The term company culture is such a generic sounding phrase that it could be interpreted in a variety of ways.

Some small business owners may think of company culture as simply an extension of their mission statement.

Others may think of it as a naturally-occurring condition of the office environment that they have little or no control over.

Still others may consider with disdain the term company culture as a new-age phrase invented by flaky people who don’t believe in working for a living.

Company Culture is Measurable

The truth is that company culture is a measureable, proven abstract entity that has tangible and substantial effects on employee and employer morale, the amount of work that is accomplished in the span of any given work day, and the company’s public reputation.

The effects of company culture even trickle down so far as to impact the stock prices of public companies.

Proof of concept can be seen in the list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For, a study published by Fortune Magazine. The companies that appear on this list consistently outperform the average stock indexes.

Financial Services Company Doing It Right

One such example is Acuity, a financial services company located in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

With only 1,039 employees, this small business has landed itself in the category of the 100 best companies to work for, at number 3.

According to the review, this private company has a company culture that makes employees feel that they add value to the success of the company. Nine of 10 employees feel that their managers trust them to carry out tasks without being micromanaged.

Perhaps most telling, a majority of Acuity employees stated that their job is more than just a job.

This kind of solid reputation and recognition has no doubt made Acuity a desirable company to work for.

Engineering Firm with More to Offer

Yet another example of a small business that is doing it right by being proactive about company culture is Burns & McDonnell, an engineering firm in Kansas City, Missouri with just 4498 employees.

Holding steady at number 15 on the list of the 100 best places to work for, this successful business is representative as the following article looks at of why many top engineers choose company culture over big names.

Chances are you’ve never heard of Burns & McDonnell unless you live in the Kansas City area. And yet, they offer a wider-range of engineering and peripheral services than most other engineering companies in the country.

One of the most impressive points relating to their positive company culture is that they are 100 percent employee-owned. This is profit-sharing at its best, and most other small business would do well to take notes.

In fact, this engineering firm does so many things right, an entire case study could be done on the inspiring and “human” way this company is run.

These are just two examples of why solid company culture matters these days.

It’s time that more small business owners realize they can and should take a leadership role in developing and molding company culture.

About the Author: Kate Supino writes extensively about best business practices.