People and culture: a pillar for business success

Posted by : Cara Armstrong on October 3, 2023 11:54 am

“Company culture is a very organic thing,” says Taryn Storey, Head of Customer and Strategic Engagement at New Zealand National Fieldays Society Inc. “It’s something we know we need to, and are committed to, working on constantly.”

“We’re tested on it too,” adds Taryn. “Our business is very cyclical, so we certainly see the value of a good culture when we’re at our high stress points. We know we’re doing the right thing when it works, rather than ignites!”

The strategic focus that Taryn and her team place on maintaining a good company culture is becoming more widespread across organisations. “More and more workplaces are placing people and culture as a strategic priority for their organisation,” says Judy Davison, Asset Recruitment’s Principal Consultant and Business Development Manager. “They can’t afford not to. People and culture sits alongside HR, business development, and sales and marketing strategies – it has that much influence on an organisation’s operations.”

Company culture in a temp environment

Establishing a strong company culture has an added dimension when an organisation employs temp workers, as Philip Cozens, Production and Installation Manager at Allflex Automation has discovered. “Our temps are with us for long periods of time, so they’re very much a part of our business, but there are still restrictions as to some of the benefits we’re able to offer them as contractors versus those we can provide permanent staff,” Philip says.

“We offer flexible working hours for everyone. All staff, whether they’re temps or employees, are involved in company meetings, team lunches, staff shouts, and team building activities. I’m of the belief that by respecting my staff and keeping them informed, they’ll respect me in turn.”

Philip also recognises the value his temp staff bring to business operations. “I encourage them to have a say on how things work. They’re the ones working with our systems so it’s valuable to get feedback from them. By openly discussing these changes, they feel more a part of our team, which contributes to the camaraderie across the business.”

Three pillars for business success

An article by Deloitte identifies culture, leadership, and strategy as the three pillars which must align for business success. Judy agrees and says this is one of the reasons why Asset Recruitment has always placed the right fit as an integral part of the recruitment process, no matter the role.

“It doesn’t matter how great a candidate’s skills and experience may be, if there’s no values alignment, it won’t be a successful placement,” Judy says. “Companies who have learnt to place importance on their culture are reaping the benefits of doing so, but as Taryn has identified, company culture is an ever-evolving state.”

Out at the New Zealand National Fieldays Society, Taryn says a challenge they face – but one they’ve acknowledged – is the isolation of the team. “Given our location [head office is at Mystery Creek] we have very few external interactions and influences,” she explains. “Last year we introduced a new initiative that saw the team head out for the day to visit some of our Fieldays exhibitors. It was an opportunity for every member of the team to understand how critically important their role is and how it relates to our business processes. By travelling together, interacting, and enjoying lunch out of the office, it acted as a team bonding activity as well.”

People and culture appointments

Post-COVID, New Zealand National Fieldays Society also established two critical roles the business had identified it was lacking: a People and Culture Executive and a Community and Sustainability Executive.

It is roles like these that are continually advertised across some of New Zealand’s most popular job listing sites and at Asset Recruitment, the demand for skilled candidates for these positions is just as high.

Given the growing importance of these position, what skillset should a company look for in a candidate applying for such roles?

“Candidates most suited for a people and culture position are those with exceptional communication skills and a strategic outlook,” says Judy. “Culture needs to be company-wide, so a strategy must draw upon all aspects of a business. Therefore, an individual in that position needs to be able to work across all teams, activate engagement, and be creative in their thinking as to what initiatives can be of most benefit to that company’s culture. There isn’t a one size fits all when it comes to company culture. Every workplace is different and a good people and culture manager will recognise those differences.”

Judy also advocates for the need to have an established people and culture strategy. “Define your company culture, demonstrate it, and continually develop it as your company evolves. Only then will it be a pillar for business success.”

Looking for candidates that align with your culture? Give Asset Recruitment a call today.


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