In the UK alone there are 1,343 established Fintechs, which is crowded for any type of industry. As a result, it can be easy for leaders to be distracted, focusing on product development or investor funding. Establishing a culture or building a stronger culture often becomes ‘something we can always do later.’ You know it’s important, but you’ll tackle it when you have a few hours to spare. At a time when you have customers to satisfy and investors or shareholders to keep happy, the idea of creating a common way of thinking and behaving in your business seems like a luxury you can’t afford.
And then this happens. As you grow, whether you are an established organisation or a start-up, the people you hired initially start to leave and you find it hard to attract replacements quickly enough. This leads to a compromise on quality. You try to expand into a new country, but the thought of getting people from different backgrounds to work together makes you break into a cold sweat. And then, at your next funding round or shareholder meeting, questions will be asked about culture and they will be unimpressed with a vague answer that ‘we all pull together and everyone loves working here.’
Or, you hit a plateau with your sales; your initial customers move away, saying you’re not the business you were when you first started, and new ones seem unsure if you’re the kind of outfit they want to buy from. Finally, you walk into the office one day and have the awful realisation that everyone’s the same. How are you going to create the most innovative products in the universe when your employees represent five percent of the population?
A great culture is what stops this happening. It isn’t something you can put off until a later date – to sometime in the mythical future when you have the head space or volume of people to warrant it. Because cultures, like weeds, have a habit of growing whether you plant them or not.
Attracting and retaining talent
However, preventing problems is only the starting point when it comes to what you gain from having a strong culture. Its main benefits lie in how it helps you to attract and retain talent, foster happiness and satisfaction in the workplace, increase your people’s engagement with their work, drive high performance, and attract investors.
If you go down this route you’ll discover the unassailable competitive advantage you have when your people are aligned with what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it, which in turn gives you the best possible chance of leading a successful and sustainable business.
Having a clear and compelling brand relies on you having defined your company’s purpose
You’ll also find that your employees are willing to move heaven and earth to help you because they believe in your vision and share your dreams – to make the impossible possible. This is where your employer brand comes in, because it does the work of filtering out the inappropriate candidates before they even contact you. Having a clear and compelling brand relies on you having defined your company’s purpose, mission statement, and behaviours, so potential employees know what to expect from working with you. It also goes further than that: you need to articulate your employee value proposition.
This is the aspect of working for you that makes you different from other businesses – the special something that draws the right person in and sends the wrong person off to another organisation. At Grab Financial Group we were devoted to building and maintaining our employer brand, involving showcasing what the company had done, what it wanted to do, and the success it had achieved.
We produced lots of content and videos that gave potential candidates an insight into our culture, and were proud of the investment we made in this area because it paid dividends in the long run. Grab has now become one of the most dominant super apps in Asia, offering rides, food delivery and now, financial services.
At global fintech Paysend, our culture is the number one priority, alongside product and technology innovation, growth and even funding, because without the right talent there is no sustainable business growth. When a company has a strong focus on culture, it gives it a competitive advantage.