The Culture Ops Podcast
Every business has a culture that affects how it performs. Culture isn’t optional. How you deal with the day-to-day people challenges in the workplace has a massive effect on that culture. Building a great culture is difficult. So we’re bringing together founders, CEOs, COOs, Heads of People & Heads of HR to share their honest experiences, their struggles and their learnings. At the end of each episode, you will have something to take away and implement with your team.
What it felt like to fire a whole team with Kelsey Traher
February 12, 2020 • 28 MIN
Kelsey, the COO at Marvel, had to fire their entire outbound sales team. Having read a book that many in the tech startup/scale-up world take as a roadmap to success, they made the decision to take what seemed like the best next step for the growth of Marvel - hiring a strong outbound sales team. Their culture grew with their team size so much so that when the conclusion was drawn that the outbound sales team didn’t make sense for their business, firing the entire team was also a blow to the company culture that had flourished. We get into the emotions that lay behind every decision along that journey, and how Kelsey found a way to make rectify their mistake in the kindest way possible, and rethink their hiring process and planning.
We f*cked up and hired someone too junior.
February 18, 2020 • 30 MIN
In 2019 we hired Jack into a position that had too few resources to support and help him grow. He was a strong grad, and a strong culture fit - so it was rough when we had to let him go because we’d made a hiring mistake. In this episode, we cover the effect it had on him, and what it meant for his career and confidence.
How to build a high performance culture - without perks.
February 24, 2020 • 33 MIN
Jess Ruben had to develop a high performance culture. As a part of that, she decided to roll back a load of perks at JudoPay. When she took on the role, she made the decision to retract their unlimited holiday, £1000/year tax-free travel budgets and Sanctus subscriptions. It was a bold move in a bid to genuinely improve employee experience, motivation and performance. In this episode, we discuss why Jess felt the need to role back those heavy-hitting perks, what she introduced, what the effects were and how she felt at each stage of the process.
Performance reviews are changing - here’s how to get them right.
March 3, 2020 • 33 MIN
Performance reviews can be employee-led or company-centric - but which will enable people to perform? Ginni Lisk, People and Culture Partner at Unleashed, goes over how you can build productive performance reviews through conversations and respecting psychological contracts. This is how to get performance reviews right.
Culture - The good, the bad and the ugly.
March 10, 2020 • 32 MIN
Eliza Eddison, previously of Palantir Technologies, shares her experiences of the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to high-performance company culture. The culture at work can be hard to shape. As a leader, it’s your job to plan ahead for challenges that may come up against your convictions and may be detrimental to your business and people. How do you, and just how important, is building a high-performance team that also benefits from a positive, supportive work culture?
How to adapt your leadership style in a time of crisis.
March 24, 2020 • 37 MIN
It’s hard to get remote working right - in a way that supports your business, and your team wherever they may be. Leadership styles in times of crisis can be instrumental in making remote businesses work. We speak to Perri Lewis, the CEO of Mastered, about how leaders can step up and give their teams what they need without over complicating things, from afar.
How to look after your team's morale, when we're all struggling.
March 27, 2020 • 34 MIN
We speak with Sam Clarke, the founder of happiness consultancy about how you can prevent morale from sliding when social distancing is weighing heavily on everyone’s mind. This is how you support and elevate your team to be happy and continue to be productive in a measurable and sustainable way.
How to nurture a remote culture.
April 7, 2020 • 37 MIN
Now that the vast majority of small businesses are officially working from home, different lifestyles, communication styles and work elements can lead to serious negative impacts on work culture, productivity and mental health. We talk to Nick Matthews, the VP and General Manager of Culture Amp to find out how small business leaders can create a positive and sustainable remote working culture.
How to tackle furloughing the right way.
April 21, 2020 • 36 MIN
For the health and survival of many small businesses, furloughing staff is necessary in these turbulent times. But how do you minimise the number of jobs lost, accurately calculate the cost and practicality of your minimum ‘skeleton team’ to keep the business going while taking the best possible care of both your team and company? We talk to Lewis Tasker, COO of JustPark about how to get furloughing right.
Should you be prioritising team development during COVID-19?
April 28, 2020 • 30 MIN
How do you look at the context of the business, the individual and the situation to decide where your focus should lie right now? Whether honing in on personal development is not just the right thing to drive for with the individual, but for overall business health? We speak to Tom Marsden the CEO of Saberr to dig into a question we’ve been receiving over and over again since our working lives changed. Is now the right time to be focussing on your team's development?
How small businesses will survive and thrive after COVID-19
May 5, 2020 • 38 MIN
How can small business leaders overcome the shock their companies and teams are suffering during this pandemic - and think about how to develop strong teams and cultures in the long-term that will get us through the short term? We speak to Charlotte Hamill the COO of Born Social about how she’s thinking about what comes next, what policies and processes we need to be thinking about in a post-COVID world and acting on the fact that our teams need our support now more than ever.
