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What makes a positive organisational culture? It is the overall intrinsic atmosphere and attitude created through the synergy of great people, a positive working environment, and meaningful values. It has a direct impact on a company’s performance and employee wellbeing, particularly in light of the current market and ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. By giving businesses and their employees an identity, purpose, and sense of belonging, a strong company culture can drive organisational prosperity. Businesses with a stale culture often look to improve it yet struggle to know where to start. Your culture isn’t tangible. It’s not something you can show people or just pass on from one to another. It’s the connectivity between employees and a business, and something that runs through the company in line with its values and purpose.

Essentially, it is paramount to define a company’s identity to the rest of the world. It also helps businesses to attract likeminded people who want to be a part of the company and drive it forward. A positive organisational culture creates a happy workforce which leads to engaged and motivated staff who will in turn give their all to provide a stellar service. It’s a win-win situation and therefore a must have for any business.

Our Head of People and Premises, Ruth Lynch, and Dthree Studios People Director, Hannah Grothier share their top tips for helping you improve your company culture and better your workplace.


1. Establishing strong company values and goals

Hannah: Having strong values gives us a purpose, belonging and identity. Company values give an expectation of behaviour and a standard we wish our employees to adhere to. Having strong values has not only improved employee communication, engagement, wellbeing and performance – it also clearly outlines an understanding of who we are as a company.

Ruth: Instilling meaningful company principles is an integral part to building a happy workforce and gives more purpose to what you do as a business. DeVono’s core principles were the brainchild of the employees. They are relevant and resonate with every single person in the business and are the components of a universal goal and vision that is encapsulated in how we behave with each other, and how we treat and dedicate our time to clients. We help build an engaged workforce by providing a real estate platform for future growth. Our fortitude and service rendered to clients in light of recent COVID experiences bears witness to this.


2. Offering flexibility in the workspace

Hannah: Everyone works differently, our core business purpose is to “make life work.” For our clients and employees, we provide the outcome you need. Having options for employees to work flexibly makes life work, especially given recent societal changes and challenges. It increases performance, engagement and motivates employees. The workplace plays a pivotal role in fostering a specific type of employee culture. We have seen a clear shift in the market with businesses increasingly seeking more ‘people-centric’ office designs which prioritise the use of open plan and bright rooms with plenty of space for collaboration, yet take account of new social distancing norms.

Ruth: Agile working systems create a great sense of autonomy and trust in employees, with working from home, as many of us have been doing during lockdown, reducing both employee stress and sick days. COVID-19 has brought with it a unique set of challenges, with many of the working population hankering for a return to ‘normality’ and the office. Having an open plan office with specific COVID-secure areas for collaboration or quiet time will be important going forward and necessary for engagement, team morale and general wellbeing.

DeVono can help you find your perfect office space to suit your organisational culture. Start your search today.

3. People-focused incentives 

Hannah: Supporting and enhancing employee wellness by providing perks is about giving back to our employees. Its shows employees that they are appreciated, and that we are looking out for their wellbeing. People (pre-COVID) normally spend the majority of their time at work, therefore the importance of people focused incentives such as team lunches and healthy eating is important and shouldn’t be overlooked when creating a positive culture.

Ruth: The link between wellbeing and performance has never been more apparent. According to a Work Well Being report, poor mental health costs employers between £33-£42billion per year in the UK, with over a fifth of employees now reporting that mental health problems are the main cause of pro-longed sick leave, no doubt exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic. Putting an Employee Assistance Programme in place is a cost-effective way of helping your staff tackle their stresses and can lower absences. Mental health and staff wellbeing is something focused on regularly at DeVono, and treated with the same level of importance as physical health and safety. Having employee breakfasts and lunches, when in the office, or regular ‘Zoom check-ins’ of late, are a great way of showing staff you care and value both them and their wellbeing. Regular social events, albeit virtual currently, also help to keep company morale high and create bonds between employees, providing opportunities for people to switch off and recharge. Small incentives go a long way and are so easy for businesses to implement.

Mental health and wellbeing, particularly in light of COVID-19, should be central to the awareness of all businesses. In this blog, we share our advice on enhancing mental health in the workplace.


4. Empower and encourage your employees

Hannah: We have a reward and recognition program which is highly important and beneficial to both the business and our people. Recognition should be structured, organic and meaningful. It increases employee productivity, helps retain top talent, builds on a positive organisational culture, creates a collaborative working environment, especially in peer to peer recognition, increases employee motivation, and increases company performances.

Ruth: Regular employee recognition is vital for employee success and acknowledging great work. Monthly awards and prizes for those that excel and display the company values are a great way of celebrating the success of individuals and the efforts of the business as a whole. At DeVono we celebrate successes in company ‘Huddles’ each month which bring everyone together and create a sense of fun and comradely amongst employees.

5. Listen to what your employees have to say

Hannah: Feedback comes under employee engagement. We use an online anonymous tool to ask employees for their feedback and ways we can improve to increase their happiness and productivity. Feedback helps us to gage the overall feelings in camp and gives us awareness of any challenges or issues that may be under the surface. It also helps us to improve manager and team relationships, as well as increase communication across the board by giving everyone a voice. We visibly showcase changes to our employees based on popular opinions so they can see that their feedback has not gone unheard.

Ruth: Distributing surveys on a monthly basis where employees can have their say and feedback on what we can do even better as a business is a great way to enhance staff engagement and shows that we want to stay in tune with the working environment and workforce. Organised discussions or ‘People’ forums where employees can sit together and discuss what is working well and what we could do better with department heads is another way that employees get to have their say and get involved in creating a positive and engaging organisational culture. This sense of collaboration is important for a positive company culture.


6. Find people who fit within your positive organisational culture

Hannah: We ensure that our company values are part of our hiring process. Our purpose and mission as a business are made clear in all recruitment strategies, to ensure any potential candidates are in line with our values. As part of the process we have a final value interview stage where the questions are aligned to our values to ensure that the individual has a similar value-set and meets the needs of the business from a personal perspective. By ensuring that a person fits in with our values we immediately create an understanding of who we are as a business and our purpose.

Ruth: Hiring the right people is a huge cornerstone in maintaining a positive company culture and core values should be at the forefront of the recruitment process. Managers need to be in tune with their team and know what does and doesn’t fit within this, while at the same time find the right people who already showcase a company’s core values.

7. Wellness in the workplace

Hannah: Wellness schemes in the workplace help to reduce stress levels and increase happiness. Wellness is also increased by having a clear development and progression program for employees, driving motivation and retention levels. Healthy body healthy mind! We have a wide range of platforms for wellness including coaching sessions and one-to-one time with a financial advisor. Financial concerns can cause anxiety and stress and impact productivity.

Ruth: At DeVono we also encourage staff to do community work. Many staff have previously attended volunteering sessions for the Connection at St Martins, serving lunch to London’s hungry and homeless. Creating a sense of fun through our charity days brings staff together, as demonstrated this year during the pandemic through our participation in the 2.6 challenge, while also highlighting awareness around important causes. Both Dthree and DeVono work together to raise money for Young Minds by hosting various events and activities for our staff to participate in. In terms of balancing well-being with career growth and progression opportunities, a quarterly one-to-one appraisal system where employees can discuss their progress throughout the year with line managers is important for professional and personal development.


If you have a stale company culture that needs improving and want to understand how your office environment and workspace layout impacts this, get in touch. We’re here to help.

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