Business culture is the both the personality and unique fingerprint of every business – it drives what you do and how you do it.
Culture versus Strategy: What's the difference?
Strategy describes how you will achieve your business goals, clarifying the direction of collective action and prescribing how key decisions will be made. Strategy is a tangible part of any business, as it enforces concrete action and sets out the rewards and consequences for delivering on outcomes.
Culture, on the other hand, is often an intangible manifestation of shared values, beliefs, experiences, and behaviours. Culture permeates across all levels of the business, and has an enduring impact on performance, the experiences of both employees and customers, and the external image of the company.
A strong business culture…
...is often associated with employee perks, such as free food, on-site gyms, and spaces for rest and relaxation. However, such things only make up a small proportion of what culture is about, and most certainly do not guarantee a positive cultural experience.
Many smaller businesses, who cannot afford superior employee benefits, can lay the foundations of a great company culture through investing in the most important foundational element: building trust through honest communications. It doesn't take a lot to encourage an environment of open communication, where healthy challenge is invited across all levels within the business, and people are positively recognised for sharing ideas, concerns and feedback. Creating trust and allowing healthy challenge is a crucial component for any business as it progresses and grows.
How does culture manifest in your business?
Culture encompasses all factors that have an impact on the day-to-day working experience for employees, including the way you…
Articulate your business vision and values
Support people with personal and career development opportunities
Create a true sense of community where everyone can be themselves
Define and reward performance
Encourage collaboration and knowledge-sharing
Celebrate and recognise achievements
How can culture help you achieve your strategic goals?
When aligned to your strategic goals, company culture can drive business success in a number of ways.
1. Performance acceleration. A people-centric culture inspires stronger engagement and satisfaction among employees – research consistently links both of these to increased creativity, productivity, and morale, which all have a very tangible impact on the bottom line.
2. Long-term stability & growth. Businesses with a good understanding of their culture, can easily discern where and when they might need to change or innovate. If anything, the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that adaptability is a critical prerequisite to business growth, longevity, and results.
3. Market differentiation. Your culture differentiates you amongst your competitors, and goes a long way towards strengthening the reputation of a business, shaping the nature of your relationships with prospective clients and future talent.
We need to start recognising culture as a very real part of any business. Your culture can make or break your business vision and strategic aspirations, and the most successful businesses nurture and protect theirs- no matter the cost.
Get in touch to find out how Proud Consulting can support you to reach your business growth aspirations though the power of culture.