Investing in culture boosts operating profits at FTSE 350 firms

Josh Martin
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Ninety two percent respondents said that investing in culture had improved their financial performance. (Source: Getty)

Over half (55 per cent) of FTSE 350 companies saw their operating profits jump 10 per cent or more after investing in their organisations's culture.

In a survey by EY of 100 board members from FTSE 350 companies, 86 per cent respondents said that culture was fundamental to their company’s overall performance and strategy and 92 per cent said that investing in culture had improved their financial performance.

While 27 per cent of respondents said they had invested over £1m in culture, this rose to 48 per cent among FTSE 100 companies, compared to just 6 per cent among FTSE 250 companies.

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Kevin Hills, EY’s head of Integrity and compliance in the UK said: “A 10 per cent or more increase in operating profits is the kind of improvement that makes shareholders and potential investors sit up and take notice. However the rewards often extend far beyond the bottom line.

“Many of the businesses we spoke to didn’t fully anticipate the range of additional benefits that they accrued from their investments in culture. Some of these were unrelated to the issues they set out to manage, but nevertheless had a positive impact on the business.

“The lessons are clear: culture generates value for organisations willing to invest in it, encompassing both improved performance and reduced risk. You may not always get what you expect, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.”

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