How a Positive Workplace Culture Fuels Small Business Success
Every business is powered by people. They’re the one's building, leading and growing the business towards its end goal and ultimately, driving it towards success.
That’s why positive workplace culture is so important in business. Because in order to create a successful company, you need to look after the people who are working together to make it happen. A positive culture in the workplace leads to happier, more motivated employees who collaborate more efficiently, which results in better productivity, efficiency, and performance.
But culture isn’t just for big companies employing hundreds of people.
Regardless of the size of your business, your culture affects everyone who interacts with your brand, including clients, prospects, suppliers, investors, and your workforce.
So, how do you build a positive culture that shines through your company?
Alan Kohll, a corporate wellbeing expert, recommends using your current culture as a base point. Start by asking employees what they do and don’t like about their current work environment, and then try some of Kohll’s suggestions to help build your culture gradually:
- Emphasis on employee wellness. Help your employees to feel their best by providing resources and tools for a healthier lifestyle. For instance, consider providing ergonomic office furniture, sit-stand desks, healthy eating options, work flexibility and, if appropriate, perks such as access to fitness classes or gym memberships.
- Create goals. Kohll notes, “No organization can have corporate culture without clear goals in place.” He recommends spending time with your team to create goals and objectives that each person can work towards, along with wider company goals that everyone targets together - to provide purpose, meaning, and team cohesion.
- Foster social connections. Humans are social animals. It’s important to foster strong workplace relationships; without it, business owners and employees spend too much time alone, which can be damaging to morale and confidence. Kohll recommends providing regular opportunities for social interactions at work, to enable a strong culture to flourish.
Social Engagement at UBC
In addition to helping companies create a positive culture, a social environment helps entrepreneurs build connections and learn from others, which is particularly important for those working alone or in small teams.
That’s why at UBC, our centre teams work hard to create a supportive, community-focused environment for the business owners and teams based in our office centres.
We always encourage our clients to get together and we facilitate this by running regular events at each centre. All of these events have a purpose, such as networking events to help clients create business connections or business workshops to learn new skills for growth.
Many events are focused around charity fundraising. The main purpose is, of course, to raise money for good causes - in 2019 we’re fundraising for mental health charity Mind along with other local causes. But the activities and events we organise serve a secondary purpose - to bring people together to talk, get to know each other, and make good business connections.
The driving force behind every social workplace at UBC is our team of Centre Managers and Centre Assistants. They take care of the day to day running of the centre as well as supporting their clients.
Sometimes that support comes in the form of answering calls, greeting visitors or setting up equipment ready for meetings. Most of the time, it’s about being there and doing whatever is needed to help the client overcome challenges or roadblocks.
“She reassured me that I could do this”
Case in point, one of our clients at Rutherford House in Birchwood, Warrington, recently faced a few challenges setting up a new business, and UBC’s Sam Snelson was only too happy to help.
“From the outset, Sam spent the time to understand how my business worked; this wasn’t done from a social point of view but a genuine desire to understand,” said Sharon at Connexus.
“As such, I find myself actually smiling when I now reminisce over some of the situations within which she has, for want of a better expression, ‘bailed me out!’”
Among these situations, Sam helped to work out the layout and desks in Sharon’s new office space, install software onto her computer (“as I would consider myself a Luddite”); and ensure the room was painted on a Saturday morning because Sharon had an important meeting the following Monday.
“She was boarding her flight to go away for the weekend with a group of friends, and still took calls from reception and her wonderful team to help people in the office - including myself.”
But Sharon’s most prominent memory was in the early stages of her new franchising business when she “had a wobble” regarding a franchise agreement. After helping Sharon break down the clauses to make them more understandable, Sam “bundled me back into my office, gave me a stiff pep talk and reassured me that I could do this.”
This all happened last year, and Sharon continues to run her successful franchising business from Rutherford House, with Sam on-hand to offer help and support whenever needed.
In Sharon’s words, “Sam embodies a company culture that believes outstanding is just something they do every day.”