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“Now in the height of the summer months, the roads are quieter than ever and out of office responses are reaching their annual heights. Trying to continue to operate a business at full speed during the summer months is much like trying to win a football match two players short.

Driving a strong, cohesive culture has it’s benefits at all times of the year. However, the true test of the culture in your business comes at the most difficult points. What happens when the odds are stacked against you? Does the team blame each other, do they abandon ship or do they simply look out for their individual interests?

It’s during these summer months when the full value of a positive culture can be seen working at its best. Seemless transitioning of work between colleagues, selflessly covering their workload and increasing productivity and creativity in order maintain overall business performance.

Here are some thoughts on how to go about driving this culture:

  1. Hire the right people! - This first step is the most important. When going into a hiring process, think about the type of people you have and the type of person that they would want to work with. Matching personalities is as important as matching skillsets. The wrong personality fit can have detrimental affects on your ability to implement a culture change.
  2. Communicate the Culture - Communicate to everyone in the business what culture you’re trying to achieve. If you want people to come on the journey with you, transparency in communication will be your best friend.
  3. The leader must be the culture - There’s no point in saying you want one culture and acting counterintuitively to that. The culture comes from the top down and if it is to be successful at every level of the business, the leader must walk the walk first.
  4. Off-site social events work - When you’re head is stuck in your work on a daily basis, it’s difficult to really get to know your colleagues on a personal level. Getting out of the office for the day can make a massive improvement in the cohesion of the team. Make them at least once a quarter to keep everyone engaged.
  5. Develop a strategy specific to culture - If it’s not in writing, it won’t happen. Spell out both what you want your culture to be and how you’re going to implement it. Make it measureable and distribute responsibility amongst staff. If they will live the culture, then they should play a part in its implementation.

Overall, an appreciation of the immeasurable value a positive culture can have on the growth and development of your business, particularly at a time of high competition for top talent cannot be underestimated. Culture isn’t some HR buzz word, it’s the entire way your company does business, inside and out.”

Articles by Caroline Baldwin