Creating a Thriving Culture

Creating a Thriving Culture - Stephen Adams

According to Deloitte’s 2016 Global Human Capital Trends report, 82% of respondents who were also co-workers said that ‘culture may give them a competitive advantage’. Having worked in leadership positions for 30 years, I believe this is still irrelevant in today’s workplace.

Recently, when I Googled “workplace culture,” around 179,000,000 items came up. It would be completely impossible to adopt every idea into a company given the enormous volume of information available. The successful businesses we work with have created and developed their own unique cultures over time with consistency being the main theme flowing through the organisation. So many businesses seem to be veering away from their initial vision, beliefs, and values in search of the fast win or the next utopian notion. It’s natural that businesses change over time or venture into new markets, however, it’s important that they have a strong core that permeates their entire organisation, one that their clients can identify with.

Gymshark is a company I’ve been keeping an eye on lately. Ben Francis, the CEO, is in my opinion, building a company that is consistent in its mission, principles, and beliefs. In a recent podcast, when queried about his attire (Gymshark of course!), he replies, “I always wear this apparel since it’s comfy and I don’t have to think in the morning” (consistency). Ben is open about making mistakes and seeing them as an opportunity for growth. He is also an advocate for hiring senior leaders and team members who he deems as being superior and more knowledgeable to him and he credits this with the brands success. A refreshing approach if you consider how frequently we observe senior leaders surrounding themselves with supporters rather than peers who offer opposing viewpoints.


Here are Inspirational Coaching Limited’s, benefits of a Thriving Culture:

  • Aligning expectations – A framework of fundamental values and principles is key to creating a thriving culture. Employees don’t need to stop and debate whose principles and priorities are truly important because that is already obvious. Once a purpose or direction is established, you are free from the need to oversee employees’ actions or constantly offer advice. Instead, workers are given the freedom to solve problems using their own creativity and knowledge. To accomplish shared goals, they come up with more creative methods to contribute, work together, and find solutions.


  • Enhancing Collaboration – The most productive workplaces often have some key characteristics. They are settings where staff members feel heard, seen, and secure enough to express their opinions. They conduct productive meetings and working sessions. They have established collaborative procedures and standardised systems. Their teams are aware of the value of effective communication.


  • Resolving Conflict – Any healthy partnership will inevitably experience conflict. After all, it is unreasonable to expect two individuals to always agree on everything. The secret is to learn how to handle conflict in a healthy way rather than to dread or try to avoid it or to let it continue for too long. If resolved effectively, conflict can often result in growth.


  • Balanced and Consistent Leadership – Team, Task, and Individual are the three elements that make up The John Adair model (description below). You will need to concentrate on one or more of those circles at certain points, but as a leader, you will very infrequently find that sweet spot in the middle. There will be a point when you must dig in and concentrate solely on your task at hand, putting all other considerations aside. However, you won’t do the job as effectively as you could if you hadn’t spent the time on teams and individuals earlier.


  • Recruitment and Retention – Considerate hiring and placing the appropriate candidates in the right positions at the right times, will reduce turnover and increase productivity. Look for candidates with a shared set of beliefs and values. Sharing the culture of the business at the recruitment stage will show how committed you are to it.


  • Greater Colleague Engagement – Teams go from being good to outstanding when employees are genuinely invested in the project. People give it their all, and difficulties become opportunities, successes become the results of their efforts.


  • Enhanced Performance Growth – A culture that encourages positive feedback from all levels can aid performance growth. Performance reviews help individuals in developing their careers, but the key is to ensure that colleagues find them valuable to them and not a chore.


The 5 Principles Inspirational Coaching Limited believe support organisations going through a culture change programme are:


  1. Role Profiles – A good job description not only enables you to attract the right candidates during the recruitment process, but they also act as a benchmark for existing colleagues to be measured against. It helps you stay on top of performance management and establishes clear expectations which are consistent for any colleague (new or existing).


  1. RecruitmentFor both large and small businesses, having a clearly defined recruitment strategy can have several advantages. It will show you are well-equipped to deal with resourcing issues, mitigate risk to the business by ensuring you are recruiting the right people into the right roles and highlight the future goals of the company to all stakeholders.


  1. Colleague Onboarding (First 100 days) – First impressions count and the onboarding process can have a huge impact on colleague engagement. It also sets out your stool in terms of company culture, expectations and opportunity for growth.


  1. Colleague Performance – Performance reviews can assist organisations in assessing how well workers carry out their job responsibilities as well as areas of development. Both must be aligned with the overarching objective of the organisation. Frequent reviews enable open communication about expectations and professional objectives. A performance evaluation done well might result in a more dedicated and motivated workforce.


  1. Career Satisfaction – Most people who go to work want to do a good job. Having an engaged workforce, colleagues who are willing to take on new responsibilities, have a positive outlook and are eager to learn will create a culture that allows for growth for both the individual and the company. A win, win situation!