What makes good business culture?

What makes good business culture?

The job market is saturated by businesses doing the same things you do, so how do you stand out? Getting people into your business is about more than just the job role and salary on offer.

More and more people are looking to join businesses that have a favourable culture, and quite often, will be willing to take a pay cut in order to work somewhere with a culture that’s appealing to them, as well as somewhere they feel they have purpose and can make a difference.

So, how do you define your own business culture and what does that mean in real terms? 

What is a business culture? 

Culture is the foundation of business success. A business culture is the combination of vision statements and values, combined with the harder-to-see norms; behaviours, languages, beliefs and systems, often referred to as the business’s unwritten rules. It’s what the business stands for and what makes each business different. 

Defining your culture and understanding what you want that to be will help ensure you’re attracting the type of people to your team that fit within the culture you’ve created. 

What elements define your business culture?


What are your main business aims? What do you want to achieve? Think about creating a mission statement or elevator pitch for your business that every team member can buy into. If you already have one, make sure you’re reviewing it regularly to ensure it’s still fit for purpose.


What are your business values and what do they say about the way you want people to work? Codifying your values allows potential team members to see at-a-glance exactly what’s important to you. Think about how you work with customers, how you work with each other, and how you want to improve. If you already have values, are they still relevant and are they being lived every day?


It’s easy to let this pass you by, but your team members spend more time at work than they do anywhere else. Creating the right environment can make people happier, and work more effectively. So, think about your workspaces and ask yourself some crucial questions. How do you want to decorate your space? Could you implement your branding into the space? Is it important that people can personalise their workspaces?

Working structure

Remote working and flexible hours are attractive to people when looking for a new job. Allowing and encouraging your team members to work where and when they perform best creates a culture of trust and openness. We’ll talk more about flexible working in Bite 7, but for now, start to think about how it could work for your business. 

Management & communication

What’s your management style? Are business decisions made behind closed doors or do you involve your team in these decisions? Defining this, and how you communicate, will determine much of your business culture. 

Celebrating success

What’s your reaction when someone does a good job? To foster a culture of positivity and motivation, it’s really important to recognise and celebrate successes. It may be a simple ‘well done’ or a bigger gesture, such as a bonus. Think about ways you can make celebrating success a part of your culture, such as an awards scheme which recognises team members’ achievements.

Developing skills

People are rarely content to stay in the same role with no room for growth. Developing people not only improves their skills but adds value to your business. Defining exactly how you plan to develop your team members fosters an environment where they feel valued and increases retention rates.

Team relationships

Of course, you want people to work hard, but do you want them to play hard too? A team that enjoys each other’s company will work more effectively and harmoniously than a team opposed to each other. Think about how you’re going to foster these relationships. Are you going to have regular team socials outside of work? How about team away days?

So now you have re-evaluated and thought more about who you are and what you want your business to be, what do you want that to look like on a day-to-day basis? And how do you make sure the culture doesn’t drift from what you’ve defined?

If you keep your values at the forefront of everything you and your team do, your culture shouldn’t shift. 

On first glance it might appear less effective if your team sit chatting when they get to work, but these conversations may foster more effective working through the rest of the day. If this is how you want people to behave, make it part of how you act. 

People now look for more than just a job; they want purpose in their work and have a desire to make a difference, and progress and grow. The right culture is critical to your business success. Give people the opportunity to talk, to contribute, and to grow! 

Chew on this:

How does your business culture make you stand out in a crowd?

Try this task:

Write a list of what matters most to you for your business and then try and separate these into your key values. Ask yourself: “Is this the culture I want in my business?” 


Author: Safaraz Ali
My career began in the financial services sector and since 1999, I have been involved in the world of business. I am Head of Pathway Group, which is a workforce development solutions provider. Pathway Group specialise in apprenticeship training and recruitment. I also offer independent strategy, advice, and investment for a wide range of private business sector. These include: social care, education, training, and recruitment.