How to support the mental and emotional wellbeing of your team during COVID-19
May 12, 2020 • 31 MIN
How can small business leaders lookout for the emotional and mental wellbeing of their teams remotely and during this period of increased stress and tension? We talk to Robert Rees, Director of The Grove Practice, an accredited psychotherapist, about mental health and its role in the COVID-10 pandemic, and how to deal with your own and support that of your teams.
How Bulb built an agile culture that took them from the office to remote work.
May 28, 2020 • 33 MIN
How do you define an agile culture that runs through every team at your company and prepares you for quick, dynamic shifts? Most teams and businesses have faced a dramatic shift in working styles - and the implications big and small, business and personal, are wide-ranging. We speak to Tom Fraine the Chief People Officer at Bulb about how they managed to shift their 750 person team from being in the office every day, to being fully remote overnight with the help of an agile culture.
Getting communication right and aligning your business when remote working.
June 4, 2020 • 36 MIN
The vital factor to making a culture of autonomy and trust work, is communication. Now that many teams are remote, aligning everyone and nailing that seamless communication is both key and difficult to productivity and maintaining that culture of trust. We speak to Sarah Mourtada Sich, the Head of Marketing at Work.Life about how they’re maintaining clear, open, productive communication with their team through these remote-working times.
Should businesses be responsible for employee financial wellbeing?
June 15, 2020 • 29 MIN
In the age of mass furlough, many staff members have had to absorb a 20% reduction in their pay. These tough decisions may have helped businesses stay afloat, but there are also ways your company can help your employees - furloughed or not, weather the storm. We spoke to Grace Tolley-Smith, co-founder and CPO at Bippit, about how and why businesses should think about their employees' financial wellbeing
The role of therapy in the workplace
June 22, 2020 • 34 MIN
Therapy can be a means to improving employee wellness, and therefore business health - which begs the question - should workplaces be looking to provide therapy for their employees? We speak to Philippa Richardson, the Founder of The Circle Line, about how and why businesses should consider therapy for all employees an essential part of their wellness and business plans.
Is the team you needed in the past, the team you’ll need for the future?
July 1, 2020 • 31 MIN
A company without a successful team can never become a successful company. So how can you build a team that operates as a growth engine for the new, future-looking ways of work and avoid creating a bottleneck that inhibits progress moving forward? We speak to Charlotte Melkert, Co-Founder and CEO at Equalture about how you can optimise your team for the new ways of work through assessing skills, personalities and reactive responses.
How to hire for the future, remotely.
July 8, 2020 • 30 MIN
COVID-19 has not only changed hiring and growth at present, it has arguably also changed the future of team-makeup hiring. Following on from our discussion last week about how the demands on your team makeup are changing - we speak to Phillip Blaydes, the Founder and Co-CEO of Talentful about how to build that team you’ll need, remotely and fairly.
How to run probation periods fairly and productively.
July 22, 2020 • 38 MIN
The most important element of a new hire’s probation period is communicating correctly. How do you set expectations, measure success and utilise two-way feedback in a way that is most beneficial to your new hire and your business? We speak to Chris Edson, the CEO and Co-Founder of Second Nature and a Forbes 30 under 30, about how they have improved the way in which they use and approach probation periods for fair employee and business growth.
On remote working; don’t give up your office just yet.
July 30, 2020 • 36 MIN
The environment in which our teams work has a huge impact on productivity, motivation and business success. Many companies have been taking their teams fully remote, but that may not be the best choice for all. We speak to Tushar Agarwal the CEO and Co-Founder of Hubble and Forbes 30 under 30, about why the office isn’t dead, and how teams and businesses might benefit still from a physical presence of their teams at work.
How to enable your team to bring their emotions to the workplace.
August 6, 2020 • 33 MIN
Bringing your full self to work is in our opinion both difficult and important. Building a culture of openness and support can help your team feel safe, and achieve those ‘productivity gains’ in the healthiest way possible. Because no one can be a ‘good, productive employee’ 100% of the time. We speak to Carolyn Stransky, a software developer, journalist and advocate of mental health in the workplace, about her experiences as an employee and how businesses can do better and support the emotional wellbeing of their teams.
How to use one-to-ones to improve your culture, remotely.
August 20, 2020 • 36 MIN
The effects of a good one-to-one on your culture and personal relationships at work can be enormous. But in the current work climate of high-intensity, remote work, it’s even harder and more important to do them well. We speak to Phill Burton, the COO of Bloom & Wild about how one-to-ones have worked for them in a remote setting and strengthened their team and business.
How to get your company talking about their mental health.
