What makes a successful culture in the Organization and how to retain talent

By Hana Glanville, Regent Assay Limited

Culture is often overlooked within an organization but it never has been more important to focus on the softer non quantifyable elements of an organization than in the “new post pandemic” world. Organizations have traditionally been cited for being “great places to work” or “having a strong identity” but what does this really mean. How can you ensure your workplace will retain talent when the employee is now looking for more than a salary. Evermore leaders need to ensure they build a positive culture to retain and nurture talent.

Organisational culture refers to a set of values, expectations and working practices that all employees follow, It is not a mission statement and does not refer to company goals although these can feed into the clluture. It is something that you can feel if you walk into an office, be it a wonderful set of flowers on the receprion desk or art work or simply a helpful smile, or nowadays when you engage over a website or other social media platforms it brings a positive warmth and empathy to the company’s values..

It is hard to quantify but the culture is something you feel quickly, and it gives you an immediate sense of what the Organization stands for. There are many examples of strong positive cultures which cry “innovation” – such as Apple, “fun” – Google or IKEA – “togetherness. Usually, these cultures have been driven by the leadership team and filtered throughout the organization. Other Organizations can be tarnished with a toxic culture where employees report poor working conditions and lack of respect and these may survive financially but consumers and employees become disenchanted and ultimately can lead to their downfall. Uber suffered this when reports of a toxic culture appeared ahead of its IPO. The Company sought immediately to address these concerns, but it did have a negative effect on its rating.

Citing large companies is simpler as the smaller ones do not get so much press coverage but nevertheless with the immediacy of twitter and other social networks and job ratings websites such as Glassdoor unhappy employees can openly put their grievances out there for everyone to see. It is now ever more important for the employer to ensure a positive culture exists to attract talent where in certain sectors it is difficult to attract the right talent and importantly retain it.

SO how do you achieve a successful culture and also combat what is now becoming an increasingly used term “The Great Resignation” where we need to understand why an employee would stay with a company rather than what’s driving them to leave.

The founder of Zenitech, a global advisory technology and professional services business, Csaba-Attila Suket eloquently observed a few interesting observations having worked for numerous corporates and startups and summarized what tactics should be employed to retain talent.

Listen and be listened to. Hierarchy is important for career development, but it should never get in the way of communication. The most junior person in the company should be able to talk to and challenge the most senior person, and have their views heard. Good ideas come from a culture where everyone can contribute and challenge the status quo.

No matter how busy you are at work, make time for people. It’s when people are at their busiest that they need the most support. We need to look out for each other, check if everyone is ok, and spot if there’s a problem or obstacle that needs addressing.

Build trust and respect. The best project teams trust each other. They know that everyone delivers on their promises, and they respect each other’s skills and abilities.

Focus on community. There is so much in life that divides us, but there’s more that brings us together. It is important to work in a company where community matters - finding the common ground, and focusing on what’s best for the collective, not just the individual. A community is bigger than the sum of its parts. Encourage people to build communities both inside work and outside, so people can pursue things they’re passionate about and know they’re supported by the company. They tend to grow organically.

Invest in continuous growth and development. Smart, ambitious people will walk if they don’t learn something every day. That means working on projects which are challenging, giving people opportunities to grow their skills, and sometimes moving them off projects onto something else if they’re stagnating. It better to lose someone from a client project than lose them from the company altogether.

Simplify processes to make life easier. Complicated processes can stand in the way of creativity. Give people the tools they need to do their best work. That might mean buying the best hardware for them or giving them flexibility to think creatively - whatever works for the individual.

Do work that makes a difference. One of the things people love most is knowing that what they’re creating is having a real impact. It might be changing the technical landscape with groundbreaking, innovative technology, or it might be transforming a client’s product. That’s work you can be proud of, tell your friends about, and which pushes you to innovate.

A strong Company culture has the following elements which can be summarized as the TRILL model. Trill is a blend of true and real, used in hip-hop slang for someone or something that is genuine and authentic.

If as an organization, once you have recruited an employee and communicated your company values you should do the following:

TRUST, RECONGIZE, INFORM, LEARN , LOOK

Trust: This is something that should be communicated and should be always inherent in any culture.

Recognize: Reward any achievement however small it may be with a simple thank you email to a collaborative email within the team or a voucher for a meal out. Everyone likes to feel valued

Inform: Share the Companies values and aims at every level to ensure everyone knows the Organisational goals

Learn: Create a learning organization where employees thrive for more skills enhancement whether it be shadowing partners/ attending meetings or formalized training. Encourage employees to ask for what they need to improve their output. Create a culture that does not penalize mistakes but wherby people learn from them.

Look: be continually aware of uncharacteristic performance/emotional issues with employees and act on them immediately

Focus on these core 5 components to build a successful culture where the Organization and employees can thrive and be retained.


 

Hana Glanville

Hana Glanville

GGI member firm
Regent Assay Limited
Corporate finance advisory
London, Birmingham and Windsor, UK
T: +44 20 8142 3949
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Hana Glanville is the Business Development and Marketing Director of Regent Assay which was founded in 1987 and has grown to be one of Europe’s leading M&A firms and completed over 600 transactions. The Company focuses on the mid-market space and has specific focus in the TMT, Healthcare, Human Capital, Renewables, Industrial and Support Services sectors. Most of the transactions have a cross border element. As well as providing sale, buy, fund raising and valuation services the Company provides strategic advisory services for Companies ahead of an exit and gives advice with their proprietary Equity Accelaration Plan (EAP) which along with examining operational and financial aspects of a business focuses on building optimum cultural and HR practices.
 


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