In today’s fast-paced and highly competitive business environment, creating a positive company culture has become more critical than ever. At Ripple, we understand the importance of cultivating a strong company culture that aligns with our values and fosters a sense of community and collaboration among our team members. From providing opportunities for professional development to prioritising work-life balance, we strive to create a workplace culture that empowers our employees to thrive both personally and professionally.
In this blog, we’ll talk about what culture is and why it’s important and the external benefits of positive company culture. We’ll then share the cornerstones of Ripple’s unique culture and how we maintain a positive work environment.
Parking Ripple for a moment – what is Culture? In broad terms; the culture around us influences everything we do. On a global scale, it influences the food we eat, the languages we speak, and the social norms that are expected from us.
On a smaller and more relevant scale, what is workplace culture?
At work and in the office, this is likely defined differently by different people. On the most basic level, Forbes defines workplace culture as: “The shared values, belief systems, attitudes, and the set of assumptions that people in a workplace share.”
At Ripple, we have taken a mixture of all of the above and used it to shape our belief that in short: Our business is only as good as our people.
Every staff member in Ripple will have certain goals, targets and KPI’s to meet across the various streams of the business. Our outlook is simple; while striving to hit those ideals, we must maintain the happiness and flexibility of all our staff. A healthy work/life balance is a cornerstone of our beliefs, it is for this reason that we encourage flexibility and trust. We hope and trust that the culture we have built allows this to happen.
Our ideal scenario: Everyone’s a winner 🙂
Ok, so enough of the boring shouting about how great a place Ripple is to work. Let’s take a look at some of the positives a functioning workplace culture can create externally:
1) It defines the company’s identity both internally and externally.
We have found that by building a strong identity internally, this can have positive results in forming and building external client relationships. It is a natural extension which benefits the business as a whole.
2) A strong culture can naturally encourage employees to be advocates for the business.
Similar to the point above; if employees feel valued and trusted within the business then they will feel more comfortable portraying Ripples core values to current, as well as potential clients.
3) A well-functioning and tight knit culture can help hugely with onboarding.
The culture within every company can have a huge influence on new hires, whether we know it or not. This can act as a guiding force for any new recruits (who likely have tried to investigate your company culture before joining the business), aligning their expectations with real life values once they join is so important.
At Ripple, we try not to get too influenced by the usual cliches about modern workplace culture. Therefore, there is no rule book to our culture and values!
We simply try to follow some principles which are important to us. Let me try and simplify these as much as possible:
1) Work Hard and Go Home!
We don’t believe in working long hours just for the sake of it. Of course, this is easier said than done and on occasion evening or weekend work is required (such is the nature of our business!). But flexibility is afforded when and where it can be. Ripple has extremely high standards that our clients need and expect, once these are consistently met, our team will be afforded the flexibility they need.
2) Open & Honest Communication
Open communication is fundamental to a positive workplace. We try (where possible as we want to avoid death by meetings) to hold regular departmental meetings throughout the business which encourage the sharing of information in order to help each staff member. Working in silo’s is detrimental to what Ripple is about, therefore there are no lone wolves in our team. We are all in this together.
3) Clear Vision & Company Values
Having a vision for the company and staff members is only of benefit if everyone is aligned and working towards the same goal.
At Ripple we want to make sure everyone sees the journey ahead for the company; and more importantly a path for themselves along that journey.
This, of course, can be tricky as ‘Company Visions’ for SME’s can change very quickly. So again, communication is important. We try to encourage an open and honest environment where every member of the company can voice a strong opinion (whatever it may be).
4) Team Events & Downtime
The enjoyable stuff! For us, this is the most important aspect of company culture. When the work is parked and everyone gets to enjoy themselves together.
Small businesses are very busy by nature, it can be difficult to find the time to plan team lunches and nights out. Ripple make it priority to plan these in, no excuses! Everyone works hard, everyone deserves it!
Top tip: rotate the responsibility for each member of the team to organise the next outing – it makes for some really brilliant days out!
Creating a company culture is the easy part. Making sure it is maintained and not forgotten in the day to day of busy agency life is the hard part!
Communication is the key in this respect and should be as natural as possible. Meaningless repeated quotes can become old very quickly and can have the opposite effect of what you had planned.
The one key factor? Buy in from everyone.
We are very lucky in Ripple to have an amazing group of people who understand the importance of a positive workplace culture both for themselves personally and for the business as a whole. It is to their credit they have embraced that every day.
Trust is built over time. Our team don’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk and make life that little bit easier for everyone!
Written by: Martin Smith