Publicity February 2018

Culture club

Advice on creating a winning culture

Matt Nicholls, RGF managing director

How big a factor is company culture for candidates when they change jobs?
Honestly speaking, it’s one of the number one reasons why candidates choose to leave their current employer. Gone are the days in Japan of oppressive company cultures and forced loyalty to their firm. Instead, the job market is becoming increasingly fluid and if people are unhappy, they’ll leave.

Social media such as LinkedIn adds even more pressure; firms are constantly advertising how great their culture is. Employees are bombarded with scenes of happiness, reward dinners and incentive trips—a constant reminder that there is a better culture somewhere else.

What makes a successful culture?
It’s hard to answer, but based on feedback from thousands of candidates over the years, the following factors stick out as the most important.
Fairness: It seems obvious, but creating a system or an environment that is fair (or at least is perceived as being so) is crucial. Many employees who are unhappy with their corporate culture complain about unfairness.

Work–life balance: Lots of firms talk about having a great work–life balance, but the reality is different. Employees don’t want to be discouraged from taking annual leave or be forced to stay in the office longer than is necessary.

Employee rewards: What do you offer your employees in addition to financial rewards? Expectations are much higher among candidates with regards to dinners, lunches, trips and additional training.

Camaraderie: It sounds simple, but offering rewards such as trips or incentive dinners can kill a culture if your staff don’t enjoy each other’s company. The best corporate cultures are linked to a clear idea of the type of person that they want to hire.

How is the culture at RGF Japan?
We’re still working on it, but I think we’re headed in the right direction. We have incredibly low staff turnover and regular events, such as the Halloween party picture below. We’re also taking the whole firm to Hawaii in March, and I’m pleased to say that everyone is looking forward to spending time together.

RGF is a complete recruitment solutions provider for global and local clients. With over 50 years of history and experience, and an extensive database of qualified candidates, RGF is your one-stop partner for unparalleled recruitment solutions.