Maintaining Control of the Small Business Workplace Culture



Creating Your Preferred Workplace Culture

  1. Clarify the top 3-5 business culture elements that are important to you. You may strive to be great at everything but at any given time you may want to select those 3-5 elements you want to deliver first and foremost. Part of this clarity is not only what you want to deliver but how. Communicating this message to employees can help you set your cultural tone.
  2. Identify the people in your workplace who exemplify the culture you want to build. Praise and promote these people and let them know just what traits they hold that you want others to emulate
  3. Be present, pay attention and let everyone know you are paying attention. The best way to stay ahead of cultural erosion is to be there to shore up the elements you value. Repeating and living your own values helps communicate them throughout the organization

What Can A Leader Do To Minimize the Impact of Dominant Friendships?

If you notice that employees seem to be spending too much time together behind closed doors or speaking in whispers or even chatting openly, generally or about personal matters, address the issues of productivity. Distracted employees are less productive. As a manager do not begin by addressing the issue of a friendship but instead address the issue of productivity. Speak to the employees separately say you believe their productivity may be slipping and ask what they believe is impacting their workplace performance. If necessary indicate your observation is that they are spending too much time socializing and not enough time at work.

If negativity, gossip or favoritism is beginning to dominate the workplace you may need to take control of the culture by discussing with your employees the role of boundaries in the workplace. Pointing out workplace expectations for behaviour and company culture is good first step. Separating the two employees in terms of hours, location, projects may be necessary to minimize their influence.

Individually you may have a great employee who plays a positive and productive role in your organization but sometimes when two people come together something shifts and you lose their individual contributions.

Your culture can benefit as a result of positive relationships and even friendships among co-workers. People need emotional support and a feeling that someone has their back and workplace friendships can contribute to this culture. Encouraging healthy workplace collaboration can increase engagement and productivity and benefit your workplace culture. As the leader of a business it is important to stay on top of who is having the dominant influence on the workplace culture you want to establish and grow. If you want to set the tone or cultivate a certain culture then be certain you are paying attention.

Related articles: 

What I Learned Trying Different Management Styles

6 Strategies for Motivating Employees

5 Steps To Manage Conflict of Interest Scenarios

Tara Orchard
Tara Orchard
Tara Orchard is a coach, trainer, consultant and writer who applies her insights into people and Masters training in psychology to facilitate performance improvements, relationships and communication for people and businesses. She has worked with organizations to deliver clarity on culture and brand, develop their people and manage relationships with social network communities. Over the past 18 years she has consulted with 1000's of people who want to make effective transitions in their lives. Tara has a knack for hearing what people are thinking and helping them see what they need to see. She is the founder of her own career and social network coaching business, works with several other organizations as a coach and consultant and is about to complete her first book on the "psychology of effective social networking".

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