CULTURE AND WHY IT'S CRITICAL TO BUSINESS SUCCESS

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EPISODE 50

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ABOUT THE SHOW

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Business Culture is one of the most important elements to business success. Yet it ’s so rarely discussed, mentioned or identified.

Business owners spend countless dollars & resources on marketing and growing sales to attract new customers. Yet often fall down on the promise once the customer is in the door.

Business Culture is the glue that keeps your team happy and feeling the love for your organisation. It’s the glue that keeps your customers coming back and loving your brand.

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

Dash
  • What exactly is business culture
  • Why it is critical to your business success
  • When you have happy, valued team members they are happy to show up and serve your customers.
  • Action you can take to identify and improve the culture in your business.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Dash

Jason: You’re on episode fifty of the Business Made Easy podcast. Let’s do this, Mia.
Mia: You’re on the Business Made Easy podcast where make business easy. Here’s your
host, Jason Skinner.
Jason: G’day. G’day and welcome to the Business Made Easy podcast where we make
business easy. Jason Skinner, your host here for another week of the podcast that is all
about growing your business, growing your bottom line and having a better life as a
result.
Thank you so much for joining me. I’m glad you’re here with me. We have got a great
episode today. We are going to — I’m gonna share with you some lessons that I learned
on a recent excursion with my wife. We were out on a ‘date day’ and I love to observe —
and no, it doesn’t sound very romantic by learning lessons on a date day, but that’s how
we roll and uh, I just have — I can’t help myself and I observe these things in business. I
just want to tell people about them and share, share what not to do and also what to do
but uh, yeah, just I see these things and, and I see people going — as you know when you
go into business it’s a big investment and it’s a lot of work and a lot of stress and when I
— if we can share these things and learn from them and make sure we don’t make the
same mistakes in our business then I really think um, then yeah, it’s worth sharing
them.
So that’s why I’m sharing these lessons with you today but before I do, let me just
remind you of our free Facebook group. If you haven’t yet joined over at business
madeeasypodcast.com/community, we have a great group of people over there all
sharing ideas. All, in different businesses and um, it’s, it’s a fantastic diversity of
businesses that we’re getting in the group. I really love the community over there. So
check it out at businessmadeeasypodcast.com/community and uh, I’ll be there to
welcome you into the group and make sure you get to know everyone from there.
Alrighty, let’s get into today’s episode as it is just a solo episode today because every
month, just wanted to share with you some I guess important things that
(2:00)
often get overlooked in business. And it — to, to give you the story — and again I’m not
complaining here, this is not whinging — it’s, this is — these are lessons that I want you
to learn and be able to implement in your business and well, things that — I’ll tell you
the story first.
We went to a well-known um, family theme park um, here in, in Queensland and uh, it
was a, a spontaneous sort of thing. My wife and I were driving, we were driving up
north and we’re going to have lunch uh, somewhere. So we decided uh, along the way,
let’s dock into this theme park. Now, I’m not gonna mention the name because I don’t
really wanna rubbish them. But I wanted — it’s the lesson that I want to uh, I wanna
share with you. So we went to this theme park and it was fantastic, like it really was. It
was — the the gardens, everything was done so well and, and, and I happened to know
just the– the story behind the starting of, this, this park and how it all, all got started
and um, it was quite interesting.
And anyway, there’s a lot of passion behind it. I could see that you know, you could tell
that, that they– they’ve put a lot of work into their gardens and as I’ve said the gardens
and all the um, attraction etc, were really well done. However, there was something
missing and just during the course of the day, it was lacking um, personality, I guess. It
was lacking shine and polish and when — the more and more we experienced um, the
park during the day, uh, particularly, at lunchtime where we went to get some lunch, we
really felt the lack of uh, personality and um, love if you like, uh, in the, in the actual
business. Now, I’m sure that the owners loved the business you know and I’m sure, I’m
sure they’re passionate about the business. I know they are actually and um, you know,
it’s, it’s — but there was something missing and it was missing in the staff. And
(4:00)
when — this is where, where people overlooked things in business — it’s, each business
has a culture about it and it’s, it’s a living culture and it doesn’t get discussed very often.
I don’t think it gets discussed enough but the culture in the business is imperative to be
right and it’s very, very hard to get right. It’s not something that you can just do
