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Placed Australia

Company Culture – Why it's so important…

Updated: Apr 23



Over my 27- year career as a Recruiter, I have sat in thousands of Boardrooms with Company Directors, desperate to seek my help to get their company culture back-on-track by trying to Recruit more good people…and get things back to the way it was in the years past…


They know, somewhere, somehow…an individual they recruited started operating outside the company policies, upsetting good people within their organisation, some whom may have been with the company since it’s inception, and causing a string of resignations as a result.


This is a common occurrence in many organisations but what is not common, is the way Leaders in the business deal with it…or don’t…


The cost to any company by ignoring bad culture can be unmeasurable! Letting bad company culture run wild, sends a clear message to the rest of the team that these behaviours are supported.


When faced with an unsettling culture, most good people in organisations either bail-out or, they adapt to what the company supports and try to become more in-line with that...


Company Culture is that “thing” within an organisation that is unwritten and can’t be explained easily. It comes directly form policies of the company and how they are supported, or lack of, and the behaviours and interactions of the people internally and how they conduct themselves and treat each other. It’s the vibe of an organisation that either attracts good people or grows rotten apples!


Once a rotten apple seed is planted in an organisation, it tends to grow fast, and all the fruit it bears is rotten as a result…and in some cases, can kill a once thriving business…


When Company owners ask me what to do in this instance, my advice has always been the same. They have to dig the apple tree out from the roots and burn it…even if that person / team are their best performer(s), and it causes short-term loss… Only now will this send a clear message to the rest of the business that these behaviours will not be tolerated and you will not hesitate to cut-out the wrong types of behaviours, no matter the financial loss…



When you choose good people and good culture over money…something amazing happens in an organisation. People feel that they can operate safely within the structures and ultimately a healthier company culture arises as a result…and you guessed it…the performance of the overall business gets back-on-track and any shortfall from rooting-out the bad apple trees are quickly replaced by a lush, flourishing, healthy orchard…


Culture spreads. People talk about it. That’s why it can be challenging to recruit for some organisations because of their external reputation… People know what is good, great or horrible…and they talk about it outside work…


There is not much a Recruiter can do to solve this problem if the Leaders of the organisation they are recruiting for have a rotten orchid internally. Good people will be recruited, come in and take a few bites of the bad apples and get sick… The will either stay and get rotten too, or leave.


I call it the Zombie effect. One infected person bite's the one next to them and so on...and before you know it, your fighting a hoard of Zombies and doing your best not to die...



When you’re at a friend’s BBQ, the question always arises “What do you do for work?” The responses vary… “I work for this company…and I love it, best Job I ever had” or “I work for this company and it's horrible, there’s this person at work, and you never guess what they did this week…and the boss did nothing and...I'm done..!”


Have you ever heard the saying, “People don’t leave Companies, they leave people.” They are talking about Culture. This is because they don’t feel supported in the structure and seeing others being rewarded for improper behaviour and the leaders of the business are seemingly supportive of this or simply ignoring it…


Watered down values of an organisation become more common as companies start to grow, and the original leader who ensured everyone was abiding by the company policies and growing a flourishing orchid, is not as hands-on inside the business as they once were…


When the Director of the business naturally starts to step-back to concentrate on building the company rather than the day-to-day operations they once oversaw, and start to employ Managers who may get lazy and not enforce company policies or, staff working in the business prefer the ill-gotten financial results they get by operating outside the company policies...create the issues...


People tend to ask me from time to time, what makes a good Manager? It’s pretty simple…It’s another person in your organisation who is aligned with the same values as you and actively ensures that everyone in the organisation is working within the same policies and procedures. This keeps everything running smooth and creates great culture…


Company culture only works well when there are clear policies outlined to everyone during their onboarding and reminded and enforced throughout the organisation regularly.


If people in the organisation continue to operate outside these policies & values, they simply need to be removed and replaced with someone who will!


Good people who work hard to abide by company policies, only get upset when there are others in the team that aren't, and when highlighted to the company leadership, they gauge the reaction or action of the leaders in the business in relation to the news and watch with interest how it is handled…and ultimately decide if they will stay or go!



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