Is your business happy?

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Are you aware of the emotional culture in your business?

Is your business happy?

Every community has a particular way of doing things that over time becomes recognised as its culture. Like any other community, your business will have developed a culture of its own. The culture might have developed organically as the business grew or it perhaps it was carefully planned and implemented. However it occurred, observing the culture reveals a great deal about your business.

The culture determines how the people in the business think and behave. And this determines how they are feeling and ultimately impacts on how they perform. In other words, your business culture influences the way your people behave every day. A recent BBC Watch Dog programme filmed employees of a delivery company behaving with little care or respect for the parcels they were sorting. This resulted in too many missing parcels, late deliveries and damaged goods, hardly surprising that the company experienced a significant number of customer complaints.

Observing the way people behave gives a good idea of the existing culture in the business, but that won’t necessarily change anything. Behaviour is a symptom of the emotional culture in the business. The emotional culture is about how everyone is feeling at work; particular feelings lead to particular behaviours. Identifying the behavioural culture is easy because behaviours can be observed. Emotional culture is trickier because cues like body language and facial expressions are subtler. They are more easily overlooked or ignored, especially in the workplace where traditionally there is no place for the expression of emotions. Looking out for emotional cues and talking openly to people will give you a clue to how they are feeling and will identify what may not be going so well in the business.

When people are happy, motivated, and supported, they will be more inclined to make every day at work a good day. On the flip side, unhappy or aggrieved people will be motivated for little more than just turning and getting through the day as quickly as possible. Don’t waste the potential of your most valuable asset, your people. Find out how they are feeling and be aware of how your influence may be creating and sustaining the culture at work.


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