overnight. It’s not something that you just, you know, employ someone and, and, and it
just magically happens. It takes time and it takes time because it’s the human
connection that is evolving.
The culture that’s evolving within your organization as you employ more and more
staff. Now if you think of a theme park, they have a lot of stuff. So it’s imperative that
the underlying culture that are, that are supporting uh, or, or is interacting within, with
the, in between the staff and the organization is um, healthy and, and in, in alignment, in
alignment with um, with the passion of the business owners and the, and the, brand
and, and what it is that you’re trying to achieve.
Now, if it’s uh, if it’s uh, — well, using the theme park, it’s a great example — if we look at
a theme park, a theme park is a happy, fun place. It’s a, it’s an attraction. You want
families to come. You want, you know — and they, they’ve done everything on the
surface beautifully. Everything was in good condition like the buildings and parks and
gardens. Everything was well-maintained and great. The signage was, you know, really
nicely done. But that’s the– the physical side of things but the culture within the
organization seemed to be lacking and, and an example of this is when we went to get
lunch. Um, my wife walked up to this beautiful big, you know, food eatery area to, to uh,
— and I’m sure in busy seasons and because it quite an — uh, it wouldn’t be a peak
season at the moment, but I’m sure in the busy season, it gets quite full but the– the
people, the staff behind the counters had no life in them.
They were — they didn’t — it was like they didn’t want to help you. Um, it was like they
didn’t want to serve your lunch. Um, my wife walked up to the window to ask for, for a
particular uh, item for lunch and you know, was more or less met with uh, — I don’t
wanna give you any of those kind of like you know, the– the blank look unhelpful sort
of attitude and language coming from the staff.
Now, that didn’t flows on to, so we went to the next person. We, we got our, we got our
order but the food came out just average. And then you go over to the, to the other
area to get uh, cutlery and, and that sort of thing and sauce etc and you know, it’s dirty
and not full. Uh, you know and then you go to the next thing and you talk to or you see
the staff walking around and they’re mopping and you know, they’re, they’re not really
on and alert etc.
So this is what I mean by culture. You can have the best business, looking business in
the world, you can have the best um, systems and products and branding and
marketing and all those things but if the underlying culture within your organization is
not healthy and not in alignment with your branding and what you’re trying to achieve,
then your customers gonna feel that because everything looks good on the surface but
people deal with people. They don’t deal with businesses, okay? That’s what I want you
to remember. People deal with people. So when your customer comes in, yes they
might deal with the owner and everything’s in alignment. Everything is great but if the
owner’s not there, then they’re going to be dealing with your staff. And if they’re
dealing with your staff, you wanna make sure that staff member
(8:00)
and those team members are in alignment with, with what your brand and what, what
the owner would do as well because if you get um, you know, I’m sure we’ve all been to
a business before where you go to uh, you experience one thing when you go the first
time and then you go — you love the place and you love dealing with the owner, etc and
then you go back the next time and it’s not quite the same.
They didn’t, you know, they didn’t give you that side of fries or they didn’t give you
whatever it is that, that they did last time or that value ad that they did last time. It
lacked that polish. So you know, the food and the, and the um, um, product, etc might
still be the same or, or not quite as good whatever but if, if the staff culture, you can feel
it in the organization, if it’s good and healthy then you, you, you feel that. You know, you
overlook minor things.
The other thing is with the staff culture, the team culture, if it’s healthy then, then if
the owner is not looking the staff are still doing what they should be doing. The staff
still serving in the way that they should be serving or you want them to serve in your
business. And this is the difference between having a motivated staff or team uh, if it —
and an empowered team. A motivated team means that you’re there pushing them
along and whenever you’re there, you know they’re motivated to — because they’re
motivated by pressure really. I mean they’re motivated by you uh, being there. Um, fear
of losing their job, getting in trouble. Uh, not getting that next pay raise. All those things
can be motivators for, for a person in uh, in an organization. But when you have an
empowered person, they go above and beyond. They want to, they want to grow the
business for you even if you are not there it’s like it’s their own business. It’s like they
want to work together as a
(10:00)
— you know they’re empowered to, to uh, take charge and really grow the, grow the
organization.
And in this uh, example with the attraction that we were at, you know, the park where
at, um, if those staff, if that culture was healthy and vibrant, those staff would be seeing
