7 founders share their thoughts on company culture

It’s an age-old question. What is good company culture? Let’s face it every founder will have a different answer. Regardless, it’s one that founders must get right. Why? 

Because, as our founder Ifty Nasir puts it, company culture is a “fundamental component of commercial success”. Multiple studies, including a Forbes report, state that companies with strong company culture saw a 4x increase in revenue growth. 

Not only that, but great company culture can reduce high employee turnover, a red flag for applicants and a morale killer for those still there. In a survey of 2,000 employees, 34% said corporate culture was the main reason they were looking elsewhere. 

What good company culture definitely isn’t is fat lunches and foosball. Companies that rely solely on these kinds of office perks are often those just papering over the cracks. Company culture runs deep, and if it’s flawed at its core, that’s a problem.

Clearly, company culture is important to us, which is why we were chuffed to be named one of the UK’s Culture Leaders. Our company culture stems from our core values:

  • Trust
  • Collaboration
  • Autonomy
  • Purpose
  • Recognition
  • Diligence

That’s our recipe for success. But we’re always intrigued to hear how others define and build great company culture. So, as part of our ongoing #FounderStories series, we ask founders of UK startups to tell us what company culture means to them.

We’ve cherry-picked a few inspiring answers and put them all in one place. All highlight the importance of creating the best company culture possible.

7 founders on what company culture means to them

Richard Oborne, founder of LuxuryTrainTickets.com

"[Company culture] is everything. You could have the best product in the world, but if the people behind it aren't aligned, on the same team or happy, you're not going to do very well."

Michael Groves, founder of Topolytics

"Culture eats strategy for breakfast! We try and live up to our values – being resourceful, respectful and remarkable."

John Quinton-Barber, founder of Social

"Absolutely everything. It’s the one thing that I invest most of my energy on. The happiness of my colleagues means everything. We have one value: ‘life happens’.

This means that whatever happens to our colleagues in their personal lives that may impact their work, we’ll always have their back."

Douglas MacLennan, founder of VoucherCart

"Doing what you love, loving what you do and inspiring those around you to do the same. "

Joshua Dean, founder of Ember

"It’s linked to personality. I think if your culture is bad then it’s a reflection of the business owner. Ember is in its infancy still but I’d like to think it has a forward-thinking culture, where people come first and your life is more important."

Axel Thomson, founder of Ribbon App

"Someone once told me that culture is the outcome of lots of smaller decisions and habits playing out over time in a company, and I tend to agree. 

We are what we do, so it's important to be intentional about what type of behaviour and outcomes we value in our day to day work and decisions."

Hugo Morrissey, founder of Nuisance Drinks

"Company culture is vital for business success. It's fundamental for business leaders to lead by example and this positive mental attitude and approach to work can then trickle down the company."

We couldn’t have put it better! A big thanks to all founders for sharing their thoughts on company culture and what it means to them.