As we’re in a new transition period with many businesses moving back to the workplace, or adopting hybrid working, your company culture may feel very different than it used to. Your people may be in reduced teams, or working on alternate days or shifts, meaning that the dynamics aren’t the same as they were before lockdown.

For lots of organisations, culture may have slipped off the radar during the pandemic and now urgently needs addressing.

With our Refocus campaign, we are here to support employers in rebuilding company culture. This includes a focus on the role of a manager, recruitment, retention and how to keep on top of it.

Download our free culture guide

 

Read our latest blogs below:

Now’s the time to REFOCUS…on your company culture

For lots of organisations, culture may have slipped off the radar during the pandemic and now urgently needs addressing. A survey of 2,100 people by global employee experience company Quart and Qualtrics found that only 37% of people thought their workplace culture had improved during the pandemic…

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The impact of the pandemic on workplace culture

From an ‘always on’ culture to a culture of flexibility, it’s important for employers to focus on how things have changed over the last 18 months and what you can do to ensure a positive organisational culture for your staff.

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Our recruitment survey says it’s time to refocus

When we asked businesses in our recent snapshot survey whether they plan to recruit this year, 78% said yes. However, just 1 in 5 had a process in place for recruitment. Take a look at the results of our survey and see why you should focus on your recruitment strategy.

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How do you define or describe the culture you want?

Being able to describe your company culture is important, because it can influence how you make crucial decisions, how management lead your employees and affect who you hire.

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How do you create or maintain good company culture?

A good company culture in some ways is the foundation of a successful business – it can lead to better recruitment decisions, improved employee engagement, productivity and overall performance. Here are some considerations on how to create and maintain a positive culture.

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The role of a manager as a guardian of culture

As a manager you could be described as a ‘guardian’ or ‘keeper’ of culture – you have a direct effect on your teams attitudes and behaviour as well as being drivers of cultural change. Here we look at the importance of managers in building company culture.

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Assess your workplace culture with our culture checker

Every company culture is different – the result of a combination of factors such as your mission, values, leadership and also the written and unwritten rules of behaviour and ways of working that your people follow.

Culture can provide a real competitive advantage and differentiate your organisation from others in the market. Not only is it important in influencing whether or not your organisation is a good place to work (to attract and retain talented staff) but also is a key driver in how, and if, you achieve your strategic goals.  

Evaluating your workplace culture gives you an insight into whether the behaviours of your people and teams are aligned with your strategy and offer a positive workplace, and what changes you might need to make. We’ve created this checklist to help you assess and strengthen yours:

Listening develops trust between managers and employees and your employees can benefit from a company culture that involves them and encourages more and better feedback – and so can your organisation.

Simple, anonymous surveys can reveal what employees like and don’t like, and what enables them to perform well and what holds them back, so you can shape your culture in ways that increase employee satisfaction, reduce turnover and improve organisational performance.

Involve your employees in developing and evaluating your values, which will achieve greater buy in from them if changes are required.

Checking in with employees through surveys or regular one-to-ones is an important way to monitor their engagement, identify gaps and keep connections and culture strong – especially if employees are hybrid or remote working. They can also tell you how they are coping through periods of change and what is needed to support them.

How employees communicate says a lot about your culture. It can be helpful to look at not only how employees talk to each other, but also the communication between managers and team members, and even with external clients and stakeholders. Is it formal or informal? Is it top down or two way? Is it via email, phone or increasing video calls and instant messaging? Is communication frequent or do people hold back from interacting and collaborating?

You can assess whether what really happens in practice is right for creating an open and honest workplace which involves and informs staff, and whether communication styles are appropriate for clients in order to build business.

Check to see that there are no barriers to the ways your team communicate. Are your employees able to send, receive and understand information easily and are they skilled enough to adapt their style appropriately to different situations?

As you assess culture, look at the dynamics between your staff and notice how they work with each other.

Do they work well together as a team? The atmosphere in the team might be more personal where team members have close working relationships. Do they respect one another’s ideas and opinions? Or do they work well together but are more competitive and results focused?

The next step in assessing your company culture is to look at the leaders in your organisation. Leaders have a significant influence on culture as staff will look to how they role model the values and behaviours. Do they do what they say? How often do employees really go to them with concerns, ideas, to ask for help or just for a chat, or do they feel they can’t? Are leaders quick and confident in their decision making? Are they accountable, supporting their staff and really living the “teamwork, no blame” culture?

Every company culture is unique but leaders with an open-door management style, who are always available for their teams, give credit where due and take responsibility when things go wrong are all seen as positive behaviours and should be a part of every good culture. You’ll be able to determine this from general observation and also speaking to employees and managers.

How are decisions made within your business? Are they made quickly, or do things often lead to lengthy debate? Do staff have appropriate autonomy to make decisions or does everything have to be escalated and decided by a manager or director?

There’s no right or wrong here, but you can often pick up useful clues regarding your organisational culture from how decisions are made. There may sometimes be unintended consequences of a particular way of doing things; a culture of involvement and inviting employee input may mean decisions are delayed or never made because there’s too much deliberation.

How an organisation reacts to and copes with change is an important characteristic of company culture.

If managers and employees resist or fear change or rarely talk about it, that could be a sign of a more strict or inflexible culture. On the other hand, if change is welcomed and your company has a strategy and detailed processes for managing it, then you could have a more flexible and agile culture. If you operate in a sector in which you need to frequently adapt to changing markets for example, then a culture in which change is achieved easily may give your organisation the advantage.

Once you’ve assessed your company culture, you may start to think of ways you can improve it. Are the true ways of working seen in practice actually the culture you aspire to and that is right for your organisation?

You may talk about your culture and values, and even post them on your workplace walls and website, but do they translate into real behaviours that everyone can recognise and really live, day to day?

For guidance on where to start, read our blog on creating and maintaining company culture.

Having a good company culture is about reviewing it regularly, to ensure it’s healthy, aligned with your strategy and always evolving.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact our team at [email protected].


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