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Corporate Culture

Culture, purpose and values

Our approach to organisational culture starts with understanding human behaviour.

While there are numerous factors that influence culture, ultimately it is about people, and how they think and act. Culture is created by the relationship between individuals and their working experience, their personal preferences and the way the organisation wants them to behave.

However, it is seldom that simple to decode an organisation’s culture. Behaviours desired by an organisation are rarely communicated overtly. Instead, they are signposted by the organisation’s purpose, vision, brand and values, hardwired into its policies and processes, experienced in its working environment, and exhibited by leaders and management who ‘walk the talk’ (or not).

For the culture to feel authentic, there needs to be a seamless alignment between an organisation’s purpose and values, and the colleague experience.

Company culture and change

Given the number of factors that combine to create culture, it’s unsurprising that it is perhaps the most pervasive and influential factor on our working experience. You can ‘see’ and ‘feel’ culture in everything: from how decisions are made in an organisation, to its processes and policies, the language it uses, its reward structures, and how its leaders and colleagues behave.

It is generally accepted today that organisational culture is as important as strategy in determining business success. ‘How’ we do things is as important as ‘what’ we do. Businesses can deliver short-term results without focusing on culture or having an appropriate culture for their business needs, but they will not continue to be successful for long. In today’s social media driven world, your culture is no longer hidden behind closed doors; apps like ‘Glassdoor’, featuring candid reviews from former and current employees, provide a window into what it’s really like to work at an organisation, rather than what it might say on the website or in a glossy recruitment brochure.

And of course, culture is not static. Market forces, global pandemics, or regulatory pressures all have an influence. With most organisations facing almost constant change, many find that their culture no longer works for their business. Whatever situation you might be navigating, we can help you to understand, shape and change your culture to help your organisation achieve long-term success.

We can help with…

Culture research and diagnostics

Gather employee voice and insight on day-to-day behaviours and experiences to gain a deeper understanding of your current culture.

Culture strategy, blueprints, and journeys

Articulate your preferred future culture and develop the roadmap to get there, including identifying the ‘anchors’ that slow down progress, and ‘accelerators’ that speed it up.

Culture change programmes

Design activities and interventions to bring culture to life, develop coherent delivery plans, equip and enable leaders and managers to support change, and embed preferred beliefs and behaviours into your organisation.

Organisational purpose, values and beliefs

In the past few years, ‘purpose’ has become one of the big buzzwords. It is the subject of countless books, blogs and conference speeches, and leads the agenda at high-profile events like the World Economic Forum. Purpose, in an organisational context, is the ‘why’: your reason for being, or what gets your people up in the morning, and makes them come back the next day.

Purpose is acknowledged as a differentiator for success, and an enabler of change and engagement. A clear sense of meaning and purpose appeals to customers and colleagues alike: providing certainty, confidence and simplicity, generating cut-through, and giving organisations a focus and momentum to succeed in challenging and changing times.

Organisational purpose can provide the context against which employees can understand decisions and actions. In addition, many organisations also have a set of values, beliefs or principles to articulate how they do business, how they interact with their customers, and how they expect employees to behave.

What can be challenging, however, is making purpose and values align and represent more than words on a wall. To ensure they are authentic and demonstrated by leaders, that they drive decision-making, are properly embedded into the organisation’s processes and systems, and reflected throughout the employee lifecycle.

This is where we can help. Whether you want to connect your people to your purpose, or ensure your values are adding value, we can help you make it easy for your people to act, to deliver what your customers and stakeholders need.

We can help with…

Organisational values development

Develop new values, or refresh existing ones to make them resonate with your employees, and align with your organisational strategy and purpose.

Employee behavioural frameworks

Make your values actionable to guide behavioural choices, set expectations and bring your preferred culture to life.

Connecting people to purpose

Find and embed your purpose into your business, and help your people understand and believe it with a clear, compelling narrative that provides line of sight to day-to-day activities.

Organisational change

Communicate change in the context of your purpose and strategy, and manage it in line with your values and beliefs to ensure colleague engagement.

Want to discuss a culture, purpose and values project?

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