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Lead Your Team Strategy

Company Culture Is a Small Business Problem, Too

Company Culture Is a Small Business Problem, Too
Credit: Krechowicz/Shutterstock

As small businesses grow, company culture plays a more prominent role in their success, new research finds.

Nearly 60 percent of entrepreneurs believe that company culture grows in significance as the number of employees at the business increases, according to a study from the office design firm turnstone.

"Culture becomes even more important to businesses as they grow in size, particularly after the 10th employee joins the team," the researchers wrote in the study.

While 89 percent of the small business owners surveyed said culture is an important contributor to a company's success, less than one-third said they were satisfied with their culture as it currently stands.

The research found that small businesses feel company culture positively affects them in a number of ways. Specifically, they said it boosts employee productivity and creativity, helps attract and retain both employees and customers, and helps the business grow and be more profitable.

The study revealed a number of areas in which entrepreneurs think their company culture needs improving. More than 30 percent said they need to do a better job of motivating employees and boosting team spirit and collaboration, while 27 percent said they need to offer more office perks, such as free meals, wellness programs, flexible work arrangements and office yoga.

"Less than a quarter of small businesses said employees feel supported to follow healthy behaviors throughout the day, including stepping away from their desks for breaks and changing postures/workstations throughout the day," the researchers wrote in the study.

Entrepreneurs also said their company cultures could be improved by upgrading the physical office environment, improving company leadership, strengthening their connection to employees and customers, and being more transparent.

Additionally, the study uncovered a variety of factors that make small businesses special places to work. More than 40 percent of those surveyed said small business employees have control over their career growth and development, while 43 percent said small business employees are encouraged to take part in learning opportunities both inside and outside of the company.

"Fifty percent of small businesses say employees are passionate about their work, and the company works to reinforce the brand's purpose, history and culture," the researchers wrote.

The study was based on surveys of 515 small business owners and managers of companies that had fewer than 100 employees.

Originally published on Business News Daily

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.