the brand and displaying the brand everywhere and um, you know, the– the utensil
area, the cutlery area would be spotless. Uh, the walk — the– the staff walking from
one location to the other, they’d be upbeat, happy and sharing a bit, sharing the brand.
And this is what we’ve gotta get to in our, in our businesses. It’s really, really hard to do
and um, but it can be done and, and it comes down, I believe to a few things.
One of the big ones is communication. Um, you have to be communicating with your uh,
team and setting clear expectations of what is expected all the time. And, and, and that
is continual uh, refinement. The longer the staff have been with you, oh that’s great but
you need to be able to uh, keep it, keep them refreshed and keep them in line with your
brand and, and what it is that you expect. So that’s regular communication. This is how
we do it here. This is the way.
Procedures, set procedures have gotta be in place. You’ve got to have control
mechanisms in place that uh, facilitate that staff member being able to uh, to do their
job in a fool proof sort of manner that, um, you know, they, they don’t have to
remember. They just follow the system and then I guess it takes a lot of the guesswork
out for, out for them. Now, a little bit of a this — caveat on procedures and systems.
What I’m talking about here, uh, personalities. Like personal skills and you can run the
risk with procedures in things where you, um, you just have procedures in place but you
don’t have the culture right and
(12:00)
what happens there is that things get done, yeah, they get done. Like the– the park
we’re at, it look good. The gardens were done you know? The toilets are clean, etc but
the personalities weren’t there and the, and the culture wasn’t right. So just be careful
with procedures; they do help you to get uh, your culture out. They do help you, your
team to do a better job and do it consistently and, and, and thoroughly and accurately
but you still would have — it’s only a, an assistance to helping with the culture. It’s not
gonna be the bail leading to legacy, is what I’m saying there.
The other thing to help you with your culture within your organization is to put in place
measurable metrics or key performance indicators that your staff can actually or team
can measure their uh, progress and their performance against. For instance, uh, you
know, in a, in a theme park or attraction type uh, business, uh, a key metric might be
customer satisfaction rates. So you might have a metric in place that measures
customer satisfaction. You might have a metric in place that measures cleanliness of
the– the work area, um, in terms of the– the food area. Uh, you might have a metric in
place that measures the, you know, the beans that, that constant, you know, the
cleanliness of the beans. So your supervising team or, or you know these things in place
that you can check that those key things are being done. And that helps the staff to I
guess, measure how they’re going and you can tell all sort of performance, goals and
things, um, rewards etc, back to this metric as well when they’re in place.
So I mean these are really important things because you really need to be able to leave
your business and know that the team that, the team that are there are doing things
the way that you want them to be done and the way they should be done in line with
your brand and what you’re all about. And that’s the — that is that if you can master this
(14:00)
and the better you can get at it, the more time you can sort of let go of the rains. And
you don’t have to have as much stress in your life and, and as many customer
complaints and all those sort of things. So really, really important area, the culture of
the organization and it’s important to identify as a living thing. It’s con — it’s continually
moving. It’s continually changing because when you bring — the culture’s made up of all
the personalities within the business — so when you bring in a new team member, that
dynamic changes.
And I’ve — look, we’ve experienced that ourselves in our own business when we, we
have all the staff all seemed to be in aligned and everyone’s going really well and we
start to grow. And then you have a new team member come in who seemingly ticks all
the boxes and everything looks great but when that person comes in all of a sudden it’s
like putting a drop of oil in a jar of water. And uh, yeah, basically just um, changes the
whole dynamic of the culture and you need to then identify that, that change quite
quickly and, and work on it to, to bring back into alignment.
So that, that had, that all had us together again and, and on track. And it’s one of the
biggest, biggest problems I found in business and I know a lot of people do struggle
with this. It’s actually building a team that works together and but you’ve gotta get that
culture right and I guess think of it as the culture of the organization. How do you want
it to be that living culture uh, when you’re not there
what, what, what are those, those team members doing and, and how are they doing it
and you want them to be aligned? Now, on the case of uh, my attraction story that I
was, I was telling you about, the owners weren’t there. They couldn’t be there and, and
they, they couldn’t be walking around. The place is quite huge now. So really you need
