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Culture Counts


Gone are the days when a few jollies down the pub and a nice lunch were considered enough to stop your team mutinying after having to pull yet another all-nighter. These days it’s more likely to be a gym membership with fresh fruit and nuts on tap that impresses your employees. Millennial jokes aside, this is a generation who expect a lot more from their employer. With job security and loyalty both in short supply, it’s career development they’re really after. A recent Gallup poll found that 87% of millennials and 69% of non-millennials rate ‘professional or career growth and development opportunities’ as important to them in a job.

The temptation for businesses is to neglect skills and training: seen as more of a tick-box ‘compliance’ exercise by most, it’s always one of the first budgets to come under pressure when a business begins to struggle. That’s a false economy, as reflected in Adobe’s 2018 Digital  Trends report, which shows that significant investment in digital skills and training is strongly correlated with high performance; with top-performing companies twice as likely to be investing significantly in that area. You’d think implementing successful training programmes should be easy enough, but delivering effective training isn’t as simple as you’d expect. As in all aspects of their lives, your employees now want the ability to take more control of their own career development. They want access to training that’s relevant for them in their job, and they want to complete it at a time that suits them best. So how do you meet these expectations while also providing your teams with a clear path towards personal growth and development?

The key step forward is establishing a culture of continuous learning within your business. This needs to be supported by an up to date, engaging and always-on training resource that can be tapped into as and when it’s needed. You should not only offer training that covers your teams’ day-to-day roles – the ‘mandated’ learning piece most HR departments focus on – but also incorporate an element of self-selection from a wider range of topics, allowing employees to choose where to develop their wider skills and interests. By encouraging this kind of inquisitive behaviour you prepare your teams to become more flexible and creative in their thinking, essential skills needed to solve business challenges in an ever-evolving digital world.

This culture shift will also help you stand out when looking to attract and retain talent. One of our U.S clients saw a decrease in turnover in their Sales Teams of over 40% since launching Circus Street – that’s a direct impact on the bottom line. In the words of Abraham Lincoln, “give me six hours to chop down a tree, I’ll spend first four hours sharpening the axe”. When it comes to digital transformation, it’s time to invest in yourself and your teams today for continued success tomorrow.

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