Reflections on culture and values – what they are and why they matter to Cezanne HR

At Cezanne HR, we enjoy strong working relationships with our clients. But this strong relationship is only possible because of our culture. The importance of culture to businesses has been long debated – from diversity, to productivity, to avoiding toxicity. Following are our insights on what company culture is, what it means for us, and what makes ours strong.

We commenced 2020 with our annual kick-off meeting, setting our agenda and priorities for the year ahead and beyond. After the formalities, we engaged in a team-building exercise, where we were split into groups tasked with presenting back on the question: ‘What is Cezanne HR’s culture?’

What struck me were the similarities in each team’s responses, and the extent to which all areas of the business – the development, support and sales teams, as well as the Glasgow and London offices – understood and agreed on the vision and purpose of the company, as well as their roles within them.

Global software people holding hands around globe

Simply put, our purpose is built around one central idea: delivering modern HR software that gives mid-sized organisations the flexibility to do HR their way. This means having a culture that is collaborative, friendly, flexible, diverse and trusting. Without further ado, here are the 5 ingredients that make Cezanne HR’s culture.

1. Collaboration

So often business failures are down to poor communication. Luckily at Cezanne HR, collaboration is one of our biggest strengths. This is largely down to ease of communication.

Our non-hierarchical organisational structure means everybody is approachable and understanding. Furthermore, our open-plan offices mean that while we have different roles and capabilities, we are all one team, and committed to one purpose: our clients. Everyone in the office is involved, and everybody’s contributions are acknowledged. This all serves to create an environment where communication is smooth, and where our goals, strategies and structure are aligned with our purpose.

Indeed, organisational alignment is one of the most important qualities we strive for. Regular meetings are organised: face to face, online or otherwise.

Technology is also extremely important in achieving connectivity across all areas of the business. Whether it’s maintaining regular lines of communication between our London, Glasgow, and European offices, or engaging our freelancers and teleworkers, we make use of the digital channels available to us to keep everyone in the loop in order to best achieve our purpose.

2. Diversity

At Cezanne HR, we’re an international family. Our backgrounds stretch across the globe, with offices spanning from London to Glasgow to Europe.

But beyond our global reach, we also come from different experiences, levels of expertise, and generations. Our diversity gives us better customer insights, improved innovation, as well as higher employee engagement.

Ultimately, with lots of different working styles all working together to achieve the same ends, we are able to assess and view problems from different angles and resolve them in new and exciting ways.

3. Respect

At Cezanne HR, we don’t believe in the cynical ‘wisdom’ that business is a shark’s game. We strive to avoid interoffice politics, clique-isms, and a blame culture. Rather, we strive to maintain a familial, welcoming and personable, yet professional, atmosphere that keeps our people motivated to do well.

We maintain a culture of respect between our employees, which is translated and transferred across all departments, tenures, levels of expertise, age and other factors. Armed with a friendly and approachable leadership team, Cezanne HR’s workforce is empowered to own their work with confidence which sees results in all areas of the business.

For instance, we take our onboarding very seriously. When it comes to new hires, we aim to make their transition as smooth as possible to settle them in quickly and to encourage confidence. Whether it’s a welcome social or activity, we try our hardest to welcome them to the family. Calendars are also kept busy with company events and socials to show appreciation to staff.

4. Integrity

At Cezanne HR, it’s not just about delivering the work, but it’s also about how we do it, and the integrity with which we do so.

One powerful way we apply integrity into our work relates to security. With developments around data privacy and security, such as GDPR, integrity in data handling has never been more relevant. As a Cloud-based HR management software this is of upmost importance to us and defines everything we do. Hence all our employees are trained on data security and our ISO responsibilities, so they understand how to approach client data and confidential materials. We’ve been certified by BSI to ISO27001:2013 and we pride ourselves on our commitment to security.

We are serious about delivering a product to our clients that is always evolving to meet their needs in response to their feedback. With our development teams continually optimising the functionality; with our support team going beyond to answer all our customers’ queries – big or small, we make time – we go the extra mile to deliver a service beyond what’s expected of us.

5. Trust

In addition to the trust of our clients, the trust within our workforce is of huge importance to us. There’s no micromanaging, unreasonable expectations, or harassment. Leadership trusts its workers to understand their responsibilities and to maintain expected performance. One of the most treasured demonstrations of this trust is the company’s support for workplace flexibility. For instance, teleworking is a regular and popular benefit that employees are trusted with. Offering the ability to shape duties around other commitments – whether they’re familial, volunteering, professional development, or otherwise is a great way to keep employees engaged and motivated, rather than enforcing rigid in-office policies.

Technology keeps everyone in the loop, and we all know what is expected of us. Likewise, the trust that allows this to work successfully also improves our collaborative approach by improving confidence between colleagues.

Our culture is our vision. It’s a purpose that connects our employees within our organisation and makes our people happy to work together, and our clients happy to use our services. This is what culture means to us, and why it’s so important to us.

To find out more about the importance of culture, and why it’s so important to get it right, read here.

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