Culture is king

    writes Rodney Style, managing partner, Haines Watts.

    Chartered accountants Haines Watts presents a series of articles based on its blogs. It offers analysis, reviews and comments and welcomes your feedback at

    Business owners will know that company culture – and the atmosphere and environment that is engendered – can have a massive effect on employee morale and productivity.

    But when growing a business, how much time do you devote to thinking about the kind of workplace ethics and values you want to establish? Employee engagement is crucial and as important as your commercial growth – the two are intertwined.

    Part of your business planning should include ensuring that the right conditions are provided to achieve a successful company culture.

    You will need to decide what ‘successful’ should mean. This will include recruiting the right people with the skills and personality to fit in and you may also require a respected colleague to provide support for people-related subjects such as absence, discipline, grievance, maternity, paternity or performance activity.

    You’ll also want to ensure that your employees buy into your vision of how the business culture should be.

    This doesn’t have to require massive budgets – look at the basics like ensuring colleagues know they are valued. They appreciate praise as well as honest feedback for example. They will also want to feel part of the business, so regular communication on important decisions is key, as is transparency.

    Embrace the different personalities within your team and encourage them to use their strengths, while offering training to help them work on their weaker areas and develop.

    You might also include in your company culture areas like sustainability; can you increase the use of renewable energy for example – contrary to some popular opinion, it’s still economical to invest in solar panels on buildings, despite the removal of government subsidies. And what kind of company cars will you use – electric?

    Lastly, while planning, having external support from experts with experience in sectors like HR and finance can be worth its weight in gold.

    For further information:

    Rodney Style