Company culture has become of key importance within the workplace ensuring that employers look after and retain their staff.

You may be thinking; but surely that involves a lot of work and money to keep my employees happy? But that’s not necessarily the case. So from experience within our workplace, here are a few top tips on how to build and maintain a great company culture.

Provide an annual review for your staff

Everyone appreciates receiving support and advice and an annual appraisal can do just that. It’s a chance for you, as an employer, to sit down with your employees and share what it is that they’re doing well, what achievements they have made, and how they have made a difference to the company. Not only this, but it is also a chance for you to discuss what perhaps isn’t going quite as well, a way for your employee to tell you what they may be struggling with and a chance for you to implement a plan together.

An annual review is something that all businesses should be offering, but it’s only worthwhile if it’s carried out correctly and steps are taken to follow up a review. Moreover, some employees may have a strong relationship with their line manager, whilst others may have difficulty building a good relationship. Nonetheless, you need to find the right level of formality with all employees and make sure that a fair review is carried out. Taking the time to individually review your employees shows that you are investing your time in them as a person, and helping them progress with their career.

Host team meetings

Holding a meeting enables you to outline clear goals and track the business’ progress. Not only this, but it can be hugely beneficial to all members of staff as it’s a chance for everyone to come together and share what they’ve been working on, as well as engage with other areas of the business. It can often be difficult for a person in one department to understand exactly what someone in another department does, but as a business, it is important for everyone to have at least a basic understanding of other people’s roles, especially as there is always potential that work will overlap.

We take the approach that a team meeting is formal yet conversational amongst staff and this means that it’s okay to crack a joke. We even had cake at our last meeting and made it a chance for everyone to have a more informal chat and find out what everyone was up to. Whole team meetings can often be made into an intimidating experience, where individuals lack the confidence to speak in front of the whole office. By making it a more relaxed experience, and finding the right balance between formality and informality, it helps encourage everyone to get involved and feel comfortable with the people around them.

Make the office a place where you feel happy to work

It is hugely important to keep staff morale up in the office, as people are more productive when they are in a positive mind-set, so making the office a place where people want to be is essential to creating a good company culture. Take our office for example, we’re lucky enough to have a pool table and football table to keep us entertained at lunchtimes and get us away from the computer screen. This encourages everyone to take a break and join in with some healthy competition…there’s even a trophy for the pool champion. We have a lunch table so that the team can spend time socialising. We aren’t the kind of people who ignore each other and go and eat in the car at lunchtimes! The free teas and coffees are also a great help.

And it’s not all just about games and refreshments. Have you thought about the way your office looks; is it warm and welcoming and comfortable to work in? A bit of simple decoration or motivational wall art could change the feel of a previously unwelcoming space, or why not provide a comfortable seating area for people to relax? It’s often the little things that make a huge difference and make a working environment just that little bit less stressful, as well as knowing that your employer is looking out for you and providing a space that is enjoyable to work in.

Plan staff socials

Planning a social event from time to time is a brilliant way for everyone to get together outside of work. Not only this, but team building social events help everyone work together and build stronger relationships. We’ve recently started a monthly secret social, where one person is picked at random to plan a social event that month. People sign up, unbeknown to what the event may be, and the organiser and event is revealed on the day! This month we had a rounders tournament which encouraged team work and not surprisingly a great deal of competitiveness. Even those who weren’t particularly sporty enjoyed the activity and most importantly, everyone had a laugh. Socials of this nature are also low cost so it means that everyone can get involved. We’ve even started the occasional lunchtime go-karting session which makes a change to playing pool, but again, it’s a chance for us to get out of the office and do something a bit different as a team.

Provide flexible working options

Flexible working can be a huge benefit to working parents, but all team members can benefit from this. Providing flexibility to all staff members where needed shows trust between employer and employee. You want to keep your staff happy and healthy so that they will feel valued by you as an employer, so offering flexibility could help to make people’s work and home life just that little bit easier.

Flexible working is of key importance at Hireserve and has become embedded within our company culture, with a lot of parents having young children who often need to switch their working days or hours to accommodate for school events or an unwell child. There are also those who need to work remotely due to their long distance from the office and are supported with this decision to help make their work life more manageable. All members of staff are given the option to work flexibly, whether they need to leave slightly earlier or come in late, or even work from home, everyone is supported and provided with flexibility where needed.

These are just a few suggestions of how you could improve your company culture and for us they seem to be working pretty well! Team meetings join everyone together and is a great opportunity to set targets and learn about what colleagues are working on. Annual reviews enable employees to gain the praise they deserve as well as helping them to improve and grow within the business. Then there are the more exciting aspects to building company culture, planning socials to bring the team together and making the office an enjoyable environment where everyone can feel at home. And lastly, flexible working assists employees in managing their personal and work lives more efficiently.

Find out more


See what we got up to at our chocolate making summer social 

How do we define flexible working?

And see why the pool table is so special to us…

About the author

Tristan Potter

Tristan has a decade's worth of experience writing content and copy for organisations across Bristol and the Southwest of England. He has written on a diverse range of topics, including technology, philosophy, politics, and recruitment. His writing has appeared in The Drum, HR Grapevine, and The Guardian, among other publications. He joined Hireserve in March 2022.