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The Roc Search Blog

Culture eats strategy for breakfast

30 November 2018

Conor Roughneen, Founder and Managing Director

Peter Drucker famously said that ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’. Whether it eats it for breakfast, lunch (which is the actual name of a best seller by Curt Coffman and Kathie Sorensen) or dinner, it’s clear that it matters.

As founder and Managing Director of Roc Search, it’s my responsibility, and that of our leadership team, to understand what our people think about our company. That’s why we spent so much time in 2018 redefining our Employee Value Proposition (EVP) – culture being a key part of it – to provide more flexibility, autonomy and inclusivity.

Whether investing in training, rewards and benefits, or our working environment, I want every member of the Roc team to come to work knowing they’re in the best place to succeed.

Retention of talent is incredibly important to the success of our business and we want to make sure that even more of our trainees become managers. But you can only do that if you have the right culture. A culture of listening, acting and communicating.  

Cultural difference

We’ve always encouraged feedback – our suggestion boxes have played a big part in that. In fact, changes were made to our working hours and dress code as a result of comments received in our boxes.

The Best Companies surveys have also been incredibly important to us. Roc Search has featured in the ‘Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies to Work For’ three years in a row. We ranked 7th, 12th and 10th from 2016 to 2018. The consistency we have achieved is testament to everybody’s hard work. And I’d like to think that our listening culture has played a major part in this, helping us build engagement and develop trust.

And in 2018, we started our EVP journey. This gave everyone the opportunity to voice their opinions via bespoke surveys and focus groups. This meant that we were able to implement concrete actions based on the feedback received. It’s all too easy to focus on the big ticket items, but sometimes it’s the smallest things that have the biggest impact.

Listening culture

But it’s all about listening.

It’s been a real journey since I founded the company in 2007. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt it’s that getting your culture right doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s a gradual process of continual improvement. And when it does begin to click into place, it should happen organically, created by your own employees.

There will always be room for improvement, but I’m incredibly excited about the direction we’re heading in and for the future of Roc Search – and everyone in it.

PS: we provide a free breakfast and fresh fruit, so maybe our culture is eating strategy for breakfast after all. As long as we keep listening, I’ll be happy!
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