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“Culture” has been a buzzword in the corporate world for several years, but what does it mean and why is it important? Company culture is the personality of an organisation from the employee perspective, and includes the company’s mission, expectations, and importantly, work atmosphere.

An often-cited example of good company culture is Google. With an employee count of circa 50,000 it hardly qualifies as an SME, and yet people who work there describe it as having a small-company feel.

The successful culture of a company is not just about whether you use a slide to get to your desk (although I reckon that’s fun, at least for a while), it’s also determined by what the company stands for and how it treats others.

According to an article I read recently, companies that engage in culture and have happy employees outperform the competition by 20%, happiness makes people 12% more productive, revenues increase 4 times faster and customer satisfaction doubles.  

Equilibrium is about to engage employee number 70! We’ve seen big rises in staff numbers over the years and I’m pleased to say that our retention rates have remained extremely high. Well over 90%. I believe that this is down to the fact that staff are happy, they are treated with respect, rewarded for their hard work and are made to feel as important as they are!

To win in the marketplace, you must first win in the workplace.

–Doug Conant, Campbell Soup

I became the Head of Culture nearly two years ago and my role gives me a huge sense of satisfaction and joy. It’s pretty unique for a company of our size to have someone dedicated to culture and it’s a big commitment from the partners at EQ. I believe it highlights to the staff and those looking at us from the outside, just how valuable we believe the team is. Time, effort and money is spent on every area of team engagement from great staff benefits and perks, free counselling, a room where people can go if they need to relax as well as a fantastic holiday package to an inclusive, fun and friendly place to work.

If staff are unhappy in their day to day work, feel undervalued and don’t believe they are important then trying to engage them in  a ‘fun’ activity once in a blue moon then it will feel false and contrived, so culture is ongoing, it’s dictated by every single member of the team and we have to ensure we harness it, encourage it and constantly evolve it.