Healthy Culture: How Your Business is Affected: Part 1

February 1st, 2012

Often, in business, concentrating on the strategy of the company is the main objective.
Is that because it is the most important aspect to focus on? Many organisations think so, but exclusively focusing on strategy may lead a company into stagnation. People make up a company and they collectively create the culture of the company. Culture does not just affect the employees in your office, it impacts your brand, marketing, and how the public in general views your business. Without a healthy thriving culture a brand has little potential for long-term success.  When we examine brands like Apple, Google, or Starbucks we not only recognize the logo, but we correlate a number of feelings and thoughts about these companies. This is mainly due to the culture of these companies.

Why Culture is so Important

Giving your employees a sense of ownership over their jobs makes them feel empowered, and empowerment fosters innovative thinking. This all starts with a healthy workplace culture. If people feel invisible or stifled in their work place, they will do the minimum expected of them. It’s human nature to want to feel like we are part of something and that we have some control over our lives. Don’t forget that your brand is made up of the individuals in your company. So nurturing a positive company culture isn’t just the responsibility of the HR department, but of everyone, from the CEO to the janitor.

If you are not yet convinced, here are a few of the obvious advantages of cultivating a healthy culture.

  • Focus – The old adage is true; two heads are better then one. When all the people in a company are dedicated to the same goal, everything runs more efficiently. This type of focus comes with a healthy culture; your employees will value the collective goal because they feel like they are a part of it. When individuals do not feel like they are part of the team, they don’t care about the goal, and this can lead to cynicism.
  • Cohesion – Healthy culture can bring about strong communication in good and bad times. In a place where there is unhealthy culture people may frequently resent being told what to do because they don’t feel their thoughts are listened to or appreciated. Whenever a problem arises they may avoid pointing it out as they fear backlash.
  • Motivation – It’s simple; motivated people accomplish more. This may seem apparent, but in companies in which the culture is suffering, productivity may also suffer.

Measuring the Cultural Health of Your Company

Cultural health should be evaluated regularly. So how do you measure the cultural health of a company? First, look at how people are managed, are they just given a job with no input or do they have some control over their work? Are monotonous tasks distributed so everyone has the opportunity to be challenged? While some people may never be happy, if you discover the overwhelming consensus to be poor it may be time for you to look at making a few changes in how the business is run to improve the culture and the overall health of the company. Visit again soon to discover some helpful tips on creating a positive work environment.

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