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Culture: The lessons businesses can learn from football

We’re in the thick of Euros fever, and it’s a reasonably predictable time for companies and individuals to start waxing lyrical about football. Whether that’s football on your can of fizzy pop, the players queuing up to help you get rid of dandruff, or the once in a lifetime chance to win tickets to the opening of a dressing room door, it’s everywhere. At least for a few weeks. Advertisers absolutely love tapping into the feel-good factor that Mr Southgate will no doubt bring to the country (at least until we exit the group stage and enter the group of death).

But I’m not here to write about football or advertising. I want to write about culture, and the lessons us mere mortals can learn from the spirit of a team like England.

In a recent article for the BBC , Danny Welbeck (ex Man Utd and Arsenal, and current Watford talisman) is quoted as pinpointing culture as the factor that has helped the current England team do so well stating, "…he likes to make sure there's a really good culture within the group".

And if you have witnessed the Italian team singing the Italian national anthem, you’ll know that Roberto Mancini has drilled home a culture of pride, togetherness and responsibility.

A strong culture ensures that there’s a spirit within the group, that the common goal is clear and understood and that all the players are working together towards the same aim. So how does this translate to business?

According to our very own Helen McLeod, The culture we create in the workplace isn’t just important, it’s essential. A clearly defined culture can be the difference between achieving your aims, and falling at the first hurdle.”

Culture is intertwined with employee engagement and productivity. It’s the difference between asking a colleague to clock in, and creating something that each of them can believe in.

More and more candidates are looking at culture before accepting a role, and it can be the tipping point between somebody who wants to stay, and somebody who leaves. It can be more important than salary. Culture is the factor that underpins everything – from employee engagement to retention rate and candidate recruitment.

My view is that the culture you create in your business should hold weight – and the same weight as your strategy, goals, financial structure.

As we’ll find out in the next month, the sense of togetherness you feel from a common aim can help you to over achieve.

Does this mean I think England will win? Not with Raheem Sterling up front.


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