The right culture is not a luxury, but a necessity for a successful business. It is widely agreed that a healthy work culture leads to satisfied employees and increased productivity. The most recent BRC Global Standard touches on culture in the first standard, which focuses on senior management commitment and continual improvement.
Senior management will often set the tone of the workplace culture, and are incredibly influential. It is not a matter of having the right mission statement on the reception wall, or sending out a few emails now and again. As BRC-V8 acknowledges, a continuous effort is needed. This is not a box-ticking exercise.
Basically, if you have the right culture this will support your business succeess; whereas the wrong culture is a significant hindrance.
What is work culture?
We could quote a number of reputable sources on this. Dr Pragwa Agarwal, on Forbes, describes workplace culture as “the shared values, belief systems, attitudes and the set of assumptions that people in a workplace share”.
In my experience, workplace culture is:
So, if the boss is not around, are people cutting corners and trying to get things done as quickly as they can, with little attention to quality? Or are they working steadily, taking pride in their work, making sure each product is just right? Do they tell their friends that work is somewhere where they are bullied, underpaid, and not valued? Or do they talk about work as a place where their views matter, and they are not just a number?
How does culture impact business success?
You cannot supervise your staff every minute of every day. So if you have a poor workplace culture, the minute you go and make a coffee, standards will drop. And while you may have a rigorous quality system to ensure standards, you will have too many items at the cusp of rejection. Finally, you will spend … actually, waste … too much time sorting out problems arising from a poor workplace culture … instead of focussing on developing the business.
In a business with the right culture, employees will strive to prevent problems, and find solutions when they occur … in a business with a poor culture, employees will create problems that you need to solve yourself.
So what can you do?
If you have faith in your recruitment process (and you should, you designed it!), then have faith in your employees. Give them space to express their views on the business. Listen – you don’t have to agree, but give feedback. And get to know them. They are the building blocks of your business after all!
Take pride in what you do! Believe in the product you make, the processes you follow, the relationships you have with your customers. If you’re in it just for the money or the glory … it’s hardly surprising that your staff just come to work for the paycheck.
We are very proud to be working on a gap analysis for BRC-V8. Get in touch for more details as to how this can help your business.