ATLANTA, GA – April 26, 2022 – Business and cultural values are essential for any business to thrive. As the world reels from the effects of COVID-19, employees and consumers have reevaluated their priorities and what they value. We spoke with Deepak ‘Dee’ Agarwal, a successful entrepreneur, accomplished C-suite level executive, and experienced people-leader, on why understanding the impact of both business and cultural values is crucial to operating and succeeding in a changing environment.
Deepak Agarwal has decades of experience pursuing business ventures and successfully scaling businesses. At just 18 years old, Dee Agarwal founded and led Offshore Inc, a 500 employee BPO operation and later led online retailer NoMoreRacks.com, amongst other ventures. Backed by deep entrepreneurial expertise, Dee Agarwal recently shared thoughts on the differences between business and cultural values and the importance of balancing both when leading a company.
What Is Business Culture?
The shared beliefs and practices that employees embrace defines a company’s “business culture” — what they stand for and how they want employees to behave.
“It’s the essence of your company’s identity,” says Dee Agarwal. “Prioritizing your company’s culture and creating an inclusive and supportive environment seeps into every aspect of your business, setting you up for success.”
Business culture includes an organization’s values, philosophies, and traditions. Values act as unwritten rules that dictate how employees act daily, while philosophies are the attitudes that guide employees’ choices. Traditions are activities that employees participate in on special days or events throughout the year. These three things must align to form a positive and clearly defined culture for your business.
Business vs. Cultural Values
Business values are often defined as goals or standards of behavior concerning profit, customers, ethics, and social responsibility.
“Your business values are your roadmap to profitability,” says Dee Agarwal.
Cultural values are more concerned with how people interact with one another, solve problems, and make decisions within an organization. These values typically relate to employee behavior rather than how a business serves its customers or community.
The importance of business and cultural values in the workplace cannot be overstated.
“The cultural values are the processes and practices put in place that allow a business to achieve their objectives. If your business values are your roadmap, your cultural values are the car. You won’t get far without them, even if you know exactly where you want to go,” adds Deepak Agarwal.
Tips for Balancing Business and Cultural Values
Having a clear vision is a key factor in striking a balance between business and cultural values, as the vision serves a clear reference point for organization and team development. Dee Agarwal emphasizes, “When you have a clear idea of your company’s reason for being, you can communicate your brand’s story in a way that resonates with both employees and customers alike.”
Although crucial, having a clear vision is not the only factor at play. Using cultural ambassadors to act as advocates for your brand and values can also push forward both the business and cultural priorities of your business.
“Culture becomes tangible when its hallmarks are exhibited by employees at all levels,” explains Dee Agarwal. “Once your vision is set, empower employees to co-create the strategies and cultural elements key to realizing it. This is how you develop employee ambassadors who authentically champion the business and shape its internal culture.”
Striking a balance with business and cultural values will be different for every enterprise, however, there are key behaviors that most companies embrace to achieve this alignment, such as having a clearly defined vision and empowering cultural ambassadors. When a balance of business and cultural values is achieved, companies are likely to enjoy better employee retention rates, increased productivity and customer satisfaction, as well as an enhanced brand reputation.