Gone are the days of workers coming into the office, getting their heads down, going home and repeating over and over again. Employees now expect more from their work environment, whether that’s a company that believes in employee participation at all levels or another that downs tools for the last hour on a Friday to run team building activities.
Company culture is more than the work environment though, it incorporates a variety of elements, including company mission, values, ethics, expectations and goals.
When many people think of a successful company with a strong culture, they think of Google. It is known as a notoriously hard company to land a position at but also exudes coolness. Their “Googlers” are made to feel like part of a family and every employee is a hands-on contributor, with no one hesitating to pose questions or ideas directly to their CEOs. Googlers also receive enviable benefits like onsite wellness and healthcare services, gyms and micro kitchens that provide free food, the option to flex their work day, financial resources and personal and professional development. It isn’t just a great work environment that Google offers, their philosophy and core principals have barely changed since they were written early in the tech giants inception and influence every single aspect of their operation.
Why is company culture important?
If you believe in the law of attraction you’ll know positive thoughts attract positive things, the same goes for company culture. Your company’s values, ethics and environment will attract employees who share the same beliefs. When an employee’s needs and values are consistent with those in their workplace they are more likely to enjoy their job, develop better relationships with co-workers, and become even more productive.
The opposite is true for employees who don’t share the same values as the company – if you have an employee who prefers to work independently but your company encourages teamwork and has an open plan office, they are going to become despondent, less efficient and take less pleasure out of their work.
Company culture doesn’t just benefit the employees though, for employers a strong culture improves productivity and employee retention, ultimately meaning a company can achieve their long-term goals and mission.
How to create the right culture for your company
You don’t have to go all out and copy Google’s company culture, it’s about finding the right fit and balance for your business. Company culture might have developed organically over time from the cumulative traits of the people hired or may have been shaped intentionally, whatever the case it needs to reach to the core of a company’s ideology and practice, as well as affect every aspect of business from customer to public image, not just impact your employees. It is one of the most important drivers that has to be set or adjusted to push long-term sustainable success.
- Align your culture with your core values
- Make sure everyone is on the same page and define your core values from the word go. Once everyone understands the why of the operation, whether that’s supplying high calibre candidates to the finance industry or empowering SMEs to make outstanding hires, the cause behind the company is clear and you can align your culture to match this.
- Make great hires
- Yes, skills are important and a strong CV is always going to grab attention but hiring someone with the wrong character, no matter how impressive their skills and background, just isn’t going to work out. Instead, focus on hiring people with the right attitude and investing in their development. Skills can be learnt, personality can’t.
- Lead by example
- The strongest representatives of a company’s culture are your leaders. If they reflect the values and expectations of the company and show their passion, it will flow down and inspire every single employee, from managers to front line staff.
- Be transparent
- Promote an environment of open and honest communication. CEOs and leaders shouldn’t be afraid to admit when they don’t have the answers to something – the more honest a leader is, the more trust and loyalty employees will have in that leader, and in the company. In turn, this also means employees are more likely to more honest and transparent.
- Treat your staff like gold
- You’ve made great hires who live and breathe your values so obviously, you don’t want to lose them. Treat your people right and they will stay loyal to you. Invest in them personally and professionally, recognise their achievements and allow them to reach their career goals.
- Allow for fun
- You don’t have to invest a ton of money to create a fun environment for your staff. Simple things like designating a breakout room for lunch time with comfortable chairs and games, rewarding your employees for success or hard work or having after hours film nights are great ways to inject fun into the working week.
Our company culture
Here at Bluestones Group, we believe in empowering people who have the potential to succeed when provided with investment, development, and structure and this rings true for everyone here, from our finance team to our HR department, our divisions to our joint ventures.
Every single member of the Bluestones Groups lives by our values of PACE – Passion, Accountability, Collaboration and Enjoyment. We are team oriented, thrive off energy and commitment, focus on results and have a strong work ethic, all working towards a common goal: business success.
While we work hard, we also play hard. As well as the standards of annual leave, health and optical care, pension and childcare vouchers, we also host an annual black tie awards night with international trips for awards winners (previous winners have jetted off to New York, Las Vegas and Dubai), quarterly Chairman’s Club to recognise great performance and at head office, a monthly pizza Friday.