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Self-auditing your print business is one of the best ways to determine where you’re at compared to where you want to be with your long-term business goals.

If you’re just joining us on this journey, so far, we’ve outlined the importance and advantages of self-auditing your print business and five different audit types you may want to consider for your printing firm.

This week, we want to hone in on a specific audit type that is crucial to your business’s success – a culture audit. The culture at your print business will determine whether you’re creating your biggest brand ambassadors or turning people away without even realizing it.

Ready to become the most sought-after print business to work for? Keep reading to learn more…

What Exactly is Culture?

While some might think of Google and their nap pods and adult playground-like-atmosphere as culture, it’s actually a lot more than that.

Culture should encompass all aspects of your printing firm’s environment and include things, such as:

  • The personal values of your team members
  • Your print company’s policies and procedures
  • Employee expectations, behaviors, and relationships
  • The stories and interactions that make up your printing business
  • Recognition programs or initiatives for your employees

The Different Types of Culture

What type of culture you want for your print business will depend on what you most value.

In fact, businesses have many different types of culture, and it doesn’t have to depend on the type of business you’re in.

Consider this: here are some examples of different types of cultures from the Association for Talent Development that businesses might focus on regardless of industry:

  • Safety Culture
    Emphasis is put on the safety and protection of the team, equipment, or environment. 
  • Quality-Oriented Culture
    This type of business prides itself on being the best and is continually focused on being better. 
  • Code of Conduct Culture
    Ethical behavior is at the forefront of this type of culture.
  • Technology-Driven Culture
    Focused on using the latest and greatest technology, this type of business culture prides themselves on always being up-to-date with their tech-savviness.
  • Innovation Culture
    These businesses like to take risks and jump into new opportunities with little fear of failure. 
  • Customer Service Culture
    Focusing on making and keeping customers happy, a customer-service culture fights for repeat customers and good referrals. 

Determining Your Print Business Culture

If you’re not sure which type of culture best resonates with your print business, that’s ok. That’s the whole point of the culture audit!

A culture audit will help you put your finger on the culture you want to see at your printing company and help you lay out what things need to change to get you there.

Here are 14 questions to ask yourself to help you determine the type of culture you want in your print business.

  1. What is the mission, vision, and values of my printing business?
  2. Do my team members understand and buy-in to the mission, vision, and values? Why or why not?
  3. How are our values displayed for both our team members and our customers and prospects? How can we symbolize our values better?
  4. How are our values different than our competitors? What is the competition like?
  5. What are the key measures of our success?
  6. What type of leadership is required to run my print business?
  7. What are the current behaviors and attitudes of our management and leadership? Does it align with the type of leadership needed?
  8. Are there any examples that clearly show what is really important to my print business?
  9. What’s our tolerance for risk? Are our strategies more daring or conservative?
  10. What is the cultural heritage or history of my print business? What is the legacy I want my print business to be known for?
  11. Where is the business excelling?
  12. Where is the business not excelling, and what can we do to improve in this area?
  13. How is our customer service done? Are we developing the kinds of relationships we want with our customers? How are complaints followed up?
  14. How do our customers talk about the company? How do they interact with our employees?

Once you’ve taken the time to answer the above questions, you’ll start to notice where there is a greater culture risk and which areas you’ll want to focus on for improvement. Remember, culture touches everything within your printing company, but you won’t be able to audit everything in one go. So, focus your efforts on the culture areas at the greatest risk and work from there.

Where to Go From Here

The questions above have given you a lot to think about and consider, and it’s vital to your business that you don’t just skim right through them.

Don’t rush it. Let those questions percolate in your mind for a while. Consider it your homework.

Next week, you’ll take everything you’ve learned up until now in this series and apply it to the how – as in how to perform your own self-audit. You’ll get step-by-step instructions for implementing a self-audit no matter what specific areas you want to explore.

We’ll see you back here then!

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