How to create a strong company culture

No matter how big or small your company is you must make sure you have and maintain a strong company culture. You want people to be happy to work for you and you want this to be reflected in their attitude towards clients and consumers.

To help businesses build a strong company culture we have had the team at Credico UK share their top tips:

Assign an owner
It may sound simple, but companies need someone who is directly responsible for culture. Of course this culture cannot be created by just one person, but it can be one person’s role to focus on culture and push everyone else in the right direction – whether they’re hiring candidates or managing the team as it sets its priorities.

Leadership sets tone
Culture is shaped by how your leaders act, so make sure your leadership team embodies the type of company you want to be. Decide what you want to be and what you want your team to represent and make sure your leaders are acting this out too!

Structure says everything
Organisational structure drives culture. Your team needs to know where they go when they need advice or who they report to. This will make them feel comfortable and confident in what they are doing.

Prioritise and focus
You don’t need one person who’s good at everything. You need a team of people who work together and are all good at their respective roles. Decide what will really get things moving for your product and customers, and act as a team.

Always communicate
Communicate your values and culture explicitly and continuously, both internally and externally. Employees must understand your culture and why it’s important. Reward employees who advance your culture and be open and honest with those who don’t.

No matter how big or small your company is you must make sure you have and maintain a strong company culture. You want people to be happy to work for you and you want this to be reflected in their attitude towards clients and consumers.

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How to have a good work-life balance

Everyone wants to have a good work-life balance but not everybody knows how to achieve this. Marketing Managers, Business Development Officers and Entrepreneurs are all often guilty of putting their work before everything and working all hours under the sun. This is not healthy and can actually reduce productivity and motivation. In this blog post we are revealing our top tips to a good work-life balance.

Let go of perfection
Many overachievers develop perfectionist tendencies when their demands are limited to school, hobbies and maybe an after-school job but as you grow up life gets more complicated, you have more demands to meet. Work gets harder and takes up more time, your family grows and your responsibilities overload. The key to avoid burning out is to let go of perfectionism. The healthier option is to strive for excellence rather than perfection.

Unplug
Technology has helped our lives in many ways but it has also created expectations of constant accessibility. The work day never seems to end. There are times when it is okay to just shut off your phone and enjoy the moment. Make quality time truly quality time by not responding to work emails when you are spending time with family. By not reacting to the updates from work you will develop a stronger habit of resilience and resilient people feel a greater sense of control in their lives.

Exercise and meditate
Even when we are at our most busy we make time for important things such as eating, sleeping, going to the bathroom, yet one of our most crucial needs – exercise- is often the first thing to go when our calendars fill up. Exercise is an effective stress reducer. It pumps feel-good endorphins through your body which can improve your mood drastically. We recommend dedicating a few hours a week to self-care, whether its exercise, yoga or meditation.

Limit time-wasting activities and people
First, identify what’s most important in your life and then draw firm boundaries so you can devote quality time to these high-priority people and activities. From there you can determine what or who needs to be dropped from the schedule. If email or internet surfing sends you into a time-wasting spiral, establish rules to keep you from going off-task. Focus on the people and activities that reward you most.

Change the structure of your life
Sometimes habits become set in stone and this reduces both productivity and motivation. Take a birds-eye view of your life and ask yourself: What changes could make life easier? Don’t try and do too much, this will only add stress. Instead, focus on activities you specialise in and value most. Delegate or outsource everything else.

Start small. Build from there.
When we take on too much too quickly it is easy to give up. If you’re trying to change a certain area in your life, start small and experience some success, then build upwards from there.

Building a strong rapport is our speciality – Here are our top tips…

To run a successful business it is important to build a good rapport with everyone you meet (you never know when you may need their help, or they yours). For example it is important to have strong relationships with clients, consumers, business partners, employees and other business professionals as they are all people that make your business tick and they will be less willing to do so if they do not have a good relationship with you. So, here at Credico UK we have shared our top tips to building a good rapport.

Be genuine
Be yourself and people will appreciate you for it, people can often tell when a person is being fake and they will not appreciate this – especially in a business where consumers need to trust you in order to purchase from you. Relax, smile and go with a positive attitude and good things will follow.

Be warm and friendly
Cold people get cold reactions from other people. Approach rapport building with the intent to be warm and friendly. Smile, give a firm handshake, make eye contact, and engage.

Show interest
People are often very self-focused, but this can be helpful for businesses as they need to learn about their prospects before they can provide the best solutions. People want to feel like they can openly share what they are thinking, including their desires, fears and problems. The more genuinely interested you appear the more relaxed and willing to share they’re likely to be.

Don’t seem too needy
We all want to be liked but trying too hard can often come across as needy and conspicuous. You cannot force someone to like you. Show interest, but don’t act meek, overly friendly, or too pushy or you will put the other person off.

Give genuine compliments
Sycophants get nowhere, but genuine compliments are endearing. If you like the office, someone’s website, or are impressed with their book, say so. The person will appreciate this and it will go a long way towards building rapport.

Calibrate the rapport to “just right”
If you have an hour long meeting with a client don’t think “I need to use the whole time to get my points across, there is no time for chitchat.” Diving straight in with no ice breaking conversation is not a good way to build rapport. However, spending too much time chatting is not the answer either. Do your best to read the other person and find the right amount of rapport-focused conversation.

Read the culture
You can be yourself but at the same time you can adjust your approach to the other person and company. Don’t change who you are to fit the culture, but be aware of how the culture works and how it best responds.

Getting the best out of your staff

At Credico UK we believe that it is important to encourage and treat staff well. This not only motivates staff to do a good job but happy staff often leads to happy customers. This is often referred to as “The Trickle Down Effect”, a good manager treats his/her staff well, meaning that staff are content and want to do a good job, meaning they provide the best service possible to their customers, meaning customers leave happy and return again and again.

We also believe that cementing good relationships with your clients and customers is highly important in business and we believe that the two – forging long-lasting relationships and getting the best out of staff – go hand in hand. So we are offering ways to motivate and get the most out of your employees:

Treat everyone as an individual
Respect that different employees have different needs. Get to know each member of staff and show you understand them by being flexible to their personal situations. For example, if an employee is in a long distance relationship, you may want to let them leave early on Friday afternoons. As a result, they’ll be more inclined to put extra hours in during the week to keep on top of their workload.

Praise good work and offer feedback
Public praise – congratulating someone in front of everyone – can be a huge motivator. Regular feedback and encouragement makes employees feel positive and they are likely to invest this positive energy into your business.

Lead by example
A productive team needs a productive leader. A good leader should embody the company’s brand and be true to its ethics, otherwise how can you expect employees to do this? It is equally important that employees see you putting in as much energy as them – if not more. A good leader must lead by example, by demonstrating the behaviours that are expected of staff. Be excited by new challenges and show real enthusiasm for projects.

Encourage people to take a break
Everyone needs a break in order to operate at their full potential. Approach people who haven’t used their holiday entitlement and encourage them to get away. This will also prove to employees that you care about their wellbeing.

Give ownership to your team
While new employees will need clear instructions and guidance, once they have learnt the ropes, let go of the reins. Leave them to be led by their own initiative and congratulate them for doing so. By giving this ownership to a team they will feel trusted and motivated to prove that that trust was rightfully placed.