“Who cares about culture? It’s all about £££”
To some people making enough money in whichever possible is what they class as success. However, for a lot of us, that simply isn’t enough. We class success as delivering high quality work, having a brand that we are proud to work for and building robust relationships with a broad network of professionals, both internally and externally. The aim of this blog is to briefly understand what culture is, the pro’s/con’s of (not) investing into culture and what motivates me in relation to Rencai’s culture.
What is culture?
“Culture is the social behaviour and norms found in human societies”
To me… In the most simplistic terms culture is the “feel” you get when you into an organisation. For example: if you spent 1 week in a professional services business it is more than likely that their culture would be fairly corporate – lots of hierarchy, slow decision making and plenty of internal politics. On the other hand, if you spent 1 week in a Media or Technology organisation you’d probably come out feeling that all employees are valued, people are given autonomy and psychometrically many people would fall into the “creative thinker” quadrant.
Benefits of a positive culture:
- Lower attrition rates, better attraction opportunities (candidates and clients), potential to be acquired –
o Attrition rates – attrition costs businesses thousands of pounds per year. With a positive internal culture employees are likely to be more engaged and feel valued typically leading on to higher retention rates
o Attraction opportunities (candidates and clients) – A positive internal culture will often lead to people speaking about your organisation. Therefore, you’ll see an increase in brand awareness, a stronger brand image and the business selling itself – this naturally makes you more appealing both to candidates who may look to join your organisation, as well as clients that you are pitching too.
o Potential to be acquired – during many M&A conversations businesses focus heavily on finances. Imagine if you could measure your culture – who wouldn’t want to buy a high performing business, with engaged employees!
- Work won’t feel like work
o It’s something that is mentioned all of the time however, we are all in work far too long not to enjoy our jobs. Creating a positive internal culture will allow you to be happy! Therefore, your productivity, wellbeing and drive/motivation will be increased
Issues with a bad culture?
- Lack of accountability, responsibility and leadership
o Lots of internal negativity will often lead to a “blame culture”. In this type of environment there’s a lack of leadership, accountability and responsibility which means productivity, engagement and retention will all decrease
- Poor brand image
o Ever had a friend work for a company that they have spoken about negatively? Has anyone ever mentioned the company since and if so, did you have a negative association with that brand? A negative internal culture can lead to your brand image being tarnished both internally and externally – having effects on future attraction, sales and decreases your competitive advantage
What motivates me personally?
As many of my connections will be aware I am a driven, motivated and highly engaged employee at Rencai (my boss didn’t pay me to say that!)– ultimately, if I worked for an organisation with a negative culture then my performance would decrease dramatically. However, what I find to be a good culture may be completely opposite to you – it’s about finding what aligns to your values, working style and motivations. I’ve made some notes below on what motivates me in terms of culture…
o It’s no secret that I am still a young business professional – I cannot remember the last business meeting I had where there was not at least a 10 year age gap between me and the client. Every meeting, every phone call and every day I learn something new with Rencai. This makes me stronger, more intelligent and better equipped as I move through my career
o I am very much a people person, psychometrically I am social so building robust relationships with a broad range of stakeholders internally and externally is important to me. Rencai give’s me the chance to work with people ranging from C suite to Analyst level, as well as working with the internal team.
o Most people who know me would say I am on the opposite end of the spectrum to corporate – it may be my northern accent! However, being involved, smiling and having fun is crucial for me
o Most people will admit that money is a motivator and I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t love making money. However, results can come in many different forms – Again, as a young business professional to be able to say that I have engaged with FTSE companies ranging up to 100,000 employees, as well as SME’s as few as 17 employees, just shows the opportunity I have been given at Rencai.
I was motivated to write this blog following on from meetings in London yesterday where I met two great clients with fantastic cultures, who were embracing change and driven to get results. The feel of both the offices were of happiness, respect and determination – exactly the type of culture I like. However, after coming out of both offices and getting on to transport, it became clear that not everyone is enjoying their work, not everyone is happy… who knows maybe it was just “one of them days” (it happens every single time I go to London!).
A key question that I’d like you to ask yourself following on from review of this blog is “What’s more important – money or culture? My answer… is that culture will more than likely increase your revenue, making it easier to break even and make profit. However, why do so many organisations not invest into their people… Are you investing into your People agenda? If your answer is “we do an annual survey once a year” then I’d like you to re-think your answer. Engaging your employees and making them feel valued should be at the top of every organisations list.
As always looking to learn about other people’s opinions – What does culture mean to you? What is important to you culture or £? Please comment below or reach out as always keen to be introduced
Client Relationship and Delivery Consultant