An outstanding company culture has arguably never been more crucial, especially in such a tight recruitment market. Research by SEEK suggests that more than 75% of Kiwis think workplace culture is “important”, and two-thirds say they’d decline a job offer if they discovered the business had a poor culture.

But how do you develop a workplace culture that mirrors what your business truly represents?

Here are six tips to get you started.

1. Lead by example
As a small business owner, you set the tone. Walk the talk; model the behaviour you want exhibited by and directed towards your employees. Decide on your cornerstone values. Empathy, respect, kindness, support, inclusivity, acknowledgement, zero-tolerance for bullying and discrimination. Which ones reflect what you want your business to be known for?

2. Focus on psychological safety
Great things can happen when staff feel safe and empowered to speak up! Ask employees for their opinions, and act on the responses. Innovation and creativity flow, morale improves, teamwork is boosted, and productivity increases.

3. Practise gratitude: acknowledge and celebrate great work
Taking time to recognise achievements not only helps to reassure an employee or a team that they are valued, it also encourages them – and others –  to repeat, and maybe even improve, the same successful action.

4. Provide opportunities for growth and development
Older employees often love to share their knowledge and experience with younger team members. And younger team members want to be able to upskill for their roles. Putting mentorship programmes in place is a fabulous win-win for them and the business overall.

5. Prioritise health and wellbeing
Flexible working options, mental health resources, opportunities to give back to the community or a local good cause, allocated “phone off” times, walking meetings outside your workplace, and celebrating faith festivals. These are just a few ways you can show your team that your business cares about them and supports them caring for themselves.

6. Don’t delay!
Your company culture already exists and will continue to evolve regardless of your direct input. The only way to replace entrenched workplace behaviours and attitudes – of which employees may not be consciously aware – is to seize the initiative.

Get your team onboard from day one. Foster that sense of community, incorporating trust, mutual respect, and appreciation. And then live that culture. Proudly share your values on your website, in your recruitment process, and on a banner in reception. The sooner you take this initiative, the sooner you, your team, and your organisation can start enjoying the benefits.

Company culture is a vast topic. A 400-word blog barely scratches the surface of the surface! The team at Pathfinder Solutions would welcome the chance to support you as you nurture your company culture, ensuring that it is woven effectively into your overall business strategy.

About Pathfinder Solutions

Pathfinder Solutions advisory team members have either owned or managed businesses, or are investors themselves, so we know first-hand the challenges you face in your world.

Sure we’re Accountants, but the best solutions in business come from focusing on more than just the numbers. Our real-world business experience delivers just that.

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