What is company culture?
Company culture is your organisation’s personality and energy. It weaves together your purpose, values, expectations, benefits and environment to create unwritten guidelines that shape how your people work, interact and make decisions.
Every company has a culture. It exists from day one. And from there on out it evolves as you hire those who fit perfectly into your vision.
Your culture is the one thing that makes your business unique. Your competitors can sell the same products as you. They can offer the same services. But they can’t replicate your culture and the way your people go about delivering them.
It’s the invisible glue that holds your company together, but as a leading figure in a business, why should you care? Is it just the latest HR buzzword? And where’s the value?
Why company culture matters
Culture trumps strategy. Every single time. You can agonise over the most detailed business plans for days, months, years, but if you don’t have the culture and the people in place to help make those plans a reality, you’re wasting your time.
Company culture is like the wind. You can’t see it, but you can feel its strength. It moves and shapes its surroundings. It can be used as a source of energy to power your people and your business, but it can also have disastrous consequences when things get rough.
A strong workplace culture defines your company’s internal and external identity. It encourages and helps your people to reach their full potential, binding them together and aligning them to your purpose, values and goals.
We asked the crowd at our Culture Carnival, on a scale of 1-10, how valuable is culture to your bottom line? The answers from our 130 guests dominated the top end of the scale. And there was a collective agreement that culture is vital in a business’s lifespan.
So, if it’s success you’re looking for, culture is the business card to play.
Attract. Retain. The Best
We all want to feel energised and valued at work. We all want to be a part of something we truly believe in. And as more and more businesses open their eyes to the power of culture, having your own, impressive version isn’t simply an option anymore. Now, it’s your most effective means of attracting and retaining the best people.
It may sound obvious, but when your people are engaged, driven and enjoying their role and the environment they’re in – they want to keep their job. And they’ll make that happen by producing incredible work. So, when your people love what they do, your clients will love what you do, too.
A successful business is a reputable one, and with your workplace culture at the forefront of everything you do, more people will find out about how great you are. And more people will want to work with – and for – you, to get a slice of the action.
Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs states monetary rewards like pay rises, salaries and bonuses only cover our basic needs. But when we move towards creating an incredible culture and company to work for, we unlock the top of the pyramid, giving our people the psychological and self-fulfillment benefits we all crave.
How important has culture been for us?
In 2015 we set ourselves an ambitious 10-year vision: to grow the business 10 x in those 10 years, from £15m to £150m turnover. To become #1 in every market we operate in. And The Sunday Times’ #1 employer of choice.
We knew there was only one way we’d even come close to making that vision a reality, and that was by creating a company and a culture that our people love being a part of.
So far, it’s going well. We’re on track turnover-wise, we’re still acting for more privately-owned businesses with a turnover between £10-200m in the Midlands than anyone else, and we’re opening up more and more offices across the UK. We’ve made it up to 8th in The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For list. And we’ve picked up a handful of prizes at the last two European Engagement Awards, including Best Place to Work in Europe.
Why should you care?
Because the culture card always comes up trumps. Across every industry. And it’s our chance to revolutionise the world of work for our people, giving them an environment to thrive in, and receiving all the business benefits that engaged, motivated, happy people bring.
To check out the rest of our culture articles, head here.