The Role of Corporate Culture in Small Business

By Robert Half July 28, 2016 at 4:00pm

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 behaviors. 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, policy compliance 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 the United States and Canada are evolving to meet new challenges in today's business environment.

Get the Report

Robert Half Small and Midsize Business Resource Center: See this site for resources that can help your small or midsize business to recruit, retain and motivate employees.

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

4 Good Reasons to Use a Small Business Consultant: Read this post to find out just some of the ways that small business consultants can create value for your small business.

How Project Consultants Can Turn Your Business Problems Into Wins – 3 Case Studies: See this post to learn how interim management and project consultants from Robert Half Management Resources have helped employers handle specific business initiatives and improve their bottom line.

Looking to hire a consultant with specialized skills for your small business? Contact us.

Call us at 1.866.568.5367

This post was originally published in June 2014 and has been updated to reflect more current information.

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