A coherent company culture is crucial for brand development

31 October 2019 Consultancy.co.za 2 min. read
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Boutique business advisory firm Simon-Pure Consulting has conducted a detailed survey on company culture across South Africa, revealing – among a number of other factors – inconsistencies in companies’ approach towards innovative thinking. Other issues include widespread reports of preferential treatment. 

Simon-Pure Consulting is a Johannesburg-based advisory firm that offers a broad range of consulting services that are housed within the domain of human resource (HR) strategy and company culture. The firm operates on the ethos that company culture is among the primary drivers of brand development.

To gauge the overall status of company culture in the South African business environment, the firm has now conducted a detailed survey amongst the general public. The open access survey provides respondents with space to describe their company culture using six categories: Quality of leadership, engagement, career development, collaboration, consistency and creativity.

According to Founder of Simon-Pure Elaine Porter, the division of the survey into various categories is a way of indicating that the responsibility to drive a positive company culture can be extended beyond just the HR team. A number of stakeholders are involved in a company’s work environment.

A coherent company culture is crucial for brand development

“Other factors, like how leaders and managers behave, how colleagues treat one another, and the company’s policies and processes have a big impact on one’s experience at work. We wanted to examine all these factors to get a view of how they are playing a role in South African businesses,”explains Porter.

The survey results paint a mixed picture when it comes to company culture across South Africa. Responses show inconsistencies when it comes to the approach to innovation taken by South African companies. Where 45% of the companies encourage employees to put forth innovative ideas, only 23% then give their employees the time and space to work on these ideas, while less than 40% are likely to fund these ideas.

“This may send mixed messages to employees. If they took the job because they expected an opportunity to bring creativity and innovation to the role, and then find themselves effectively hamstrung, they could quickly become disengaged,” says Porter. This is a particularly worrying trend in the South African context, given that the economy is currently dependent on its innovative capacity to drive its economic growth.

A number of South African companies are looking to develop the power of their brands in the increasingly competitive market. While tech is a major aspect of brand development, many have suggested that a strong company culture and ethos is equally significant in the development of brands.