Today we’re launching the Breathe Culture Pledge, an initiative to encourage businesses to take their company culture seriously. The pledge is a statement of intent that employers can make towards investing in their company culture, regardless of their size, to benefit their people and propel their business forward.

Why is culture so important?

Company culture we hear you cry, what’s that compared to efficiency, finance, innovation, marketing, investment, productivity and skills? And what is culture anyway?

Your company culture encompasses all of these issues and more. It defines your possibilities and frames your potential. It’s how things get done in your business, it’s the feel of the work environment, it’s the way people treat each other, its your espoused values and standards, its your implicit attitudes and behaviours.

Our recent research on the Culture Economy revealed that poor company culture is costing the UK economy £23.6 billion each year. So we decided that it was time for a change.

Declining economic growth and productivity in the UK is leaving everyone stumped, and its believed that small incremental changes to the way we work will pay off in dividends. We’re starting that change with a mission, a mission to dispel the myth that company culture is a ‘nice to have’ and something fluffy.

We’re delighted to have had more than 50 organisations already join the Breathe Culture Pledge including Dorset Wildlife Trust, Ridgeview Wine Estate and LEWIS.

“Culture isn’t a box ticking exercise,” says our CEO, Jonathan Richards, “If its not given the focus it deserves, the impact runs deeper than business success and individual performance.

Although there are many businesses with enviable cultures, over half of them still don’t value its importance. Of course, we understand the pressures that small business owners face. But we urge them to make culture a high priority and to integrate culture into their business strategy. After all, it makes business sense to do so.”

Why join the Breathe Culture Pledge?

By joining the Breathe Culture Pledge, you are joining a community of like-minded organisations who all understand that taking culture seriously is vital for creating a thriving business.

“With 80% of young people researching a company's culture before considering a job, investing in culture can help attract and retain the best talent. For any business going through growth, and taking culture seriously, this pledge is a powerful initiative to demonstrate your commitment.” Comments Zoe Jervier, Talent Partner and investment advisor at EQT Ventures, a hybrid VC and startup.

Once signed up to the pledge, businesses will receive a practical framework to create a positive workplace culture, which business leaders can use as a toolkit to improve, sustain or build its culture.

Now is the time to be bold and proactive. Company culture is not a fluffy, nice to have. It is the invisible maker or breaker of all businesses.

You can read more about the pledge and sign up here.

Culture Pledge