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What ‘Christmas in July’ has to do with Culture

What is it that makes a company a great place to work? On the surface a lot of us tend to focus on the brand value of an organisation, closely followed by the remuneration paid to its employees. But in today’s world, what was so often overlooked in the past, is now at the forefront of candidates’ and employees minds: work culture.

It’s a buzzword we hear on a daily basis. Culture is an intangible ideology embedded like code which now often plays a deciding factor in attracting, retaining and building loyalty from employees to an organisation. But it can be shaped and defined more tangibly when organisational leaders design the culture they want to experience in their organisation. Overall a great work culture encourages its employees to behave like they’re family and have each other’s back. And it derives from senior leadership walking the talk.

Listen to Managing Director Joe Bartolo share his role in the design and shaping of the culture at Civilex as he takes us on a tour of the new Spotswood head office.

As a prospective or current employee, whatever demographics or role you occupy, the Civilex group of companies (see our previous web post Our New Line Up) ticks a lot of the boxes as an ‘employer of choice’ in the civil and construction industries:

The Civilex Group’s Cultural Code
What Joe touches on in his office tour is the “plus more” on the above list, which is where culture gets interesting and sets a great company apart from the others. The Civilex Group values its employees and provides employees with an office and work environment they actually like coming to as well as spending social time together. Social activities develop interpersonal relationships that co-workers build outside the office. It’s not just a time to play: they strengthen bonds, break down barriers between peers, departments, and teams. Civilex believes in this so much that Joe and his team have shaped what culture can look like. Take for example our social calendar – introduced last year that locks in work-free days, welcome BBQs, and work social dates for all employees to enjoy.

These range from getting a paid day off work for your birthday, to adding an extra RDO onto a public holiday to make it an even longer weekend (yes you heard correctly!). There’s also social gatherings within the office that occur at any time of the day – like a game of pool with the Estimating Team, or a quick game of table tennis outside with one of the Project Managers, or a comfy leather lounge to relax in whilst you take a call (they’re some of the “Google-style” items at head office). We also socialise outside the walls of the head office and schedule special celebrations – such as a Christmas in July event with our families (it’s true – we are a real family-oriented culture).

Our Christmas in July
This year Civilex group staff and their families were treated to lunch at the Melbourne Zoo and a surprise visit from Santa (bearing gifts for the kids!).

And all we had to do was turn up and enjoy the day.

There really are organisations – the Civilex group being one – that truly value the way people feel each and every day at work and these culture valuing companies work hard to create ties among their employees. If you think about it, and research backs it up, it makes complete business sense to invest in employees and establish a positive workplace culture that keeps staff engaged and promotes greater collaboration and communication. Such an investment not only impacts on productivity but employees go home each day happier and more satisfied, which also has a ripple effect on families and friends.

And having an employer that organises, flips the bill and truly values social outings with employees’ families is the best tick of approval that could be on any candidate’s list.

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