September 3, 2020 • 37 MIN
How can you encourage and equip your team leaders to have supportive, constructive conversations with their teams about their mental health? It’s impossible to leave your mental health at the door every morning, so it’s vital that companies do more to support and talk about it. We speak to James Routledge the founder and CEO of Sanctus, a company on a mission to open up the conversation around mental health at work about how you can do that.
How to build a culture that is both professional and allows people to be themselves.
September 10, 2020 • 34 MIN
It can be difficult and seemingly impossible to build a culture that is professional and tuned in, but also open to quirks and people enjoying their days at work. One that is both focussed on business success but also gives room for real relationships to form and for people to have fun with their colleagues. We speak to Angela Bradbury the Chief of Staff at Farewill about how they’ve found that balance and nurtured it in their team, even though they’re in the business of death.
We were wrong about culture fit, we should be hiring for values fit.
October 1, 2020 • 30 MIN
We thought the key to building strong culture through hiring was screening for culture fit. Turns out, we were wrong - it’s a value fit that will be the greatest asset to your team and business. We speak to Bretton Putter, author and CEO of CultureGene, about how and why companies should be screening for values fit when hiring - and how to define, embed and manage your culture.
How to build and scale a business with a culture of performance and accountability.
December 11, 2020 • 34 MIN
In this episode we discuss the truths unearthed from the typical startup mantras of culture and performance. Lessons in culture and its importance from a veteran of business building. Alex Depledge has founded and built two successful businesses from scratch. Through the years, they’ve made mistakes in building a culture of excellence and accountability while also trying run a business people really wanted to work for.
How do you build a culture where people “care personally” ?
January 28, 2021 • 45 MIN
Kim Scott is the author of the best-selling book Radical Candor. Kim shares her experiences of developing a growth mindset, digging into the real examples that led to the creation of the Radical Candor framework. Listen in to the advice which has helped many businesses craft cultures of feedback and enable their teams to perform to their best potential.
How to consciously craft your culture for a creative, productive workplace.
February 4, 2021 • 38 MIN
Bruce Daisley was the VP for Twitter Europe for 8 years and is a key player in the workplace revolution as a best selling author in the space. Achieving successful outcomes goes hand in hand with a creative workplace. Ben speaks to Bruce about the importance of actively crafting a motivating culture that emphasises choice, creativity and productivity.
Can a 4 day work week really work?
February 11, 2021 • 45 MIN
4 day work weeks, fully remote, fully distributed and high performing - everyone knows Buffer’s team are on the forefront of progressive policies. But how is a policy of a 4 day work week affecting their team and their business? Nicole Miller, People Operations Manager at Buffer reflects on the impacts, successes and short comings of the policy she helped implement.
Does having a purpose improve business performance?
February 18, 2021 • 37 MIN
Dr. Marcia Goddard, Neuroscientist & Culture Lead at Tony’s Chocolonely, discusses the positive effects and trade-offs on retention, attraction and performance of teams guided by an overarching company mission that feels impactful in the wider-world.
How to craft a parent-friendly culture.
February 25, 2021 • 36 MIN
Small businesses can’t afford to continue to hire predominantly young, childless team members. But it’s impossible to hire smart, driven people who have children without developing a culture that welcomes and enables them to do their best work. Rachel Carrell, Founder of Koru Kids, shares her insights, advice and experiences of building a parent-friendly culture that enables a team to perform to their fullest potential.
OOO - Back Soon!
March 18, 2021 • 1 MIN
We're going on a short mid-season break to make sure we're always bringing you the best content we can. See you in April!
How to implement a culture of authenticity and encourage team candour
April 15, 2021 • 49 MIN
Webflow’s Sean Page joins us to discuss how they’ve made space for vulnerability and authenticity to attract culture adds and improve team wellbeing.
How and why you should maximise autonomy in your team
April 29, 2021 • 29 MIN
Evgeny Shadchnev the founder and ex-CEO of Makers makes the argument that autonomy alone isn’t what will benefit your team most. Evgeny shares their wealth of experience and advice on what aspects are most key to developing a culture which supports growth and business success in this episode of The CultureOps Podcast.
How your lack of diversity is hurting your business’s culture and performance
May 13, 2021 • 38 MIN
How do you deal with diversity debt and the pressures from investors to hit milestones and find growth at almost all costs? Chacho Valadez, Principal at Backstage Capital, joins us to dig into those big, important issues that affect not just business performance but culture, retention and attraction too.
How we’re shaping our culture at CharlieHR
May 20, 2021 • 48 MIN
The Charlie Team dig into the journey culture within the team has changed, grown and been codified, as CultureOps, over the years. 5 years of learnings and iterating on the core values our policies and processes are measured against turned over by CharlieHR’s CEO Ben Gateley, Chief of Staff Amy Cowpe, Product Manager Oyinda Bamgbose and Growth Editor Melanie Schmeelke.
