Why company culture is no longer just a 'nice to have'

What do Royal Bank of Scotland, UKFast and Qhotels all have in common? They’ve each run an Employee Motivation Day. Yes, it’s a real thing, though perhaps not yet a movement, created to inspire passion and appreciation for the greatest asset a company can ever have – its people.

The importance of company culture

While taking a day to consider what makes your employees happy is a great first step, results are likely to be short lived unless they are supported by the underlying company culture - that elusive intangible which either attracts or repels.

As the workforce gets younger and priorities move from job security to work/life balance, organisations are slowly realizing the growing importance of factors such as brand reputation, company values and culture, in a candidate's decision making process – whether a new recruit or a long term employee.

We buy into brands that match our personalities and seem to share our view of the world and we’ll continue to buy from them while they deliver on those perceptions. This holds true whether the brand in question is a cup of coffee or our next employer.

Leading by example

Management styles and structures go along way to creating and establishing company culture. Big companies have policies and procedures to help employees know what’s expected of them and present a united face to the world.

In smaller companies, hierarchical structures are alive and well and culture often evolves around the beliefs and expectations of those at the top. In such environments you’re more likely to find extremes, from extroverted start-ups where anything goes to ‘old school’ behavior, thinly disguising discrimination in all its forms.

Agencies tend to be more autonomous, bound by tight knit teams who develop their own code of conduct. Employees might work late nights and through weekends to meet client needs but the culture of competition and mutual support inspires loyalty rather than revolt.

Industry plays its part in company culture too. Financial services and law firms are normally quite reserved, while fashion houses and publishers exude an entirely different atmosphere. Each needs to resonate with candidates that can perpetuate the culture within – not just knowing the brand, but being the brand.

Lasting impressions

Richard Branson recently tweeted ‘respect is how to treat everyone, not just those you want to impress.’ In an increasingly competitive market to attract and retain the best talent, companies need to build trust above all else or risk the long lasting brand damage of employees making their frustrations public.

Denholm help shape company perceptions every day. They know how company culture affects perceptions and work closely with candidates and clients to ensure best fit on personality as much as qualifications. Established skills hunters, Denholm educate and guide throughout the recruitment and selection process. 

Talk to Denholm

We are a search, recruitment and employer brand consultancy that specialises in commercial marketing, sales & digital opportunities. If you'd like to find out more, call us on 0131 554 6191 or email connect@denholmassociates.com.