How can scale-ups harness company culture to hyper-charge growth?

How can scale-ups harness company culture to hyper-charge growth?

We hosted an exciting breakfast event at The Collective this week about the importance of company culture. Joined by a panel of HR Leaders from successful scale-up companies, we discussed methods in which we can harness company culture to boost growth.

Did you miss it? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Read on for the key takeaways from the event. Although, you did miss a delicious breakfast provided by our some of our star vendors, Rock My Bowl and Yolk. It’s not so easy to catch you up on that one, but you can make sure to catch our next event by following us on social @wearefeedr!

Key Takeaways:

The importance of having a system in place

When working to create a positive organisational culture, it needs to be a priority for a number of employees.

“Without having a set system there’s always going to be something higher up in the to-do list than organising a staff social”. –  Jade Shearstone (Intercom)

Companies should delegate someone to take responsibility for company culture, and rather than being an added extra, it becomes a part of their job role to ensure this priority doesn’t go amiss. Regardless of the size of your company, getting some form of strategy in place for how you’re going to scale your culture before it is too late is so important. Having to fix a bad culture is a lot harder than planning and navigating company culture from the beginning.

 

The physical wellbeing of employees

A clear question our panellists raised was ‘how far is too far’ when looking after employees’ physical wellbeing?

“When one of my staff asked me whether they should be ensuring staff eat healthily, I had to remind him that it’s not our responsibility. Sure, we can provide healthy options for them, but at the end of the day, it’s each employees decision as to what they eat and how they choose to live.” –  ZeShaan Shamsi (Onfido)

Physical well-being is something we want to promote within businesses, but it isn’t our responsibility to tell employees how to live their lives. Employers should rather be empowering and educating employees to make the right choices – something very much at the core of our business at Feedr. Whether planning a ‘lunch and learn’ with a nutritionist, like Onfido recently did, or implementing a healthy lunch service like Feedr’s Cloud Canteen, it’s about providing access to healthy options so employees can feel empowered to make the right choices for them.

 

The mental wellbeing of employees

With mental health awareness month high on the agenda for many businesses right now, the discussion around mental health is becoming an increasing focus for companies more generally. With the amount of time spent in work, our panel pointed out how ‘old fashioned’ the ‘leave your home life at home’ attitude is. Creating a culture of inclusiveness where employees feel they can bring their whole selves to work will foster an environment of safety and growth, where people can thrive.

Simple solutions such as flexible hours and allowing employees to work from home can really benefit an individual’s mental wellbeing. Providing flexibility for employees empowers them to work the hours which suit their lifestyle and can significantly reduce stress and exhaustion. These are easy fixes with proven results which can be adopted into almost any office-based environment.

 

The biggest struggles we face when promoting an internal culture within a company

Asking our audience, we discovered the biggest issues faced when promoting internal culture are: the participation of employees, budgets and buy-in from above.

Employee engagement

Employee engagement is a tough issue to overcome. Often parents find it hard when out of work activities fall in the evenings – a common but important issue to consider.

“Hosting work social events at a time which suits the majority of your team is so important, so maybe raise this, and find time during the working day if necessary.” – Yael Harel (Trussle)

Another simple way to boost employee engagement could be to implement a Slack app called Donut – this nifty tool pairs two random colleagues together into a chat and begins a conversation. Why not implement this and tell each pairing to go out for a coffee together on the company – it could be a great way to encourage employee friendships where they may not naturally fall. This is an activity which can be organised during working hours without costing too much time or money for the company.

Budgets

There are so many ways in which we can boost employee culture without having to spend money. This is an activity which can be organised during working hours without costing the company too much time or money.

“Funny questions and/or sharing information about a new person is a really successful way to learn a little about each new employee and is so easy to do.” – Kate Humber (MADE.COM)

Another free idea put forward was a little game on slack: ‘two truths and a lie’, which is a great way to learn more about a new employee than you would during a quick chat by the coffee machine.

Buy in from above

When it comes to buy in from above, you need to be able to explain the why. Routinely asking employees for their anonymous feedback can provide you with hard data to take to those holding the purse strings and often help to get your ideas over the line. This feedback also gives you an honest insight into how your team are feeling, which may spark new and creative ideas.

 

Whatever initiatives you’re looking to implement on whatever budgets you have, it’s important to find what works for your company by experimenting with different ideas. All of our panellists encouraged teams to test new ways of driving employee engagement. As companies grow, strategies will need to pivot and expand, or change entirely – but remembering to keep your people at the centre of your culture strategy will ensure success at any stage of growth.

 

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