Just like a large corporation or a government agency, a small business has a distinct organizational culture. If the company is very small, such as 50 or fewer workers, there's a strong chance the culture reflects the owner's personality. However, some owners prefer to remain behind the scenes, and the culture is more reflective of the management team hired by the owner to oversee the staff.


Small businesses have prevailing attitudes that tell you about their workplace culture. A restaurant staff might have an excellent service attitude, making every customer feel valued. The owner or manager usually model this service attitude. As a manager, you should be a trend-setter. Your attitude can help other employees learn how to act on the job and feel good about their positions. If you can model desired workplace attitudes successfully, you can have a positive impact on the employee culture.


Managers' attitudes are influenced by their general outlooks on life. You might be higher in the positive or negative category, tending to view your work and your relationships with others from a positive or negative perspective. Knowing how you view the world helps you adjust your management style. You might need to tone down your positive emotions at times when employees are trying to work without interruption, for example, or find time away from employees when you're in a bad mood or stressed about a deadline.

Appropriate Behavior

Sometimes, managers must adapt their behavior to the employees with whom they work. This is something to think about as you hire a diverse staff. Jokes that you make with people who come from your same hometown could be offensive to people from foreign cultures. Always consider the people you are with, and choose appropriate language, humor, gestures and facial expressions. Being respectful of people from other backgrounds helps them to feel included in the workplace culture.


You might be a very strong leader, but be careful not to be a dictator of employee culture. Set high expectations for employee behavior, business values and customer service. You also can influence employees positively by establishing a formula for success. Help employees feel motivated to achieve the set of goals you choose together for your business.