Mercury Hampton

Culture in the workplace is now a massive thing that people factor in when considering a job offer. Things have changed dramatically in the past 35-years; we may not go to work at the coalface any longer, but we do work increasingly long hours. It’s not too much to ask, then, for a work environment that you actually enjoy being in. As anyone who has ever been in a job that they hate will tell you, eight hours is a bloody long time when you’re just waiting until you can clock off and go home again. Even worse is the prospect of having to do it all over again the next day, and the next day, and the next. It’s emotionally crippling.

So, what can companies do to create a harmonious, encouraging, environment that actually works?



If you are looking to develop a thriving company, then culture is vital; the undercurrent of a successful business is where values and beliefs are embedded throughout. It also ensures a subconscious bond between employee & employer, creating maximum engagement. Having an engaged workforce offers loads of benefits:

  • Improved productivity,
  • Higher quality of work,
  • Better customer experience and going the extra mile,
  • It can even prevent your staff from considering higher salary offers elsewhere.

Based upon countless hours of interviewing thousands of candidates and industry leaders, we can resolutely say that toxic companies and inflexible, arcane management styles only go so far before they dramatically implode. While they may have the best products to promote, the best-looking offices, and the biggest customer base, it all counts for nothing if you can’t keep hold of your staff because you have the emotional intelligence of a loaf of bread.

Take Prologis for example. After Prologis stocks fell 96% and share values hit an all-time low of $2 per share (from a high of $70) on 6th March 2009, Walt Rakowich was brought in to replace the CEO and was tasked with turning the company around. After regaining control and bringing the company back from ruins, he said that one of the key factors of his success was eradicating the existing company culture, which had become poisoned, corrupt, and polluted with negativity.



Look, this isn’t brain surgery. It can be boiled down to something as simple as ‘don’t be a d*ck,’ but keep an eye open for these following tell-tale signs of a toxic culture creeping in:

  • Poor internal communication,
  • Micromanagement and dictatorship culture,
  • Lack of empathy from management,
  • Poor discipline,
  • Missing deadlines,
  • Lack of peer-to-peer respect,
  • High staff turnover,
  • High staff sickness,
  • Overall underperformance.



  • Make sure that your employees know your company’s ethics, values, and beliefs is a key element of running a smooth and effective business.
  • Educate them on your processes and procedures and offer a reward for executing them effectively.
  • Lead by example; acknowledge and encourage success.
  • Have fun! Don’t manage through misery and fear.
  • As a leadership team, set smart objectives – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-Based.
  • Empower your people, don’t scare them with dictatorial threats. Someone we once dealt with said, ‘This is a dictatorship, not a democracy.’ It won’t surprise you to learn that the demise of their business followed rather quickly.
  • Coach rather than manage. Aim to employ people who can manage themselves.
  • Scrap constant pointless meetings.
  • Recruit for attitude and culture alignment over skills and experience. Skills can be taught; an idiot is always an idiot.
  • Allow people to express themselves and be innovators.
  • If you treat your staff well, they will go the extra mile for you, the business, and your customers.
  • Be firm but fair – getting the right balance is key. Being too lax with them inevitably leads to people taking the mick, but conversely, screaming at them to get on the phones encourages no one to pull their finger out either.
  • Treat everyone how you would like to be treated.
  • Allow for flexibility. People have lives outside of work, and if you can help your colleagues to accommodate this without them fearing for their job, then you’ll encourage loyalty in them.
  • It made for a very entertaining film, but the world has moved on since the Wolf of Wall Street. Pinstripe suits are no longer cool, and dog eat dog doesn’t work – it’s 2021, not the 1980’s!



If you’re still in any doubt about how instrumental a good culture can be for your business, we’ll leave you with this quote from Tim Cook, CEO of Apple:

“Ultimately, it’s on the company leaders to set the tone. Not only the CEO but the leaders across the company. If you select them so carefully that they then hire the right people, it’s a nice self-fulfilling prophecy.”


If you’d like further advice on this then we suggest you head over to, a website dedicated to helping new businesses get the right balance between culture, people, products, and money.



Back to News

    Send us a message

    Mercury Hampton