The Maine Group

020 7734 7341

Contact Us

The importance of promoting company culture

Posted on 28th July 2015

At The Maine Group, culture is everything. We truly believe that for a business to achieve its highest success, skillset and culture are inextricably linked. We are so pleased to see more and more businesses taking this approach and realising the importance of culture . It's proved vital not just towards boosting their image among their target audience, but also in attracting and retaining talented employees. 

According to Peter Cheese, chief executive of CIPD, a growing number of corporate leaders are recognising the importance of developing a company culture. Indeed, he noted that while many would have dismissed the issue 15 years ago, they are now in a "different phase of thinking that recognises you can't change behaviour by writing more rules".

"We have got to really understand why people do the things they do," he commented. We agree, this is really important. This is why we ask all our potential hires to complete PPI and Psychometric testing so we can really understand how they think, learn, work, and ultimately, if they will fit and match our culture. If a candidate doesn’t fit us culture wise, we won’t make the hire. However, Mr Cheese is still concerned that many business leaders still don't fully understand exactly what culture is and believes HR professionals could be ideally placed to tackle this problem.

“Historically we haven’t done a good job of teaching leaders what culture really is,” he said. "We should be the function that understands the corporate culture and helps to educate the business and provide the levers to change it.”

Mr Cheese added that driving culture changes within a business must start at the top and can be crucial to an organisation's health. However, he stressed that making this happen depends partly on understanding "what the culture they've created is actually like", which means they have to listen to what employees are saying on the matter.

Dan Look, a senior partner at management consultancy Barina, agreed that HR has a "massively important role to play" in instilling a strong sense of company culture. Nevertheless, he stressed that leaders are wrong to dismiss it as "a purely HR issue", as a culture must be "reinforced by everything a leader does".

"You can have an HR department doing everything they possibly can, but it has to start with leadership. Then you get a really strong drive and influence on the business," Mr Look said.

Speaking to HR Magazine, Mr Look pointed out that leaders tend to focus on strategy before anything else. However, he argued that culture should be the initial priority, as it is ultimately the most important issue to address. 

"In the long term, culture is the only strategic differentiator," Mr Look commented.

He suggested that encouraging members of staff to interact with people from other departments and parts of the business is a great way to spread a culture throughout a company.

Mr Look suggested this could be very important for those firms that have remote workers, but said they need to keep a lid on the number of work-related and social face-to-face gatherings.

Otherwise, they could be at risk of taking up too much work time with meetings and expecting them to give up too many evenings for the sake of socials.

A company culture can only really work if employees buy into it. This means they need to be involved from the outset if HR and senior managers are to work out how to get from where they are to where they want to be.

Managers must then take the lead on instilling it throughout every facet of the company in order to make it something that genuinely makes a positive difference at all levels.

This is exactly what we champion at The Maine Group, and we believe it is a team effort. We have a set of behaviours and values we all adhere to and we vote monthly on our ‘Ambassador of the Month’ , the team member who promotes and leads our culture. We have also most recently crowned our Ambassador of the Year, who will lead from the front and spend time with all new hires to explain and teach what our culture is.  

We also understand that when hiring, ‘fit’ is the most important thing, which is why our PPI testing can help. This report really drills down on personality and learning style. 

If you need any help with your culture strategy, get in touch with our consultancy division, who will be happy to work with you on creating your perfect workplace culture.