The Way We Do Things Around Here: The importance of company culture

3 years ago

 

Having experienced working in ‘power cultures’ and ‘role cultures’ I have to say that both are very restrictive in terms of creativity and decision-making, working at Cummins Mellor I have seen and felt a different culture!  It’s a positive one, a people-centered one, and one that is practised as well as preached, which is very refreshing.

Creativity is encouraged, we are expected to take responsibility and are trusted to make decisions; everyone wins!tracey simon

The staff win by getting greater job satisfaction and the business wins because the customer is satisfied. An example of the trust given to staff and departmental managers would be that if a customer has any negative feedback or a query, it doesn’t need to be escalated to the management to be resolved and can, therefore be rectified and dealt with immediately. 

The customer is satisfied that they have received top-notch service, which hopefully results in repeat business, recommendation and reinforcement of the already established reputation.  You get my drift?

You can read books and published research but until you have seen it with your own eyes it is hard to imagine what a positive people culture looks and feels like.  

Here at Cummins Mellor, the vibe is just right and all staff live and breathe the core values of Integrity, Positivity, Team, Respect and Going the Extra Mile

All staff are encouraged, empowered and trusted to be autonomous and responsible for their work and the results then speak for themselves. 

Communication is open and transparent; all members of staff have access to financial and business performance information and if they don’t understand something, it’s not a problem, let’s arrange some training.  There are no obstacles or threats, just opportunities. 

For me, culture dictates everything that happens in a business; how employees behave and interact, how well they do their job, the recruitment of new staff, how a service or product is delivered, how customers are perceived and treated – culture spreads and is deeply entrenched. 

Most business leaders don’t set out to create negative cultures but in doing so are damaging their financial performance, because when people are unhappy they don’t perform well.  

Research suggests that a positive corporate culture is associated with high performance, increased productivity and better staff retention; if the staff are happy, more engaged and satisfied this ultimately improves the bottom line.

So here are my top tips for creating and maintaining a positive work culture, having experienced it firsthand …

Communication

Encourage a culture of open communication. It’s important that employees can see and understand “the bigger picture” – it helps keep business objectives and priorities at the forefront of employees’ minds and their individual contribution. 

Try and make sure it’s not all top down, that staff are able to communicate bottom up. 

Positive reinforcement should also be a part of your daily communication; too many managers focus on the negatives and tend to overlook a job well done.   

Let your team know they are appreciated – remember a ‘thank you’ goes a long way!

Empowerment

When employees have a voice and input, and the freedom to create without micromanaging they will feel a sense of pride and ownership in their work. This will result in higher levels of morale, self-motivation and job satisfaction. 

People will then take on additional responsibility without having to be coerced or persuaded, and if they have the authority for decision-making it will free up the time of senior managers from having to worry about day-to-day tasks.

Leadership

The leaders of any business need to ensure that positivity stems from the top and that they too live and breathe the core values.   

They lead by example for others to follow.   

Values

Have clear values and communicate them.  They are in effect a code of conduct for all in the organisation. 

Here at Cummins Mellor, there’s proven evidence of all of the above, which is why the business is successful, has a great reputation and fantastic staff. 

It’s profitable, debt free and in its’ 25th year of business, which is in no small part due to a team that are diverse and equally respected and valued.  

As the saying goes here #whocareswins!

Helen Jacksonhj
Director of Commercial Development


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