Capitalize on culture: five setups for success

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Most offices are similar. Each employee has his or her role, their boss offers direction, and a higher-level manager passes down further instruction. This assembly-line-style “normative” culture is often the most effective. Yet Regus research shows that 41 percent of you feel that a lack of communication and involvement from the upper tiers of management might compel you to leave your job. For the nonconformists among you, here’s a rundown of five very different company cultures.

Academy culture

Businesses with academy cultures hire staff who are eager to improve, and run regular courses for employees. By investing in their staff, these companies increase loyalty and make their workers feel valued – our early 2011 study shows that 47 percent of you believe that sharing knowledge and skills among staff members leads to a happier business culture. Academy cultures are found in environments where specialist knowledge is vital, such as hospitals, universities and research facilities.

Pragmatic culture

To companies with a pragmatic culture, the customer is king. Employees work to please clients rather than bosses, and hierarchy comes second to service. Smaller creative companies with a wide variety of clients find this culture useful, as they can adapt their approach to each client. In the fast-moving financial services sector and in the creative industries, trusted employees can quickly meet client needs thanks to the freedom that a pragmatic culture allows.

“Tough guy” culture

In “tough guy” culture, employees are micromanaged every step of the way and are told if their work diverges from targets. For example, call-center workers are expected to keep to the script, and conversations are recorded to check protocol. This strictness isn’t always a bad thing – it’s particularly useful for companies that need consistent quality control.

Baseball team culture

Want your employees to really care about the company? Then they need to feel valued. Modern tech brands believe that their most prized assets are their workers’ bright ideas, so they make their employees feel indispensable – like stars on a sports team. Flexible work hours, free meals and gym memberships are common in larger ad agencies as well as companies such as Google and Facebook.

Competitive culture

In a competitive culture, healthy employee competition is encouraged for the greater good of the company. In newspaper offices, reporters compete for the best stories, resulting in a better publication. In investment banks, traders compete for the top contracts, bringing more profit to the company. Strong managers ensure that rivalries remain productive – 7.8 percent of you believe that aggressive competition between colleagues contributes to workplace stress.