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Why we need to talk about ‘Company Culture’.

The best cultures do not happen by accident, and if you don’t foster one, you better believe one will happen without you. 

The 2018 Startup Summit focused on the importance of workplace culture and it was very refreshing and timely to see this discussed in such an open forum. With delegates from every sector and a global audience online, this is a unique opportunity to share insights and have a frank discussion on how to make our work lives more inclusive, more diverse, and frankly, more enjoyable.

Broadly, ‘culture’ is simply ‘how things are’ in a business. It is built by the collaborative actions, behaviours and values of the people who started the company, those working there now, and their customers. This culture influences employee attitudes and behaviour in their day-today work – how they talk to colleagues, how they present themselves to new contacts, and perhaps most importantly, how they feel waking up on a Monday morning.

So why is this something we need to discuss? The reality of the gap between daily operations, and how we want our companies to be seen, internally and externally, is often sobering. Hiring an agency to craft your company’s brand identity for the outside world is one thing, but ‘internal marketing’ is another thing altogether and just as important.

Dress-down Fridays or picking up a cake from ASDA for someone’s birthday are not enough to attract the new generation of employees who crave flexibility, purpose and the feeling of having made an impact.

More and more at Adopt an Intern we hear from graduates prioritising the social values of a potential employer over monetary reward. This is why highlighting your company’s purpose, and being transparent about what kind of culture you’re trying to cultivate, is paramount to attracting, and then retaining the best people for your business.

Prioritising health and wellbeing shouldn’t just be ‘nice add-ons’, or a PR stunt. Looking after your most important resource, your people, should be top of your agenda. An engaged, passionate and productive team who know that their efforts contribute to something bigger than themselves are more likely to stick around.

If you are a business owner, you will already have analysed both the vision for the company and the values of the company. However, have you asked yourself what your personal vision is, what your own values are, and indeed whether they align with those of the company’s? You’ll know which direction you want to take the company, but how can you rally the troops in that direction?

In support of the StartUp Summit, in the coming weeks AAI will be discussing these and other topics likely to come up in discussion at the Assembly Rooms on October 31st, including the benefits of remote/flexible working (something we’ve embraced), how stress can permeate through a company, the pros and cons of the ‘gig economy’, and what we’ve learned from helping countless startups to grow their teams by prioritising ‘cultural fit’ as well as skillset in the hiring process.

Until then I’ll leave you with this thought.

What is your workplace saying behind your back?

The best cultures do not happen by accident, and if you don’t foster one, you better believe one will happen without you.


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