What is business culture?
Quite simply, business culture is about the way people do things, how staff behave. Business culture should embody a clear purpose and transparent values. If staff have a clear understanding about an organisation and its values, they will help shape a productive business culture.
A 2012 Deloitte LLP report found that 88% of staff believe a distinct workplace culture is important to business success. Investing in a business culture can yield distinct, tangible benefits. It affects the way a business can attract new customers, build loyalty and retain the best staff to ultimately generate more income. Research confirms that businesses with a lower staff turnover have a better financial performance.
In tough economic times, businesses focus on the return on investment, achieving robust results – put simply making more money. To help achieve those results the focus has to be on investing in the brand. If customers believe in the brand they will buy more products. Logically a business owner will recruit staff that share common views and attitudes – like-minded individuals that share a passion for the brand. It follows that those engaged staff will be brand advocates and will instinctively meet and satisfy customer needs.
Believe in the brand
The brand must function like the business culture. Brand culture is about staff believing in an organisation’s core values such as high-quality service, innovation, efficiency. However, as a small business grows, it’s fundamental that every member of staff remains in tune with the brand and its aims. Every individual must talk the talk and walk the walk. Everything a business does must encourage customers to believe in the brand just as much as you do.
To transform a business culture you must be clear about what you want to achieve in the organisation. But when do you need to do this? If staff don’t understand what underpins the business vision and how to achieve its goals, it’s time for a rethink. The owner must decide how best to manage or shape the business culture.
Whether it’s a small business or a mighty PLC, change needs to come from within the business. Cultural change is easy in theory but can be difficult to implement in practice. Knowing what to do to have a more creative culture can be the first hurdle for many organisations. A strong brand culture can create strong business results.
Focus on the ‘point’ of your business, this should resonate meaning for your customers and staff. If your staff understand the brand values, they will recommend their company’s products and services.
Consider this, 59% of engaged employees say that their job brings out their most creative ideas. According to a Gallup poll, companies with large numbers of dis-satisfied workers experience greater absenteeism and lower productivity. A business leader must recognise creative talent and engage staff to help attract customers.
Creativity in business has the potential to connect with brand loyal customers to deliver outstanding financial results. A leader needs to stop, think and listen to their staff. The key to success is about giving customers a brand to believe in.
Business leaders who want their companies to reach their full potential fundamentally believe that creativity and innovation are vital to drive successful financial performance. They take corporate culture seriously. Creative companies inspire their people to deliver outstanding results and are reaping the benefits of the economic recovery.
Lead by example
How can you get your business to reap profitable results if you don’t have a plan to do it? It starts with implementing a clear commercial strategy from creative leaders. A 2012 Deloitte LLP report titled “Culture in the Workplace” shows that exceptional organisations think about their business in terms of strategy and culture. If you want to lead by example your need be tight-rope walker, you need to achieve the ultimate balance of understanding creative quality to achieve commercial success.
Being creative isn’t just about new products, it’s about responding to a genuine market need in a smart way. If you have a mind-set that’s open to change then your business can adapt quickly to the way technology and society is constantly shifting. As a quick-thinking organisation you can swiftly respond to new opportunities.
Businesses need a purpose and clear values underpinned by a focused strategy. A business culture needs to meet new challenges and strong brand leadership can make that happen. Successful creative businesses take staff ideas seriously; they inspire talent and make organisations a fun place to work.
A creative culture can generate cash to invest in your staff to produce more creative ideas to attract more business. Agile start-ups for example are open to creative ideas to make them money to help establish their position in the market place.