Workplace culture. A load of fluff or a vital part of your organisation?
Your company doesn’t have a culture – it is a culture. Culture is a business’ personality. It is what makes a business truly unique, attracts the very best talent and sets you aside from the competition. It is the environment that will surround your staff every day that they are at work. It shapes their work enjoyment, work relationships, work processes and subsequently has a big impact on their home life. So invest some serious time into it.
I’m not saying you should head out and buy a snazzy new bean bag for the office. I’m not talking about workplace perks and all the fluff that equates to a ‘cool workplace’. Don’t get me wrong - fruit bowls, Fifa and discounted cinema tickets are all welcome additions, but a company’s culture is so much more than that. Your culture shows the world who you are as a brand. Whether you are a start-up or an established business, your culture will set your tone to the world, and should be rooted in the foundations on which your company is built.
How can you begin to build a great culture? There isn’t a right or wrong to this and you will know when it’s the perfect fit. First and foremost, remember that your culture is created by your people, yourself included. I personally believe that you should start by thinking about two core principles - inclusivity and purpose.
Employees who feel nurtured, supported and recognised are the most likely to feel enthusiastic for the company they work for, and in turn be more productive. There is a lot to be said for role-fulfilment - it brings about heightened performance and job satisfaction. Staff who feel undervalued and isolated can be disengaged, disconnected and less productive. Of course this isn’t always the case, happy employees are not always productive employees and vice versa - but by creating a deep-rooted support system and positive environment you are well on your way to providing the base for your culture to thrive.
Your company’s values and ethos should be at the heart of your culture. Connect your employees to your organisation’s reason for being the difference you make in the world and they will feel invested in your vision. There is an incredibly strong link between your business objectives and your culture, so it is vital to align your goals as a business with it. It creates a sense of belonging, identity and unity; in turn creating loyalty and a sense of pride to be a part of the journey. You can create the best product on the market but what will really make it stand above the rest is your people.
Culture at Greenwood Campbell
Here at Greenwood Campbell, our culture is at the centre of who we are. Part of my role here is to nurture our people, make sure they feel supported, empowered and valued. We encourage collaboration, support open and honest communication and empower our staff to do great work.
And yes, I do believe that it’s important that we enjoy coming to work every day. It is true what they say… we spend one third of our lives at work, so let’s make the ride enjoyable! And whilst perks and benefits don’t make culture - they are the cherry on top of the cake. We host a monthly calendar of activities, both regular and spontaneous. This can be anything from being taken for lunch with our CEO to having a magician in the office on a Wednesday morning. No two days are the same, and I like to keep it that way. The drudgery of the daily routine does not exist here at Greenwood Campbell!
Culture isn’t created overnight. It isn’t the vibe you get when you walk into an office. It isn’t the inspirational quotes displayed on your walls. Your people create and shape your culture, so look after them.