How to harness and support career journeys to boost business and individual performance
May 27, 2021 • 36 MIN
Laurie Ruettimann, author of ‘Betting On You’, joins us to discuss how to find the sweet spot of allowing people to work with purpose, meaning and career growth in a way that impacts profitability and revenue.
How Oatly’s culture of purpose affects discretionary effort and employee engagement
November 24, 2021 • 34 MIN
Laura Wyatt, People and Culture Manager at Oatly has never seen an employee resign. In the wake of COVID and with many companies experiencing ‘the great resignation’, businesses need to be more creative and intentional with employee engagement than ever before. In this episode we dive into how Oatly’s culture of purpose and intention has impacted employee engagement, retention, motivation and discretionary effort.
The importance of culture in the cohesion of high performing teams
December 9, 2021 • 45 MIN
Khoi Tu, author of SuperTeams joins us to talk about high performing teams, and why leaders are vital to trust, cohesion and inclusivity in team construction. Without them, you can’t build a business or a high performing team that will go the distance and hit business milestones.
Why inauthentic cultures fail, and how to build a real one.
January 13, 2022 • 34 MIN
Camilla Boyer, head of internal communications and culture at Hopin, joins us to discuss why a safe and diverse space along with building trust is crucial to crafting a genuine culture for your business.
Building a continually self-improving culture through feedback
January 20, 2022 • 39 MIN
Shivani Berry, CEO & Founder of Ascend says the best leaders are feedback magnets. But how can you turn what is often a scary thing, into something beneficial for the company and culture you’re crafting?
Crafting courageous, autonomous cultures
February 3, 2022 • 36 MIN
How do you build a culture that fosters courage, the understanding that each opinion matters and avoids the trap of leadership teams thinking they always know best? Karin Hurt, CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders and author of Courageous Cultures joins us to discuss the tools and necessity of building a courageous, autonomous culture.
How to build a remote-first culture and prioritise the virtual employee experience
February 17, 2022 • 44 MIN
For many, WFH is here to stay. Daphnée Laforest, an expert in remote-first organisation strategy and the Founder of Modern Leaders speaks to us about how you can build a great remote-first company with a strong, supportive culture that fosters inclusion, engagement and performance.
We'll be back soon
March 16, 2022 • < 1 MIN
The CultureOps Podcast is going on a short mid-season break. We’ll be back in a few weeks with new guests and new episodes on the nuts and bolts of building great company culture.
How to build a culture that confronts racial bias
April 28, 2022 • 43 MIN
It can be tricky figuring out a framework and the key cogs of any organisation to work on to confront racial bias and rectify inequalities. Daisy Auger-Dominguez has been doing that good work at the likes of Google, Disney and now VICE Media, and has a new book on the subject out. She joins us to share her knowledge on the subject and make a case for focussing in on managers when trying to build a culture that confronts racial bias.
How to codify and update your values to boost performance
May 5, 2022 • 37 MIN
You've codified your values into a functional, high performing culture. But how do you move from an early stage, speed oriented culture into something that fits your current team and business goals? Chloe Bartle, Head of People and Culture at Trouva, came out of the pandemic of 2020 with a stronger team in need of a re-coding of their values which had become irrelevant to boosting performance and was driving away talent. She joins us to talk about how they turned things around at Trouva, and saved their culture by updating it.
How compensation affects your culture
May 12, 2022 • 36 MIN
Compensation isn’t the only thing employees care about now - which is not to stay it’s not still vital to their experience, performance and happiness. Jonas Bøgh Larsen, Co-founder and CEO of Pento - CharlieHR’s new payroll partner, joins us to discuss how people should navigate compensation to boost performance, attraction and retention and support the culture you want to build.
What matters more now - company culture or flexible working?
May 19, 2022 • 40 MIN
We’re in the middle of the biggest shift in what people expect from work in the last 50 years. Team members are more willing to move jobs more quickly to maximise their compensation - so how can you as a business refresh your culture and policies to better hold onto top talent and attract the best? Hung Lee, author of Recruiting Brainfood, joins us to share his thoughts and insights into how businesses can remain competitive even during the candidate shortage of present.
Understanding the true cost of a negative workplace culture
May 26, 2022 • 35 MIN
How can you tell if your culture is a healthy and inclusive one founded on trust? How do you bring policies to life? Gemma McCall, CEO and co-founder of CultureShift joins us to discuss her experiences of negative workplace cultures, their impact and her expert advice on how to manage and combat them.
Can you really focus on employee happiness and still drive performance?
June 9, 2022 • 40 MIN
Some may see a practical emphasis on employee emphasis as being in opposition to driving performance. Ryo Hanalei Zsun, the Culture Maestro at Zappos makes a compelling case against that mindset in this episode of The CultureOps podcast.