We hear a lot about culture at work these days. It’s a slightly hard-to-grasp term that can mean a number of things, from how well a company’s people are treated to its policies around diversity and inclusion, but essentially, culture is the company’s core values, traditions, attitudes, behaviours, and beliefs which are shared and upheld across its workforce.
When we think of companies with good culture, we light on the big names: Apple, for example, is held up as a gold standard. And these days, equality, diversity, inclusion and belonging (EDIB) need to be cornerstones of any organisation’s values. Studies show that diverse teams are more likely to succeed, with team diversity strongly correlated with profitability.
Inclusive leaders can drive a 17% increase in team performance and a 29% increase in team collaboration, with 76% of jobseekers and employees saying that a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers. Additionally, organisations that focus on disability engagement are growing sales almost three times faster than their peers.
According to Stacy Norman, COO and founder of BizClik Media Group and March8, “Culture is surprisingly tangible.” Speaking at the recent Women in Business and Tech conference in London, she said, “It can be deliberately shaped and leveraged to allow for employee engagement. It determines turnover rate and impacts company performance, and research proves it affects profitability. Organisational culture that breeds extraordinarily successful companies is one of the most powerful competitive advantages of any business.”
Norman says companies have certain behaviours that define their culture; good and bad.
“Blame is probably one of the worst you could have in any culture. It’s where projects are wrong or clients are unhappy, and fingers get pointed. It is easier to blame that person and forget that they are on your team and you work together. If there’s a problem, you fix it, you work. This is one of the worst things you can have in a culture because then, as a unit manager, your team doesn’t trust you. They don’t respect you. When you have a blame culture, people won’t innovate, and they will sit around waiting for direction.”
“This is where different departments won’t communicate, and don’t communicate. They don’t have a combined objective. And for me, within any business, a process has to go 360. It should start and finish in the same place. If that communication breaks down, that process breaks down. So this is something that’s very, very important that you do within a business. Keep communication lines open, live and let live.”
“It’s all about improving the people in my business. Once the business is thriving, people have to run with it. You have to innovate your staff, you have to grow your staff. And with that, you have to have buy-in. If your team is not invested in the product, if they’re not invested in the service, it will never be successful. So from a training perspective, right from day one, you have to make sure that you’re recruiting people who are passionate about your brand, your business and your culture.”
Norman says that there is an antidote to these sorts of business behaviours that can lead to a poor company culture, which in turn leads to a lack of engagement among employees. “As a leader, as a manager, you have to clarify what the objectives are as a business, you have to show trust to your team that you believe that they can do the tasks,” she says. Teamwork, having a common purpose or language and a unified identity are all ways to bring teams together, creating a positive work environment where everyone benefits.
If you’re less than enthused about the culture – or lack of it – at your current organisation, we have three roles below that are hiring now. And as always, there are plenty more opportunities to discover on the City AM Job Board.
ByteDance’s machine learning fairness team is looking for a Tech Lead Manager who has solid technical skills while being passionate in building and guiding a team of talents to pursue excellence in machine learning fairness and related areas. You’ll lead a team to achieve technical breakthroughs and conduct cutting-edge research, and will need two years’ of experience in project and team management. Apply now.
The Monzo Flex Team is looking for a Product Data Scientist who is excited to help revolutionise the way people manage their finances. A key part of this role is product development for the recently-launched Monzo Flex, a product that gives customers a better way to pay later. You’ll help to understand and improve the user experience for a new product, help drive growth, and consider cross product dynamics across the range of borrowing products. See all the job benefits here.