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Workplace Culture 101: Why a Positive Work Environment is the Key to Success for Small Business Owners

As more and more SMEs appear, there becomes a plethora of options for potential and existing customers, thus creating a more competitive landscape. As the competition grows, small businesses are scrambling for ways to push themselves and be seen as a key influencer and a credible choice within their industry. Whether investing in better technology, new innovative ways of working or expansion of the team, workplace culture could be the difference between you and your competition, so you have to nail it.

For a small business, having a positive workplace culture is a key component to achieving sustainable success - a motivated and respected team will not only perform better but help to ingrain company values at all levels of an organization.

Any small business owner looking to create an effective workplace culture should be asking themselves the following three questions;

Start with finding out what culture you’re looking to build in your business

Your culture should reflect what your company stands for in terms of its values. What does your company believe in? What do you represent as a business owner? You want to stand out from the competition whilst staying true to your industry. It’s important to note that every business and industry is different, so you should cater your culture whilst including important core values such as inclusivity, care and growth.

Once you have your culture in mind, figure out ‘the why’

Having a positive workplace culture is productive from the inside, to outwards facing. Potential customers will want to work with businesses that have a high morale, work together as a team and produce great results. Not only is producing a positive work environment beneficial to your existing team, it could attract fresh talent, engagement and build more trusting relationships. By gaining understanding of the importance of your workplace culture, this opens up the door to a successful working business with meaning.

The final step: How do you create the workplace culture

It’s not a quick fix to achieve success in your industry, you have to put in time and effort, whilst including all levels of the team. But once you have your workplace culture plan, it’s a case of putting it into action in an organised fashion. So, where do you start? There are many ways which work for you, but a few pointers could be to:

  • Create a company audit: this could include staff skill sets, morale, policies. Think about what the key factors are to the running of the company.
  • Make a structured plan of action and be inclusive, the team is what makes the company after all.
  • Gain feedback and make change: staying open minded to hearing feedback could be the difference between achieving a positive or negative morale.

Most importantly, create an open-door environment to share ideas, thoughts and provide advice. These actions are the meaningful steps which positively impact the workplace culture, resulting in engagement and success. You can learn a lot about how your business is running by spending time with your employees. Creating a positive workplace culture provides you with the necessary tools for success: those tools being core values, a happy workforce and results to show.