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How to create a great ‘Company Culture’

A company culture influences everything and everyone involved with that business. Organisations with a well-developed company culture benefit from sustained and increased productivity, strong morale, better retention, the list goes on…

Our dream client is the employer that has a well-developed company culture and this will be clearly promoted on their website or candidate packs. Companies with an open, participative workplace, where people enjoy working, and have broad opportunities for growth and creativity, attract top candidates. One of the first questions that we ask a client is ‘how would you describe the culture of your business?’ - You would be surprised at how many Hiring Managers can’t answer this question. Defining a company culture isn’t easy and many people just cannot put their finger on it.  So let’s start with two key questions “What is company culture?” and if you can answer that then here’s another… “How can you create a great company culture?”

One of the best places to work recently highlighted in the ‘20 Best Places to Work In 2015’ list is Google. Google have created an environment that their employees cherish. They offer a great work-life balance, development opportunities, competitive wages and overall they acknowledge their ‘Googlers’ are the key part of what makes Google the company it is. So, Google have it down to a fine art. However, for many employers this is not always the case and achieving that successful company culture is not easy. This is a particularly pertinent topic in the Healthcare industry. It’s here where maybe the answer to question number one comes in…‘Company Culture is defined as the “shared values, attitudes, standards, and beliefs that characterise members of an organisation and define its nature.” On paper this is a great description but then we need the answer to question number two and it is here where the Healthcare industry differs.

Let’s take hospitals as an example. How can a facility that operates on a 24/7 basis and requires its staff to be available often at the drop of a hat, offer its employees unlimited holiday such as Virgin Group and Netflix? Well, it can’t. In an ever-changing environment it is an incredibly difficult concept to achieve and maintain. So let’s answer question number two…

The HSJ published the ‘Best Places to Work in the NHS in 2015’ earlier this year. 120 NHS employers make up the list which is unranked, but does highlight 10 specific organisations for outstanding performance. Factors such as, ‘childcare vouchers and gym membership, ‘early morning exercise classes’ and an ‘annual staff awards scheme’ were given as positives about their jobs.  Perks like these clearly go a long way, but make no mistake, healthcare employees aren’t just in it for the benefits. A lot of employees provided examples such as ‘satisfaction with quality of patient care’, ‘received well-structured appraisals’, ‘job-relevant training and development’ and ‘support from immediate managers’. This goes to show that healthcare professionals have chosen their vocation to make a difference and it is crucial for them to feel like they are working as hard as they do for the right reasons.

Here are 3 top tips on creating a great company culture:

Shared Goals & Objectives
The success of a business is dependent upon its staff. Having a collaborative environment ensures that everyone is working towards a shared goal. Individuals are aware of their own responsibilities and the importance of those in the overall scheme, compared to feeling like a tiny cog in a much grander machine. This way each person is willing to ‘chip in’ to achieve that goal because overall benefit is visible to everyone.

Little things can go a long way! Offer incentives such as high street vouchers, gym membership, extra time off around public holidays, or even just all the tea and coffee the team can drink. You would be surprised how big of a difference these little gestures make. Why not every now and again make a big gesture and have a staff celebration. Any opportunity to recognise success should be taken. This raises morale and makes your employees feel appreciated for all the hard work.

Employees want to feel appreciated. When staff are happy in their workplace environment they are much more likely to stay loyal to the company. By offering development opportunities, creating relationships with team members and investing back into their careers will benefit the company all round. Staff will have a sense of pride in their employer and this creates increased business success, reduced recruitment costs due to staff retention and a strengthened team. 

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