Beneficial Culture & People Development

Danni Uglow

People & Culture

Over 90% of candidates in the 2016 iknowho candidate survey listed a beneficial culture as the highest priority when looking for a new role. Second only to development and growth.

Organisational Culture indirectly affects long-term success within a business as well as the bottom line. So how do you know if your culture is good, great or indifferent? How do you know if your culture is what’s affecting business? How can you check in with your organisational culture? Basically, you need to check in with your people.

Regular checks of your organisational cultural health will assist in early problem detection and can assist you in taking action before the problem becomes endemic, with some serious side effects.


So what are the metrics to check on?

Transparency – How transparent are you with the broader team? Are you sharing organisational goals and what success means with more than the exec or leadership team?

By sharing your direction with your team, they are able to see how their contribution adds value to the businesses success, and thus feel valued themselves. Valued employees are happier, more productive and more effective.

Clarity – Has the business clearly defined its structure and direction? Is the structure clear yet fluid enough not to impede growth and opportunity? Does the team understand the purpose of the structure? A structure that can move with the business provides support rather than barriers.

Happiness – Happy employees want to work, they want to deliver results and they want to put in the additional effort to achieve for both themselves and the business. High productivity and fun social events that don’t feel like a chore this dimension of your culture is positive.

Addressing Issues – Is the culture solutions focused? Does the leadership team sit up when they hear about problems or issues in the business? Does everyone in the business feel comfortable raising issues? Are team members encouraged to bring suggestions or solutions to the table? A problem focus or head in the sand approach will result in negative energy within the business.

Carpe Diem – Lined to solutions focus, is the business ready to seize opportunities? Do the team spring into action when approached with something new to try? Are they willing to take on that little bit extra, to drive innovation, to be a leader rather than a follower? A team that is always looking ahead demonstrates a team that want to be actively involved.

Growth & Development – Does your business engage the employees with development plans and growth opportunities? Continual learning is essential for any high performing person – the ones you want in your business! Offer them opportunities to learn on the job, provide mentor and coaching opportunities and take an interest in their continued development.

Diversity – No culture is complete without diversity. The input of different points of view, derived from different experiences in life is essential for a business to be rounded. If everyone you employ is a carbon copy or a mini-me of the exec team the outputs will be one dimensional, and fantastic employees will become disenfranchised. Embrace and celebrate diversity and the benefits it will bring your business.

This is not an exhaustive list of the contributors to a great organisational culture but measuring the above is a great start. Give your business an objective score out of 10 for each of the above, survey your current employees and build a picture as to the temperature of the culture and how your people feel about the business. Create a benchmark, set goals to improve and measure again. Culture is never a set and forget! If you want to retain the best people in your business, work with them, work for them!

If you believe in your culture and your people, now is the perfect time to put it to the test. AdNews Agency of the Year awards announced the launch of its People & Culture Award for 2016, their 30th Anniversary Year. iknowho is proudly sponsoring this award in its foundation year. Entries are open until 18th January 2016. Click here to head to the AdNews Awards ENTRY KIT.