I remember undergoing my very first interview years ago and being asked “what sort of company culture would you like to be a part of?”. I hadn’t imagined they would ever ask me something like that so my answer certainly wasn’t a prepared one, I just desperately didn’t want to say “I don’t know” (which is a good interview tip actually – never say that!).
Luckily for me, my interviewer was positively surprised (and to be honest so was I) when the I said something about “supporting opportunities” and “work-life balance”. But, I didn’t end up getting that job so I didn’t really understand if my answer was indeed the “right one” as I also didn’t really understand what company culture was at that point in time. And if you don’t either, let me explain:
Company culture reflects the core values of the business and the beliefs/behaviours of those who work there. Some companies will have a long list or growth plan, others maybe just a mission statement, and every business will operate differently. Russell Taylor, for example, values and invests in its employees:
Developing the full potential of staff is at the heart of our business and seeing individuals flourish is recognition enough of the value this creates. – Peter Russell, Chairman
And he doesn’t just mean flourish in our work-role (even though we totally do), because a good company culture is more than that. It’s about encouraging the following:
Health & Well-Being
We’re quite lucky to be situated by a retail park that houses a gym, so, yes, you’ve guessed it, we get discount. And, we also have a fruit bowl that is always stocked and completely free – the little things really do make a difference!
Our RT Family bands together to raise money for charities every year. We raised enough to Pay for a Day for Claire House Children’s Hospital last year, we’ve supported Help For Heroes (competing in our 3rd Tough Mudder in September!) and our chosen charity for 2015 is Alder Hey Children’s Charity who we are doing a Sky Dive for.
Just so you know, Peter (yep, Peter our Chairman, whose words featured above), WAS IN THE OLLI ELEPHANT SUIT. We truly have the best management.
Also, when we became a finalist for the Wirral Business Awards in the People Development category, practically half of the company went along (and i’m sure everyone would have gone if we had been allowed), because, like a family, we have grown professionally and personally by supporting each other.
Not to show off, but we were nominated last year within the North West Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in the Family Business category too (OK, so i’m showing off a bit, so what, i’m proud!).
And last but not least..
Other than generally just loving our work and the people we work with, every month we indulge in an Own Clothes Day (hilariously dubbed ‘no-clothes-day’ after a verbal slip-up once upon a time)…
We also recently participated in our 2nd Work Bake-Off which amounted to a ridiculous amount of cake.. this could have come under ‘teamwork’ but just look at this photo and tell me it doesn’t make you happy!
So, just to recap:
Great company culture = great employees
Great employees promoting great culture = growth + greatness for all
= WINNER WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER (or cake, y’know, whatever makes you happy)
What’s your company culture like, and what opportunities are open to you??