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The Importance of Office Culture

By 3 August 2017No Comments

A business should always have its core values, a mantra of the service they wish to provide, their goals and what they pride themselves on. It’s important to remember that you aren’t just selling goods and services to the customers – you are also selling those core values. Your employees are the sales people of those values, and customers will know if they don’t truly believe in what they are selling or providing as a service.
Your customers will not love a company unless the employees love it first. The satisfaction of your own employees is directly linked to your success as a business.
Company culture is as important as marketing, finance, all the everyday aspects of your business, but it is separated by one crucial factor – it doesn’t need to cost anything.
A bad culture is apparent when you walk through the doors. The room seems devoid of emotion, a factory line of employees doing their job, staring blankly at their screen, without a smile on their face.
There could be a number of reasons why an office culture sours. Perhaps there is a lack of communication and transparency, leading to confusion and a no awareness of the values of the company. It is hard to instil passion when an employee does not understand a business at its core.
It could be a result of poor leadership. Company leaders ultimately set the tone, whether positive or negative, for the entire company. This isn’t restricted to CEOs either, but any person who holds a leadership or senior position within the company. For this reason it is important for senior persons to be aware of their own influence, and look to create a positive culture.
Ideas can come from anywhere, therefore it’s important to encourage agile thinking within your business. Following a proven process is essential, however it’s just as important to have people who can react to change and think outside the box to create innovation and growth for the company.
This agility also factors into the argument of attitude versus aptitude. While experience and degrees are always desirable, the attitude of individuals is just as, if not more, important. Considering whether potential employees share your values and work ethic is essential, further, ask yourself of their capacity to learn and react in a changing sphere. Sometimes knowledge and experience will help them to make the correct choice, but other times it creates a rigidity that they are unable to look beyond.
Transparency is another word which is often spoken about in relation with office culture. Be clear and communicate your goals, aspirations and values, with both employees and customers. Being transparent helps to build a sense of trust and honesty, with people able to believe in not only what you say but what you represent. Once someone can understand and believe, they are more likely to commit and buy into the culture and your business.
It’s also important to realise that just because you interpret your office culture one particular way, diverse employees may interpret it differently. This isn’t necessary a bad outcome however, as culture is a multi-faceted aspect of business, and each person will contribute to shaping it.
Finally, culture is difficult to change. People become so entrenched in the cycle, whether it’s positive or negative. It requires commitment from everyone in the business to accept the change, and work together to sort out the processes and values that will become connected with the business.
Sit down with the team all of them and ask them what the culture of the company is? Then brainstorm as to what the core values of the company are so everyone is on the same page and the culture of the organisation can flow through from the bottom up and not just be dictated to by the top down.

Purnima Kabra