Why is company culture so important these days?

Why is company culture so important these days_

Google ‘Why is company culture important?’ and you get about 1,990,000,000 results. It’s a hot topic especially these days, with some massive recent shifts in how and where we work.

So, it’s good to see it being discussed amongst some of Ireland’s leading financial services professionals.

In the recent Women in Finance Virtual Summit Ireland edition, Fionnán O’Sullivan, Managing Partner at Barden’s Financial Services Practice, hosted a panel entitled “Redefined company cultures – the pandoras box of opportunities”.

The panel featured:

Joann Hosey, Provincial Director, Bank of Ireland Dublin

Sara Savidge, Managing Director, Wholesale Payments, JP Morgan Chase & Co

Alison Manley, Director, Goodbody Fund Management

…and zoned in on culture exploring what it means for companies, especially those operating in financials services. Through a series of blogs we’ll take a closer look at what was discussed on the day and will share some of the kay insights with you.

First up we dive into…

“Why is company culture so important these days, and why is there such a focus on it?” 

With company culture being defined as “as a set of shared values, goals, attitudes and practices that characterise an organisation” Fionnán asked the panellists to share their take on culture and what it means for their organisations. Here’s what they had to say.

Joann Hosey, Provincial Director, Bank of Ireland Dublin

“Culture is essentially how we do things, how we get things done in an organisation. There are two aspects to it looking both internally and externally.”

“Externally customers will want to understand a business and an org so they can build trust in an organisation. And obviously as we build trust with our customers they’re likely to do more business with us so I think really positive commercial outcomes are possible through that.”

“From an internal perspective, and when you put the colleague lens on it, colleagues want to enjoy their job. Colleagues want to make a difference. Colleagues want to contribute and be part of the ultimate vision of the organisation.”

“So we’re hearing quite a bit at the moment about purpose-led organisations, organisations essentially who have a clearly defined purpose, they’re very clear in what they want to stand for. And if I look at Bank of Ireland for example we’re very clear, we’ve a very strong purpose we want to enable customers, colleagues and communities to thrive. And across our organisation with 10,000 people every single person is aware in terms of what our ultimate ambition is. And really as a colleague that purpose gives me clarity. It makes me know what I stand for, what I want to achieve and I think what it really does is it helps an organisation to rebuild engagement among its people.”

 “It will also attract and help us to attract new talent and we know that better engagement will deliver better customer outcomes but equally better commercial outcomes for the organisation. So I think it’s a win-win situation for both customer, colleague and the organisation.” 

Sara Savidge, Managing Director, Wholesale Payments, JP Morgan Chase & Co

“It’s a difficult one to manage, it’s less tangible. Performance can often be measured by numbers by success by feedback, whereas culture is very intangible.”

“When I look at culture in terms of the impact it has it is the most significant deciding factor in terms of a company’s performance or perhaps how colleagues feel about the organisation and the clients that they serve. When we engage with our clients here in JP Morgan our clients want to know, they want to experience and fell that culture come through too, and I think it’s so very important.”

“It’s also around loyalty, I think Joanne hit on a really good point earlier, colleagues want to feel part of something. And if you feel part of something you’re more inclined to go the extra mile or perhaps think outside the box and that inclusive environment where the culture is really positive, people can be themselves, their full authentic self, in a positive environment that is centred around culture I think also the company can expect more from their colleagues and clients as well, in terms of experience. That end to end experience that clients have touches so many different parts of our organisation. Therefore there needs to be cohesive that inclusive culture to make sure the customer experience is consistent at every touch point.”  

Alison Manley, Director, Goodbody Fund Management  

“I think it’s very interesting in financial services because we have similar approaches to culture. We need to be very stable, we need to follow the rules but we also need to be very caring and portray a caring culture to our clients and our staff.”

“But outside of financial services it’s really interesting there are very different kinds of culture. If you think of a company like Tesla, it’s all about innovation and what’s the next great thing and how can we be better and better, and how can we reimagine.”

“Or you can have a culture like Disney  which is much more about caring and bringing families together. I think it’s great that companies and organisations can create their own culture and envisage their own culture that is both appropriate to their business goals and to the goals of their people. It’s important for the company to come together around what our culture should be.”

In the next edition of this series we’ll take a look at “How do we keep the culture in tact during the pandemic, and ensure it doesn’t slide.”


About Fionnán O’Sullivan

As an expert in financial services recruitment Fionnán O’Sullivan takes his job seriously. With the support of Partners across Accounting, Tax and Legal, Fionnán leads an expert team that are trained in Insurance, Asset Management or Banking and share the same experience as the hiring managers they work with. His reputation, personal network, knowledge and the calibre of his people is why financial services companies trust Fionnán and his team in Barden. Get in touch with Fionnán via LinkedIn or email fionnán.osullivan@barden.ie.

At Barden we invest our resources to bring you the very best insights on all things to do with your professional future. Got a topic you would like us to research? Got an insight you would like us to share with our audience? Drop us a note to hello@barden.ie and we will take it from there. Easy.

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