Changing business culture takes time

Changing business culture takes time

Agribusiness
CORE FOCUS: There are businesses that very purposely work on their culture, and there are others that seem to get this right, almost by osmosis.

CORE FOCUS: There are businesses that very purposely work on their culture, and there are others that seem to get this right, almost by osmosis.

Aa

A positive culture in any business will normally lead to success, but, in contrast, a negative culture can be quite toxic.

Aa

A positive culture in any business will normally lead to success.

In contrast, a negative culture can be quite toxic.

Someone who runs a business with two or more people has the opportunity to influence the culture within their business.

This is generally not a conscious decision, and it evolves through time. Some businesses are blissfully unaware of their culture, while others are acutely aware. For the long-term health of the business, it's best to be in the second camp.

A business with a poor culture normally has high staff turnover. There are lots of reasons that people leave employment, and every case is different, so it is difficult to categorically say a business has specific issues.

Related reading:Long-term plan helps businesses thrive

But if a business has a high staff turnover and the same issues come up time and time again, it may be an opportunity for the business owner to have a look in the mirror, and ask themselves whether they are the problem.

Self reflection is not easy, as we all have egos, and at times it is not easy to accept that we are the problem.

It's a good question to ask ourselves though, and even presents an opportunity to get some feedback from someone else who you know won't sugar coat their answers. If you are prepared to ask for honest feedback, it usually means you are ready to hear the answer.

Culture is inevitably driven from the top. There are businesses that very purposely work on their culture, and there are others that seem to get this right, almost by osmosis.

For businesses that recognise they have a poor culture, it can be turned around with conscious effort. It can be done, but it may take a bit of time. This is particularly the case if staff members who are used to operating a certain way are resistant - sometimes old habits are hard to break.

Related reading:Performance review key to achieving goals

Everyone needs to buy in to the new way of doing things. It will never work if you have different rules for certain people within the business.

I have seen resentment when a new direction is set by the business owner, but they choose not to follow their own advice. This is a sure recipe for disaster.

It can be difficult to get the new culture permeating throughout the entire business. It normally depends on whether the business operates in silos, or whether it's more integrated. For very large organisations, it's harder for culture to flow through the entire business.

I have seen some very large organisations where the chief executive officer preaches a good culture - they are probably very genuine with this intent - but at the coalface teams are managed with a culture of fear. A leadership style of divide and conquer will never work, and normally ends with the best staff leaving.

In contrast, a business with a good culture will find that once the momentum builds up, vast rewards will almost certainly follow.

Start the day with all the big news in agriculture. Click here to sign up to receive our daily Stock Journal newsletter.

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by