Great internal culture within a business is extremely important, as we discovered in our interview with Gary Butterfield. It is not only mindfully healthy for employees and employers alike, but it is also productively healthy for the smooth running of the business itself.
But a great internal culture doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of time, energy and consistency by all involved to make it work effectively. But when it works, boy does it work as the following 3 companies demonstrate.
The most famous example of a company with a greatly positive internal culture is the one and only Google. Housed on The Googleplex in Silicon Valley, Google runs its operations with a soft, iron, fist. Alongside the regular office furniture, anything and everything can be found to keep the employees energized, engaged and happy within their work environment all in a bid to retain their loyalty to the brand.
Swings, slides, free meals, haircuts, dry cleaning and even sleep pods are just few perks that Google employees get to enjoy on any given work day. And although the offering costs Google a lot in monetary value, the work ethic that is returned as a result is worth tenfold in value.
Google is one of the select few companies who consistently rank among the best places to work. Another aspect of Google that contributes to its successful internal culture is that it doesn’t restrict employees to be just one thing. Google helps and encourages employees to start their own ventures and create their own paths to walk within the business.
Housed on a regular industrial estate in Manchester, UKfast, one of the UK’s leading hosting and colocation providers, unassumingly looks like a remarkably ordinary office building from the outside. Until you spot the slide that connects the second floor to the reception that is.
On his blog, CEO Lawrence Jones explained: “We’ve designed every corner of the office space to create a mood or feeling, and to allow the team to have fun.”
And designed Lawrence has! From life-sized chess boards to an employee bar on the third floor, UKFast have taken everything into account when it comes to the happiness and the welfare of their employees.
Parent employees are offered school contracts to fit in with their child’s education routine, parents -to-be are given at least 10 weeks full pay maternity leave and as a standard, all employees are offered private healthcare insurance and access to the company’s own gym.
Ukfast are one of the UK’s most consistently high scoring workplaces when it comes to best culture.
“This is exactly how it should be,” Lawrence comments. “No-one wants to work somewhere where you’re not able to laugh and enjoy yourself alongside working hard.”
After just missing out on the top spot, having being beaten by Google, Anglian Water have been awarded second place overall in the prestigious Glassdoor ‘Best places to Work’ list for 2018 after scoring an exceptional score of 4.4 out of 5.
The competition is judged annually via employee anonymous feedback on key workplace factors like career opportunities, compensation, benefits, work/life balance, senior management, as well as culture and values.
“We work hard on encouraging employee well-being and creating a culture driven by happier, healthier and safer staff.” Says Chief Executive Peter Simpson. “Looking after our employees is at the heart of delivering great customer service, alongside the enthusiasm and dedication our staff have for their jobs.
“They get a true sense of purpose from providing safe clean drinking water, sewage services and protecting the environment for the wider communities we serve.”
Whilst these examples are the absolute dream of good internal cultures, there is a common takeaway that can be learnt from the given examples, no matter the size of the business. The key is to look after your employees. If your employees are happy, content and are mindfully present, they will be able to perform effectively and the business will run smoothly.