Susan George: Your company culture matters |

Susan George: Your company culture matters

The culture created in the workplace can have a profound effect on the success of a business. A positive culture is most often the forerunner to increased productivity, better employee morale and the ability to retain competent workers.

A foundational first step in developing a culture is to establish a clear vision statement for your company.

“Make no little plans: they have no magic to stir men’s blood,” are the words of Daniel Burnham, the Chicago architect whose vision recreated the city after the great fire of 1871.

Ambition is sometimes viewed as negative, but without drive and determination we tend to minimize creativity and growth.

Providing a clear vision about where you want your business to be in the future helps inspire employees to work together in accord toward common goals and objectives. They are invested in the success of the business.

As an owner or manager of a business it is important encourage the exchange of ideas and concerns.

Be accessible. Ask employees for their opinions and listen to what they have to say.

Be open to discussing what is going well and what isn’t going well and then be willing to make adjustments to correct problem areas. Employees need to feel safe and confident they can speak freely without fear of repercussion

While constructive criticism can be healthy, chronic complaining can undermine morale. Look for positive attitudes when hiring. Ask how a potential employee handles interactions and conflicts with fellow employees.

Also, as part of the interview process it is important to evaluate the passion and commitment of a potential hire. Try to find people who share your vision and enthusiasm.

Your business culture is created and inhabits a physical space. Design one that promotes as much interaction and connectivity as possible. Make it a place where people can come together in work areas and leisure areas to share ideas.

Business owners and managers who implement policies that encourage employee engagement and aligned company priorities promote a positive culture in the workplace that will go a long way toward keeping a business running smoothly and keeping your employees happy.

Countywide Business Events Calendar

For ongoing information about business events visit the new digital community Business Calendar recently launched by the Nevada County Regional Chambers of Commerce.

Similar to the countywide Tourism Calendar, the Business Calendar will serve as an informational and sharing tool that will list business meetings, workshops, seminars, classes, trade shows, job fairs, networking opportunities and other business events.

Submissions to the calendar can be made and viewed on Chamber and media websites throughout Nevada County. For more information visit

Susan George is a co-founder of The Nevada County Regional Chambers of Commerce. She can be reached at

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