Business Culture, Yours or Mine?
I’ve done my time – 45 years of Saturday/full-time/part-time/self-employment since the age of 15.
Culture is very much a key component in business, impacting on the strategic direction of the business, influencing management, decisions and all functions from Accounts to Sales, through meetings, negotiations, formalities, use of Social Media etc.
Business culture also relates to behaviour, ethics, etiquette, values and working style.
Which gives me the right to comment on the culture of my small businesses – Land & Brand New Homes Limited and multiple award winning Callaways Estate & Letting Agents.
My BHons from Brighton University led me to places I’d only ever experienced as an employee and gave me a vision for the future of my small businesses – I was mesmerised by the concepts of mentoring, leadership, organisational culture, motivation and team dynamics.
Building on personal experiences from working at home and abroad in small and multinational companies, I cultivated my small businesses applying self-discipline and self-motivation; my inherent beliefs (nature, nurture) and values determined my preferences as to the kind of people I wanted to work with, the Standards I wanted to apply, and what success would look like, to me and my dependents.
My school days, filled with team sports throughout the year, as team leader and team worker cemented my opinion that surrounding myself with ‘ideas’ people, optimism, a ‘can-do, will-do’ attitude was how I wanted to forge the paths ahead, and instilled within me a philosophy as to how I would make things work.
Over the years, a raft of (ever increasing) employment legislation has in a sense broken down the easy come, easy go attitude of co-working. I love spontaneity of thought, and deed, and this can be shackled by Health & Safety, Discrimination, Trust and Loyalty matters. Managing employees and their own work/life balances can divert attention away from listening and providing for customer needs, growing the business and fulfilling personal ambitions.
Running a business is stressful and risky – but professionalism gets you through the bad times; I have a ‘hands on’ part to play, as well as being leader, motivator, and a communicator (a difficult role in an owner-managed business). Yet, as a small business owner I need to influence behaviour and cultivate the culture within so everyone within the business understands – ‘this is the way we do things here’. Despite the plethora of communication tools including Outlook, Facebook, LinkedIn, SnapChat etc, it’s still very easy to get ‘communication’ wrong.
‘Culture’ is an intangible part of any business – wouldn’t it be great if employees got to know the personality traits of their business owners! As a daughter, wife, mother and grandmother on top of being a business owner, I’m still learning that you can never have all the answers, you can only do your best.
Me and my small business culture are still evolving to this day in our beliefs, values and attitudes, driven by changing mores and technology – so I’ll go back to the various tools at my disposal to measure employee recruitment success, absenteeism, churn rate, engagement, satisfaction, revenue per employee etc – in the meantime, if you want to know more about me, just ask – it’s a culture thing!