Culture is Everything

90% of UK business executives are purported to believe that focus on company culture is a primary route to business success, yet only 15% consider that they are doing enough to work on culture. Our North American counterparts are doing much better with 75% of business leaders claiming to have a 'culture budget', while this is something of an unusual concept for European organisations.

The benefits of getting the approach to culture right are numerous and include: better teamwork and collaboration; more freedom, greater trust and quality of work; more efficient and effective staff integration; as well as stronger staff retention, engagement and wellbeing. All of these take on even greater significance during difficult economic times.

So what can companies do to improve their all-important cultures?

They could focus on staff development, health and wellbeing, diversity and inclusion and enhanced means of transparent communication across the entire organisation. They could foster a culture of trust so that staff feel comfortable to constructively raise concerns, objections and new ideas and to make mistakes. Initiatives to bring people together as friends outside work tasks and to reward and recognise people at all levels could add real value. Ultimately companies need to have a clear vision, to present this vividly to its people, make them feel part of that vision and lead by example within management and leadership by acting in line with that vision.

All of these ideas can help businesses thrive and differentiate from their competitors. A strong culture will inevitably go so much further than fancy financial packages and other pleasing perks in attracting and retaining a strong collaborative workforce, so it is an essential that companies invest heavily in developing their culture.

Business leaders say that company culture is the single most important factor that contributes to their success—though most say they don’t invest enough in it.