you start improving employee culture?

Starting your journey to building a great employee culture is simple:

  • Find out what matters most to employees
  • Align these values with company objectives

If you want this to work, management needs to be willing to open the doors of communication and allow employees to voice their ideas freely. This is always a helpful process, particularly if there has been any question as to whether employees are happy and engaged at work.

Whether you host meetings or send out anonymous surveys, once you have this data, the task then becomes prioritising. Identify the top 10 ideas and concerns to narrow down the list and give leaders a good place to start.

Review the current employee culture, noting any areas that are negative or creating tension for employees. Look for processes that are getting in the way of your people being able to use their talents successfully for the good of the organisation.

What needs to change?

Find out what may be creating a negative employee experience; this is what needs your immediate attention. By evaluating the current values and practices of the workplace, you will be able to see if they correctly align with the vision and mission of the company. If they don‘t, then they will need to be eliminated or replaced.

Keep in mind; this will not happen overnight. It will take careful planning and buy-in from all concerned to make it work.

The importance of a solid foundation

If a company builds a solid foundation, they will be setting themselves up for success; employee engagement, staff retention, business longevity and growth targets are more likely to sync, resulting in success that the whole company can be proud of. 

Our new HR platform, Sapling, is an all-in-one HR platform built with fast-growing organisations in mind. Allowing you to streamline all your HR processes, provide a consistent employee experience, and make data-driven decisions by connecting the tools you are already using every day in one place. Speak to us today to find out how our solution can turbo boost your growth!

Written by Mara Swann

Mara has a passion for promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion across global workplaces and hopes to inspire learners to focus on their own careers with self-directed learning content.

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