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11 ways to improve workplace culture

A positive workplace culture is widely recognised as one of the secrets to high-performing businesses.

At leading outsourced communications business Moneypenny, culture has always been a top priority and now, having received the Great Place to Work accolade, it’s being celebrated as a best practice example of how to harness workplace culture for success.

Not only has a positive workplace culture and a highly engaged workforce boosted Moneypenny’s approach to recruitment, retention, and client satisfaction but it’s also shaped the very fabric of the building they call home and given rise to what the business calls ‘Moneypenny Love’.

Here, Hannah Williams Skinner, Working Life Manager at Moneypenny, shares 11 tried and tested ways to make workplace culture powerful, positive, inspiring and something to be proud of.

1. Encourage an open door

It doesn’t work for every business but at Moneypenny we’ve been careful to create a sense of community among our team, rather than one of hierarchy.  We’ve achieved this with an open-door policy which means all our people have access to CEO Joanna and the rest of the senior management team at any time. Accessibility is encouraged and it’s how we keep close to employees’ concerns, thoughts, and ideas.

2. Say thank you

It doesn’t cost anything to say well done or thank you to employees going the extra mile or who’ve received great client feedback. We’ve made recognising peoples’ efforts a signature part of what we call ‘Moneypenny love’ and they take shape in all sorts of ways, from free coffees for everyone, to sweet treats and thank you cards for employees deserving praise.

3. Communicate regularly

Employees that know their organisation’s goals, ambitions and objectives tend to be more committed and positive about why and how their contribution matters. We keep our people updated regularly about the business via Workplace by Meta. It was especially useful during the pandemic as it allowed us to share information quickly and make our people, feel connected to the business and each other – no matter where they were.

4. Friendships and shared interests

The stronger the bonds, the better teams work together. It’s one of the reasons why we encourage the creation of different interest groups within the business. Whether it’s a love of cooking, fitness, environmental action, or a particular TV show – our interest groups (many of which are on Workplace from Meta) let colleagues get to know each other and form meaningful relationships.

5. Subsidise lunch/free breakfast

Not all businesses are able to do the same, but we offer a subsidised lunch for our employees as well as a free breakfast. We’ve found that keeping our team well fueled helps to make them feel valued as well as working at their best – plus it’s extra help with the rising cost of living.

6. Create fulfilling experiences

In a highly competitive job market, employers need to think about the employee experiences they’re offering.  For us, we want the Moneypenny experience to be as positive, fulfilling and rewarding as possible. We’re achieving that, in part with a free on-site gym, access to Moneypenny bikes, an activity cupboard packed with everything from board games to kayaks and paddleboards and even a chance to try out beekeeping in our on-site beehives. These extra benefits show we care about all aspects of our employees’ lives and encourage them to be healthy and active.

7. Think about wellbeing

Mental wellbeing is a hot topic for UK businesses and finding ways to make sure employees feel supported is key.  We’ve recently invested in an on-site counsellor so that our employees have easy and free access to emotional and mental wellbeing support.  This bookable resource helps to show that we are committed to investing in the needs of our staff.

8. Environmental endeavour

Today’s employees expect their employers to be sustainable.  At Moneypenny our determination to lessen our impact on the natural world is engrained in our culture. Initiatives such as giving staff reusable coffee cups, introducing free bikes to encourage less car use, hosting our own beehives on site, recycling all our waste, using rainwater harvesting and growing our own wildflower meadow (plus a whole lot more) show our staff that we take our responsibilities seriously and environmental change is engrained in how we do business.

9. Regular updates from management

Our CEO Joanna shares regular videos to update the team. These might be in relation to new client wins, product or service updates, where we’re investing or what our Moneypenny colleagues are doing in the US – but they all have one theme in common – we want our staff to know what’s happening at Moneypenny and to always feel invested.

10. Charitable commitment

Supporting local charities is a great way to forge a strong connection with your local community and the initiatives your employees hold dear.  Through our Raising Pennies programme, we support several charities in our hometown of Wrexham. These include organising collections for the local food bank and taking part in ‘give a gift’ day, where employees donate a gift to help local charity SHARE, which supports families in crisis and people who are homeless across North Wales, Cheshire and beyond.

 11. Celebrate diversity

Celebrating differences, as well as similarities, helps to create the mutual respect and open-mindedness that positive workplace cultures require.  At Moneypenny, we regularly mark lots of key calendar events such as Pride by decorating the office, organising themed activities, and launching new menus. Diversity makes us better and we actively promote that to our employees.

Culture is an organisation’s DNA – it’s the physical representation of your values, goals, and attitudes – and it has the power to help with recruitment, retention, productivity, reputation and more.  Get it right, and your culture can turbo-charge your business.

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