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Why a focus on culture and inclusion could be the best business decision you ever make

Sam Wilson  |  April 16, 2019

There is so much pressure on leaders when it comes to deciding what is best for their business – what new systems will increase efficiency? What extra resource will boost productivity? What new product will appeal to our customers? However, people and culture are so often overlooked.

Your people are the beating heart of your business and the greatest asset you have at your disposal. However, if your culture doesn’t support and benefit them then it certainly won’t support your business goals.

Here, we take a look at the many ways that investing your money and, more importantly, your time in your company culture will pay dividends.

Growth

If you have any ambitions on growing your organisation, then a positive company culture will be crucial to your success. Whatever your growth targets might be, you’ll be heavily reliant on your people in order to achieve them.

It might be that you need your people to help to welcome, onboard and integrate new recruits, or that you’ll be looking for them to deliver a higher quality or greater volume of work. Whatever it is that you’ll be asking from your people, you’ll need them to be on your side to have any hope of getting it. When people have a working environment where they feel valued, safe and like they belong, they are more likely to work harder and beyond expectation. This is especially true where there is a culture of shared purpose, where people are motivated by the fact that everyone around them is working towards achieving the same goals.

Progression

It’s natural that after a certain amount of time a business might hit a period of consolidation or even stagnation. This can especially be the case if the product or service you offer becomes in any way outdated or less relevant. Pressures to continually develop your offering or take your business forward in order to keep up with competiton or the needs of your customers, are significant and an inability to do so could potentially be incredibly damaging.

Stagnation of this kind or the slowing of innovation or creativity can often be traced back to a lack of an inclusive or diverse culture – one where the same group of similar people make the decisions and develop your products/services. It might be that the culture within your organisation doesn’t make others with new ideas feel comfortable in sharing them, whether or not they actually get an opportunity to do so.

Bringing in new perspectives into the development of your products/services will bring fresh ideas to the table and can often breathe new life into them – revitalising your offering.

Attracting new talent

In a previous blog, we discussed exactly why inclusion should take centre stage in your employer brand – and the same goes for your culture.

The reason that employer brand is so important is, if you genuinely want to attract the best talent (or any talent at all in some cases) then you have to give prospective candidates a reason to choose you. If your employer brand does nothing to set you apart from your competitors then you’re basically leaving it all up to chance of finding someone – spending all your money on continually widening the net, when the amount of people you reach is irrelevant as there is no attraction or desire for them to apply.

If you have a positive and inclusive culture that you can communicate through your employer brand, you will find that candidates are drawn to your organisation. Culture always ranks amongst the top things that a candidate is looking for in a prospective employer and if they can see that your organisation is one that values its people and invests in their happiness, safety and potential then you’ll find yourself coming out on top more often than not.

Your future leaders

Recruiting is challenging enough at the best of times – recruiting for senior leadership or management positions is even harder.

So much is spent by organisations when looking to recruit to senior positions, both in terms of recruiting costs and time invested in what can be a considerably long recruitment process. How nice would it be to have those new leaders ready and waiting within your organisation?

Developing future leaders within your company is heavily reliant on the right culture. It is not only down to having the right training and development programmes in place to help people develop the necessary skills and experience to be ready to take on these roles. It’s also about having the right environment that fosters the feeling amongst your people, especially your younger people, that they want to stay with your organisation as they progress in their careers.

Do your people have role models within your organisation that they can identify with? Do they have a mentor who’s not only overseeing their development but also understands their ambitions? Do they know that you see their potential and want to see them progress?

If so, you’ll find that vacant senior positions don’t have to be the drain on your time and budget that they so often are. You’ll have a wealth of talent waiting in the wings for their opportunity.

So, before you invest in that new tech that you’ve been assured will boost productivity or plough your money into extra external resource – take some time to consider what could be done to boost the culture and inclusion within your organisation. You may well find that that it is by far the best decision you could ever have made for your business.    

If you’d like to talk to us about how you can boost your company culture and create a high-performing, inclusive working environment, get in touch today.

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