The party liaison: people and culture

So this is one for the practice owners and hiring managers of the group.

Culture is difficult to define, create, implement, plan for and change. Its kind of like fun. What is fun? How do I create fun? How do I plan for and implement fun and if there is no fun how do I change this no fun environment? You see the perplexity of fun is that the more we enforce it and standardise it, try and build it into our daily lives the less fun, fun becomes. Just like with fun, culture is about creating an ecosystem for it to exist. And creating that environment takes time, it takes changing beliefs, letting great people define the culture not you telling them that the culture of your company is a certain way. Because the reality is they probably see it differently to what you’ve tried to design.

We are going to show you two things that will help you on your culture changing or culture building journey. 1. 3 great examples of company culture and how they did it. 2. Our top tips for creating an environment in which an awesome culture is able to exist (giving you an insight to the Lokko workplace wink wink).

Winning cultures


From zealous encouragement of employee philanthropy to dedicated “mindfulness” rooms and entire floors celebrating the company “Ohana” (Hawaiian for “family”), Salesforce has forged an unusual corporate culture from the beginning.  It got there by offering rich rewards, both monetary and intangible. Many companies pay bounties to employees who refer new hires; Salesforce has paid out $5.5 million worth of them. The company also ferrets out strong performers who have gone 18 months without a promotion to help them find new challenges. And employees get paid 56 hours a year to volunteer in their community.

Wegmens Food Markets

Company loyalty runs deep at this more than century- old grocery chain, which spent $50 million on employee development last year (plus $5 million in scholarships) and filled half of its open positions internally. Staffers say “fulfilling” work gives them a “sense of purpose,” thanks to Wegmans’ mission of “helping people live healthier, better lives through food.” The civic spirit helps too: The chain reclaims millions of pounds of food every year to feed the hungry.

Ultimate software

“The benefits are unreal” at this publicly traded HR software company that man- ages to still feel like “a small family business.” Ultimate matches all employee 401(k) (or retirement savings – Superannuation in Australia) contributions at a rate of 40%, and pays all medical and dental costs. The “reward trips” to places like the Bahamas and Disney World don’t hurt either.

Perks, incentives and philosophies

1. Time off each month for personal development, family, side projects, hobbies.
2. Better annual leave than the minimum
3. CPI + merit increase annually with salary
4. Performance incentives
5. personal development allowance and study leave
6. Flexible work – 2 X optional work from home days per week, adjustable and flexible hours
7. Mental health days on top of annual sick leave (no questions asked) + company paid psychology consults
8. Company paid lifestyle services – Gym, dietitian, exercise physiology, physiotherapy.
9. Private health insurance
10. 3-4 months paternity pay
11. 80-100% pay maternity for 6 months + child care subsidisation + 12-24 month reintegration to the workforce strategy
12. Up to 25K interest free personal loan
13. ESOP – Employee stock ownership plan
14. Employee innovation investment fund – Funding great ideas of employees side projects
15. Managing employees hours and avoiding burn out
16. Empowering staff with autonomy and recognition


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