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A fresh look at company culture

Posted on 9/07/2020
by Nick Boulton

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For me, company culture is one of the most important ingredients needed for a thriving, coherent, successful business. It’s something at the very core of who you are. I describe it as your company’s DNA. 

Too many businesses with poor culture package up free beer, fruit, bean bags, breakout spaces and flexible hours into a neat little bundle and – hey presto – we have culture! 

What a crock of shite!

I have had issues with this for many years. Businesses have thrived for generations without offering 16 different types of milk, gluten free, sugar free, fun free snacks to their ever-demanding staff and still have a strong company culture.

The last few months have highlighted to me how important culture is and how phony fads definitely doesn’t mean you have it.

There is nothing better than working in a company with a great culture. Having a successful work culture reflects positively on employee retention your financial goals. You need to be working somewhere that is more than just a paycheque.

So, what is culture? How do you have culture?

Culture is set by the leaders in your business. For it to form part of your DNA, everyone needs to believe in it or believe the company lives and breathes it.

Here are five ways your business can achieve this: 

1. Open communication: No hidden agenda, no secrets, employees not being surprised with information or announcements. 

2. Job security: Having a sense of job security among your employees is vital for your company’s productivity. Never has this been more important than right now when there is so much insecurity in the world. Having job security will mean your employees are not worried about their colleagues succeeding – in fact, they encourage and congratulate each other without animosity.

3. A fun, happy environment: People rarely succeed unless they are having fun and are positive. How do you know you have a positive company culture? You are greeted with eye contact, smiling faces and you hear a lot of “Good morning!” Sounds simple, but is missing in so many companies.

4. It’s not just a job: Looking forward to heading to work every morning is one thing, but looking forward to seeing colleagues is another. Working hard and efficiently is a given, but a great sign of good company culture is when it’s time to knock off from work. Do your employees rush out the door or do they take their time to leave the office as they are still chatting with their colleagues? They don’t head straight home, they go to the pub together, and they really enjoy the company of the people they work with. 

5. Employees are energised: Does your office have a buzz? Is there the hum of activity? Employees that are engaged and work together are energised employees. If they are fairly paid, it does not matter who gets credit, your employees are knitted together, not separated and share in the company’s success.

This is what company culture looks like, not what’s in your beer fridge.


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