by Amanda Mallmes
May 30, 2017
Company culture is a well-known buzz phrase, especially in the age of Emotional Intelligence, but why is it important and what does it mean?
In the workplace today company culture is very important for both the employee and employer. A great candidate may be won or lost based on the ‘feel’ of the company. How the company operates influences the culture, and the culture determines how the company operates or; how a company does business. The ‘How’ of how a company does business impacts the profits it generates (or doesn’t) and influences its overall success, in more ways than just dollars, which is why it’s so important. So how does a small business maintain the culture as it grows?
Company culture is something that is developed and continually changes. When a business is first starting out, typically the owner(s) will be responsible for (nearly) everything themselves, or they directly supervise the employees that do the work. The direct interactions employees have with the owner(s) helps to first develop, and then maintain, the company culture.
As the company grows and managers are hired to help lead teams, the amount of direct contact with the owner(s) tends to go down and there’s the opportunity for the culture to change, and when the company grows to the stage where managers are involved with the hiring process, the opportunity for the culture to change increases further.
At each stage of growth, the risk for change to company culture increases. That is, it increases unless it’s addressed. By making the core values of a company’s culture; the attitude, aptitude, and character part of the hiring process, a required skill-set, a company can continue to grow and be successful in maintaining the culture. This is because although culture is continually changing, it can be developed/ re-enforced. When managers with the right attitude, aptitude, and character are hired, start leading teams and are a part of the hiring process, they act as an extension of the owner(s) and are assessing the attitude, aptitude, and character of the interviewee for how well they ‘fit’ the company. The company is growing, the culture is changing, but the core values of the company, its essence, will be maintained.