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What makes a business culture?
The word culture has diverse meanings. For example, culture is defined as having a taste for fine arts, but the more common definition of culture is how a group of people behaves, interacts, and socializes with each other. Similarly, business culture is conceived as how the people working in a business go about conducting and managing the business, how they interact with each other, and with their customers and suppliers defining their business culture.
Family owned businesses generally operate on the same values and principles that are adopted and followed by the family. As businesses have evolved and grown and some have expanded into multi-nationals, they have had to form a business culture that is a mix of home grown and foreign cultures.
However, every business has its own business culture and this culture is vastly dependent on how the business owners want to operate. A business culture evolves from a set of assumptions that has helped the business to gain a foothold in the market.
These assumptions are then converted into work ethics and they form the backbone of the values on which the business will operate in future. How to interact with each other, how to interact with customers, and what rules of business to follow, all form the basic business culture that a business follows.
Every new hire is introduced to the firm’s business culture. They are told the processes and procedures that they are supposed to follow while they are at the workplace. They are told about the history of the business and how it evolved. This is done to help them understand how to conduct themselves and perform well while following the business culture.
Some businesses have a very strict pecking order, whereas others are more informal in their work environment. The business culture that a firm adopts depends largely on how the owners feel they can get the best out of their employees while keeping their customers happy.
Business culture has to adapt and change as the challenges and the business scenarios keep changing and evolving. A business culture that was followed yesterday may not be applicable today. To remain a viable business, the business owners have to be open to change and adapt to the changing environment. The business culture of an organization has to appeal to all the employees in the organization, and they should be eager to adopt it and follow it. Any discrimination in the business culture of an organization discourages people from wanting to work for it.
Developing a business culture takes time and evolves over time. However, the direction it must adapt to is defined at the conception of the business. The more employees feel that they are part of an extended family and are well looked after and have a clearly defined career path, the more enthusiastic they will be about giving their best to the organization. People prefer to build their careers in organizations that have a caring and friendly business culture as opposed to working in a firm where they have to remain in constant fear of retaining their jobs.