The Role of Corporate Culture in Small Business

By Robert Half on November 3, 2016 at 9:00pm

Every small business, even those with only a handful of employees, can benefit from cultivating a corporate culture that keeps people engaged and productive while improving business performance.

However, creating a great corporate culture isn’t the type of project that can be accomplished within a specific time period. 

Small business leaders need to consciously plant seeds and put in consistent effort. Over time, these efforts can help to foster the habits and values they want their staff to embrace.

Corporate culture can make your business stronger

Corporate culture should convey how the business sets expectations and rewards desired behaviours. These definitions can be established within a mission statement, the business goals, the brand strategy and even a company logo.

Across all departments, from accounting and finance to operations, sales and marketing, corporate culture plays a vital role in the success of a small business. Corporate culture can have a direct impact on hiring, employee retention, collaboration and communication, as well as the effectiveness of change management.

Maintaining a positive, vibrant working climate can help small businesses to weather economic downturns, staffing and technology changes, and shifts in the marketplace.

It's about more than just sharing the vision

One way that small business leaders can help maintain a positive corporate culture is by including all members of the company when communicating short- and long-term company goals. Employees who clearly understand their company’s strategic objectives will be more motivated to help the company achieve them.

Managers should go beyond simply sharing the vision, however. They also need to show their workers how their contributions support efforts to reach organizational goals. Even startups and other fast-growing businesses still refining their vision should communicate their initial business objectives to employees, and continually update staff members on progress toward achieving those goals.

This strategy can also help to improve retention: When employees understand how they specifically make a difference in the organization, they are more likely to feel valued.

More resources for small business leaders

Benchmarking the Accounting & Finance Function: Download the latest survey report from Robert Half and the Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF) for insights on how accounting and finance organizations at companies, large and small, in Canada and the United States are evolving to meet new challenges in today's business environment.

Robert Half Management Resources Salary Centre: Visit our Salary Centre to download a copy of our latest Salary Guide for accounting and finance industry and get up-to-date information on hiring trends.

Demand for Skilled Talent: This report is a collection of the latest research, including data from Statistics Canada, to help shed light on the hiring environment and talent shortage, and why hiring managers need to move quickly in their recruiting efforts.


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