to come down to next level of management and, and, and that’s where the owners
really need to, I think, work on and, and get the uh, the management team in alignment
so that, that can
(16:00)
filter down to the next layer and the next layer from here. So, that’s, that’s something to
keep in mind too as you grow. You can’t be everywhere and you can’t be doing all things
and keeping an eye on everyone. And I think you know, you employ staff and you
employ team members to help make your life easier and help make your business
easier. And I think when you look at, um, think of it in terms of the culture of your, of
your organization then, then I think you’re gonna have um, and see that as a living
thing. I think that’s gonna make it, make it easier to, to bring that team together and,
and I guess, all be on the same page. Yeah, we just quickly — while I think of it too, the
other thing that can bring that culture together is sort of team um, team planning days
and so we get when you, you get together with your team and plan, let them have some
bind into, into the organizations and let them have some uh, input into the way things
are, are done. The way systems are built and things like that. So rather than you’re just
building them and saying,”Hey, do this.” So you’re just delegating it. If you have this sort
of more inclusive model where you’re, including your staff in the, in the uh,
decision-making and the, and the systems, etc they feel ownership and part of it as well.
And the other one is team bonding days where you get the team together and go and
do uh, an obstacle course or get the team together and go and do uh, a, a, rock climb or
mountain climb or something that’s a bit challenging and you have to work together as
a team to get through it, and just builds up bonds and breaks down a lot of barriers. I
know, um, you know when you get to know your other team members, etc, — I’ve
worked in organizations before — when you do get to know your team members and
what they’re all about, etc and, and you know they’re not as grumpy as they, they seem
at work or you know, they don’t seem this way outside of work, whatever way that is. It
does make a difference and it can help break down barriers and it help, can help build
that culture as well. So that’s another, another good way to, to do that and another
good way is, uh, to,
(18:00)
you know, have your team, uh, take your team on important um, jobs with you. So you
know, depending on your business that you’re in, you know you might include your uh,
if you’re going to see a particular customer or there’s uh, you know, bring one of the
other team members in on that uh, meeting or that discussion with the, with the
customer so they feel a part of it. They see how you do it and they see — and this can be
any business that you’re in you know? It could be just having a small um, hairdressing
business. Uh, if it’s a small hairdressing business, you know, get the junior staff that’s
normally sweeping the floors. Get them to come and um, meet one of your great
customers and just introduce them as, as a valued person of your team and that can
help build their cultures as well.
There’s lots and lots of stuff you can do. Lots of ideas and I’m happy to talk further over
in the, in the Facebook group if uh, if that’s of interest to you. So come and join us over
in the, in the Facebook community and we can discuss that further. But yeah, I hope
you get the– the gist of what I’m talking about today. It really is identifying the culture
within your organization.
Ask yourself this question, what is the culture that I currently have in my organization
and is it in align with my brand? And the other question to ask is, what have I now got to
do to, to, to get it back in alignment? So think of your culture is aligning with your brand
around side-by-side together and um, really help to, to build your business uh, and it
makes a big, big difference when you get that right.
Alrighty, that’s all I’ve got time for today and I uh, hope you enjoyed that episode. It was
a great uh — my wife did actually have a great day and uh, it, it was a great experience
but uh, yeah I just identified this thing that was lacking within the um, with, within this
business and, and it was just lacking soul I guess. And that’s that, that’s the culture we
identified so uh, very good. I’m gonna hand you over to Mia but before I do go, if you
have a question that you want answered in business, uh, just anything at all that you
want help
(20:00)
with uh, in your business then please don’t hesitate to just go over to
businessmadeeasypodcast.com and hit the red record button, ask your question, I will
get it and answered on the show and if I answer your question on the show, I’m going to
send a free business made easy, two easy t-shirt which is quite cool. Uh, yeah, they’re,
they’re quite, they’re really nice shirts actually. So yeah, at over
businessmadeeasypodcast.com and hit that red record button, ask your question. I will
get it answered. Until next week, I’m gonna hand you over to Mia and um, I hope you
have a successful week in your business whatever you’re up to and you kick some goals
and uh, move that needle. Here’s to your success. Take us out, Mia.
Mia: Thanks Jason. You’ve been listening to the Business Made Easy podcast, where we
make business easy.

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