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Blog : Culture and values survey


Culture and values survey


By Caroline White - Client Support Supervisor, talent toolbox

On the 17th October we held our latest learnpurple breakfast club where we unveiled the results of our recent study into culture and values in collaboration with Changeboard, the specialised HR careers website. The events are always a great place for HR professionals, business owners and executives to gather and discuss the latest thinking in the field, but this one was particularly exciting for us as it meant we got to give the lowdown on what we had discovered.

In case you weren’t at our breakfast event, here are some key findings from our survey:

The positives

·         71% companies have clearly defined their culture and values with 50% of these being developed in collaboration with the workforce

·         Six out of  ten companies have short and simple values statements

·         The main words respondents used in relation to their values were integrity, quality, respect, customer focus, service, clients, excellence, innovation, passion, people and team

·         When asked how they could tell when culture and values were thriving some of the most popular answers from respondents included employers ‘walking the talk’, keeping promises and also feedback from employees, clients and customers.

·         The majority of respondents to the survey are in no doubt that culture and values are business critical.  One of the key findings of survey confirmed what we have always said - that an organisation’s culture and values initiatives and activities actively impact on levels of customer service, decision-making strategy, company performance, the shape of their business, CSR initiatives and even growth.


The negatives

·         Worryingly almost a quarter of those surveyed confessed that they don’t have a defined culture or set of values

·         And even more alarming is that 5% questioned weren’t sure if they had a clearly defined culture or not (which definitely means that it isn’t!)

·         50% stated that no-one outside of the management team would be able to articulate their values.

·         7% of employers don’t have a value statement


So although it is great news that over seven in ten UK employers have clearly defined culture and values, there is still some definite room for improvement. What advice can be offered for the quarter of companies who don’t have a clearly defined culture?

·         Make sure values are organic and holistic, so employees appreciate them and understand what they mean for them personally. It is really important they don’t just see them as an HR initiative or something forced on them from the boardroom.

·         Culture should relate to the organisation’s values, mission and behaviours and be people-focused. If businesses can embed quality, focus, trust, teamwork and innovation into the minds of their people – excellence will undoubtedly follow.

·         Values should be short and simple and relevant to all. Consider working with a professional to help define these. We’ve worked with lots of organisations including Lexington and Portico to help them ascertain these.

·         They also need to be memorable so use of a mnemonic or wallet sized values card for all to keep and refer to are excellent ways to support remembrance.

·         Make sure culture is evidenced across the whole organisation. Leaders need to live this message-  always.

·         Employees’ opinions on culture can be sought in appraisals, feedback surveys or during more informal chats. It is also a great idea to ask them to come up with their own ideas on keeping company culture thriving.


Does your company have well defined culture and values? And what importance do you place on them?

For more information on defining company culture and values or for access to the full report please email emilyperry@learnpurple.com….


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