A recent study on The Culture Economy asked 500 SME senior decision makers if they believed workplace culture impacts positively on company performance. Of the 500 participants, 72 percent believed company culture does have a positive impact on business performance.

This figure only increases as companies grow. This makes sense, because most small businesses put most of their focus on resolving day-to-day challenges. Because of this, it can be rare for leaders to find the time to learn about best practice when it comes to growing a good company culture.

Unfortunately, this does not benefit them. Rich company cultures and commitments to employee happiness both have a direct relationship with shareholder returns. Culture-conscious companies rise above industry benchmarks and they out-earn and outperform their competition. Why?

Lower Employee Absenteeism

Sometimes employees stay home for the day because they’re just not in love with what they do or who they do it with. Step one for boosting your bottom line with an investment in company culture is simply putting yourself in somebody else’s shoes. Ask yourself, “Would you look forward to working in this environment?”

Less Costly Turnover

If you’ve made your employees happier and more confident about coming to work in the morning, chances are good you’ve also encouraged them to invest their talent in your company over the long run.

Less Management Required

Company culture is about more than celebrating employee birthdays — it’s also about instilling positive qualities in each team member. A healthy culture is one that encourages employees to be driven, motivated and amenable to self-sufficiency whenever possible. The result is a company that actually requires less management from you.

Environment and Morale

At the risk of sounding vain, the degree to which we find our environment appealing and attractive has a considerable impact on our states of mind. Environments that promote excess noise or stress, or which don’t take privacy seriously, are a quick way to compromise productivity — and in turn your bottom line.

Appearance Is Everything 

Presenting your business in a professional, well thought out way can improve overall employee pride and productivity. This is why it is worth spending time on your brand. Colourful posters, custom wallpaper, chiq display stands – these are all elements that instill a sense of pride in your employees.

Commitments to Improvement 

Suggestions in branded suggestion boxes, constructive criticism, and a focus on solutions – this is an attitude that will filter down into your employees and at the end of the day have a positive effect on productivity and results.

Head of Human Developments at Printulu, Leandi Grimsell, explains. “A good company culture contributes to the happiness, wellness and satisfaction of its employees, which in turn has a positive impact on a company’s growth. This is purely because your employees would not want to leave. Positive employees result in more staff referrals in terms of Recruitment and Selection, as the employees becomes ambassadors for your organisation.” The higher your amount of impressive staff referrals, the quicker you can scale up your company.

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HR has a vital role in perpetuating a strong culture, starting with recruiting and selecting applicants who will share the organization’s beliefs and thrive in that culture.

Although we believe there’s more to company culture than your physical environment, it’s still an important component to a strong, thriving culture. In fact, we talk about it in our three pillars of a strong organization culture. It’s important to create a space that reflects your values and brand.

And yet, our recent company culture research found that only 53% of companies said their physical space – including design, decor and layout – reflects their brand. And for weak culture companies it was even lower at 24%.  

Clearly, this is an area where many organisations have work to do.

 

Where do you start?

Be true to yourself.

Every organization has a distinct personality, whether intentional or accidental. Clarify the purpose of your organization — how do you distill it into a set of values you’d like employees to embrace? 

Practice what you preach.

If your company markets active wear with marketing campaigns emphasizing joy and fun, it doesn’t make sense to outfit the office in beige. Instead, you’d probably want a contemporary look and feel, with brighter colors and built-in features that inspire movement.

Keep the workplace up to date as your business grows.

It happens all the time: a company invests in a great workplace for its particular workforce and it works very well. Five or 10 years later, the design looks dated and implies the company has stopped moving forward. Need to update your marketing material? Check out this complete checklist for your business stationery essentials

Include workplace tools and services.

How easy or difficult will it be to actually work in the space? You’d be surprised how often companies neglect to include tools that their employees can use. Here’s a few you need to start off with:

 

The fact is, office design and workplace practices speak volumes about a company’s brand proposition. Done well, everything from wall color, furnishings, office layout and artwork to employee services and technology tools will express corporate culture and inspire organizational performance.

POP display tools that work

 

What does colour say about your space?

Green

This color causes the least amount of strain on the eyes and is also associated with nature, which is calming. Green is also a good colour choice for people who sit in front of their computer screens for long periods of time. A great way to incorporate green into your work space is to add some indoor plants that add a touch of life and greenery — bring nature to you.

Blue

This is another color that has a calming effect and is also associated with nature. It’s also representative of being stable, and studies suggest that men wear this colour on dates because women prefer stable men.

Green and blue are also associated with improved efficiency and focus in a workplace setting.

Red

The colour of love is also the one that is most associated with a sense of urgency, high-energy levels, and an elevated heart rate. Red should be used sparingly in an office setting because of its intense effects. In this case, too much of a good thing can backfire and result in anxious, high-stress employees who may become irritable and angry after a while. For this reason, keep the crimson accents in areas of the office where employees don’t spend too much time, like hallways, bathrooms, or the break room.

Yellow

Want more cheerful employees? Use yellow around the office. Mellow yellow is a great hue of choice if you want to create a cheerful, positive, and friendly environment to work. According to Entrepreneur, “It is believed to trigger innovation and is best used in work environments where artists, writers, designers, developers and other creative professionals work.”

How does this affect your customers?

Leandi Grimsell, Head of Human Development at Printulu, explains, “Imagine. You are in an e-commerce clothing store looking for a dress, but through AI technology the experience becomes more than just buying that dress. With pop-ups recommending shoes and accessories to complete your look, you will be influenced to buy more. Spend more.” Not to mention – using happy colours and creative, strong branding visuals around your shop means happier clients that feel at home.

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