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Creating a great workplace culture

We’ve made it into The Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies to Work For list. 5th in fact, 1st in the North West and the only financial services firm in the top 38.

Whilst it was incredibly exciting to go down to London and be part of an event filled with great, like-minded people, we didn’t set out to be on the list and receive the accolade. Our goal was to create a great place to work, that attracted talented people and then be able to retain them so we could deliver the best possible results and service for our clients.

It didn’t happen overnight, and it definitely didn’t happen by accident.

We’ve spent as much time, energy and money on creating an EQ culture as we have other areas of the business.

Similar to parenting, there are no rules on how to do it. It’s a combination of best judgments in a number of different areas. If you give your children everything, spoil them, let them get away with bad behaviour then you end up with brats. Equally if you’re negative and critical they can become despondent and possibly antagonistic. It’s the same with staff, it’s not just about what stuff you give them (holidays, free breakfast, staff benefits) but a positive environment, structure and an expectation that they will contribute and excel.

It’s a combination of the following things in different measures, at different times that can create a winning situation.

  • Encouragement. Everyone responds to praise. A ‘well done’ and a ‘thank you’ go a long way in making people feel appreciated, motivated and positive.
  • Opportunities. People want to aspire to something bigger and better and have responsibility, not necessarily a rigid career structure. People want to get involved, give ideas and contribute to cross functional teams so give them the chance.
  • A voice. Give everyone the chance to have their voice heard. Ask for opinions, and more importantly, listen to them. Take time to hear what people say and don’t be afraid to make changes if you need to.
  • Rewards. If someone is doing a good job, reward them. Whether that is with an increase in their pay and offering bonuses or other perks like flexible working. Just ensure that if people are working hard and doing a good job that they feel valued – that way they will continue to do so.
  • Accountability and rules. Have clear expectations and a structure. Share performance and results as often as possible so your team understand where they are going and how they are doing.  Give as much feedback as you can so that people can learn and improve.
  • Have fun! It’s one of our core values at Equilibrium because we believe people work best when they are happy. We have our own ‘spirit team’ made up of six members across departments who are responsible for planning lots of different events and activities. We also make sure to have an annual ‘team briefing’ for everyone to come together, celebrate and share successes.
  • Respect. Our success at Equilibrium is down to all the team pulling together to work towards a shared vision and goal. Always act with respect and trust –we can’t do what we do without each other.
  • Communication. Tell the team where the business is going and why. Articulate your values so the team can buy into them and always align your key decisions to these.


The best testament as to whether you are getting it right is to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. So click here to see what our team think.

It’s fantastic that we are on the list this year. Let’s hope we can create a recipe for success for 2018!