BBB: Valuing People Over Profit

BBB Business Tip:

Valuing people over profit means long-term success

Your employees are at the heart of your small business. Every day, they help support your company’s mission and do their part in building its success. However, the most important role your employees have is their role in your company culture. Corporate culture is essential to nearly every aspect of your business’s long-term success, from the quality of the talent you hire, to the loyalty of your customers.

According to a study by Duke University, more than 94% of executives stated that a distinct business culture is important to business success. The same study reported that 84% of employees and 83% of executives believed that engaged and motivated employees were the top factor that contributed to a company’s success. It’s well worth your time to invest in recruiting talented, driven employees who are committed to helping your business thrive and improving your company culture.

What is company culture?

Company culture is an overarching term that encompasses the collective beliefs, values, attitudes, and behaviors of a business. A company’s culture shows through the various interactions between employees and the decisions that they make daily.

To better understand what company culture entails, it’s helpful to break it down into key elements. Some of the most defining aspects of a business’s culture include the following:

  • Leadership style
  • Company mission
  • Goals
  • Expectations
  • Values and ethics

When all of these elements are in harmony, a business is often perceived to have a positive culture. Another common sign of excellent company culture is high employee engagement. Great employees who are eager to help out almost always belong to a culture that actively fosters their growth and success.

How a great company culture contributes to long-term success

If you’re determined to improve your company’s success in the long run, building a better company culture is a great place to start.

Some of the most significant long-term benefits of improving your company culture:

Better talent

When you’re intentional about improving your company culture, others will start paying attention. A business filled with enthusiastic, dedicated employees is sure to capture the attention of outsiders. Once they take note of your thriving community, they’ll naturally want to be a part of it as well. Getting potential job candidates to take an interest in your business is crucial. The more applicants you recruit, the greater chance you will attract highly talented workers to your company.

Higher employee retention

Not only does a better company culture attract more employees, but it also encourages them to stay loyal to your business. Research has shown that 63% of employees who were “always” or “usually” recognized at work considered themselves very unlikely to seek a new job in the next 3-6 months. When you build a stronger company culture, you recognize your employees for what they do, making them less likely to leave your company.

Greater revenue

Better company culture will also help bring in more revenue in the long run. Businesses with highly engaged employees showed 21% more profitability, according to Gallup. These businesses thrive because their employees are happily going above and beyond to satisfy their customers. Additionally, satisfied customers are more likely to recommend your business to friends and family, which directly boosts revenue.

Increased productivity

Your employees benefit directly from their environment. If you create a company culture that supports your workers’ goals, they will be eager to put more effort into their work. Likewise, happy employees tend to show up on time and take fewer days off — engaged employees result in a 40% reduction in absenteeism. The more employees show up every day and give it their all, the higher your daily output will be.

Better reputation

Customers make many of their decisions based on the way they perceive a company. If your business’s culture is strong enough to convince buyers to invest in your products or services, you’ll have a higher chance of earning a positive reputation. This reputation is essential to attracting more customers who can spread the word about your business. Also, you’ll likely see a more significant number of job candidates taking an interest in your organization if you put the work into improving your company culture.

Nourish your business’s success with a better company culture

The long-term success of your business is highly dependent on its culture. By fostering a more supportive work environment for all of your employees, you can help your company grow in many ways. Not only will you have a greater likelihood of attracting the right candidates, but you’ll also attract the interest of new customers. Each of these positive effects can improve your business’s reputation and increase your profit in the long run.

BBB of Southern Piedmont and Western N.C. contributed this article.


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