Office culture can be a tricky term to define, and even trickier to explain in relation to your own business. Here at Gradwell we’ve grown rapidly in recent months, and with an influx of new staff comes a shift in office culture. Whether this is a good or bad thing is dependent on how it is managed.
Gradwell staff come from all walks of life, from other telecoms companies such as BT and Virgin, to university and college graduates. I expect your business has a similar variety. With this varied mix of backgrounds comes a combination of different values and beliefs taken from past roles. For example, a sales representative coming from a job in a call centre is likely to be used to working in a large team, very possibly to a script. A graduate is likely to have the ability to absorb large amounts of information quickly, and as their first employer there is more scope for moulding their working values to suit your business.
While some may see working culture as insignificant, inconsistencies and poor communication are likely to have an impact on performance. While it’s great to have staff with different strengths they’ve taken from previous experience, it’s still important to ensure that your business has a clear set of core values. For example, at Gradwell when we recruit for a new post we include our core values in the job description:
- Down-to-Earth: Gradwell people are straight forward & grounded.
- Friendly: Gradwell people like to make work a fun and relaxed place to be.
- Helpful: Gradwell people will always look for ways to help each other and their customers.
- Persistent: Gradwell people can be relied upon to get the job done – whatever it takes.
- Ownership: Gradwell people take on a problem, or project, and will see it through to a positive conclusion.
- Integrity: Gradwell people are honest and reliable – they do what they say they will do.
- Expertise: Gradwell people are committed to being knowledgeable and up-to-date in their particular field.
- Support: Gradwell people create an environment in which customers and colleagues can rely on them to do what needs to be done.
Once new staff are employed, their induction covers the things that define Gradwell – our unique story in how we were established and how we’ve grown over the years, and things they need to know, such as dress code and processes. These are further steps to integrating new staff in to the existing office culture.
We then set clear goals; as individuals, departments and as a company as a whole. For example, our office kitchen wall is decorated with our 4×4 plan, a 4 year roadmap defining our goals for the next four years and how we are going to achieve them. In the sales and marketing department each staff member completes a 30 day plan of their personal goals, which are displayed on the notice board.
What measures are taken in your office to ensure a positive office culture?