Healthy Workplace Wins Tools and Resources

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Your long-term success comes from a healthy workplace culture…

You and your team will either have clarity or a lack of clarity on your values. Clarity supports your efforts to build a sustainable and successful (healthy) business. A lack of clarity could be undermining your efforts to build a business you can be proud of. 

However, BrewDog had clarity on their values/beliefs! What they seemingly didn’t do is hold the leadership team to account on their behaviours. This lack of accountability prompted a devastating open letter from their ex-employees citing a toxic work environment and forced BrewDog to conduct an independent assessment of their working practices.


"What are the core values, standards or beliefs that guide your business decisions and your people’s behaviours?"

This question prompts you to consider how you want everyone in your business (from top to bottom) to behave. And, by default, how you don’t want people to behave.

STOP thinking success is about being smarter

START investing in a healthy workplace culture and release the untapped potential across your business

The one ‘BREAKTHROUGH QUESTION’ you must ask to help yourself…

If the success of your business depends on the discretionary energy of your people – which it clearly does – then it pays to work out how to inspire your people. Values play an important role in creating both a sense of fairness and a sense of achievement.

If we take BrewDog, they have been successful on the face of it, but how much more successful could they have been with truly inspired employees who believed wholeheartedly in BrewDog’s values/beliefs?

They wouldn’t have had to deal with accusations of having a toxic work environment.

Bain & Co point to having a meaningful purpose and a set of core values and/or core beliefs that drive behavioural standards. These Business Breakthrough tools and resources will help you unlock the merit of living a set of agreed, clear and well-communicated values around which you build the workplace culture of your business.

So ask yourself this question:


"What are the core values, standards or beliefs that guide your business decisions and your people’s behaviours?"

And to answer this question revisit the Business Breakthrough Report and put the tools and resources below to work for you.

Values orbital - Make it clear to everyone how everyone is expected to behave

As you can see from this simple orbital you can build a handful of core values that provide clarity for everyone in your organisation. It’s doesn’t matter how you populate the orbital - whether you start with your business’s core purpose at the centre and build out your values; or work from behavioural standards and work in; or start with building your values, then working out your behaviours and then your core purpose.

Just get started by having the conversation with your leadership team about values using the questions from the Business Breakthrough report – repeated below:

Working with your leadership team (or your whole team if you prefer) pose a series of questions:

  • What behavioural standards, values and beliefs will help guide you and your team in achieving what matters most to you and your business? You know the answers are meaningful when they can be openly shared with the business owners, team members, clients and community. In this set of orbitals, the example shows a core purpose (reason for being) as ‘Achieve More Together’. You’d substitute this for your business purpose.
  • Think of a current (or ex-) great employee - what behaviours do/did they exhibit that captures all that's good about your business? You’ll discover what behaviours exist that you want to keep and see repeated across all team-members.
  • Think of a current (or ex-) problematic employee - what behaviours do/did they exhibit that captures all that you want to avoid in your business? You’ll discover what behaviours exist that you DON’T want to keep and work out what the polar opposite behaviours are that you want to live by.
  • When you think about how you helped a client (or team member) in a way that made you feel proud – what exactly did you do? - how did you/your team feel? - how did you behave? When you capture your thoughts, behaviours and insights on this question, you’ll be sign-posting the values you want to (and already do) live by.

How engaged are the people in your business?

How many of your employees are inspired, engaged, satisfied or dissatisfied?

Answer this question and you start to see the missing discretionary effort that could be there with more inspired and engaged team members.

Research by international consulting firm Bain &Co shows that less than 20% of all employees in most industries feel inspired about their work. Another 20% feel engaged. The rest are either satisfied or dissatisfied.

Further research by Bain & Co shows that inspired employees are 125% more productive than satisfied employees and more than 300% more productive than dissatisfied employees.

Click the link below to see the detail of the Bain & Co report on the ways and means to inspire people here

Gallup agree with Bain & Co

Gallup describe the journey to full employee engagement as a marathon not a sprint – but they also describe what must be done to achieve employee engagement.

Credence must be given to their research when you consider they have surveyed more than 82,000 teams – over 1.8 million employees – in 230 organisations across 49 industries and in 73 countries.

This research clearly shows that engaged employees produce better business outcomes than other employees – across industry, company size and nationality, and in good economic times and bad. For example, engaged teams generate the following results when compared with less engaged teams:

  • 21% high profitability
  • 40% fewer quality defects
  • 10% higher customer ratings

Bain & Co exec starts a restaurant…

From start up in 2004 to £100m exit for the founders of the Leon chain of restaurants in 2021. One of the founders was ex-Bain & Co! They took values more and more seriously as they grew and established a set of values in 3 areas:

A. Sourcing (of food and ingredient)

1. Celebrate Local and Seasonal

2. Serve More Veg and Better Meat

3. Source responsibly

4. Support Global Farmers

B. Society (staff; community; customers)

1. Treat Staff Fairly

2. Support the Community

3. Feed People Well

C. Environment (Natural; No waste; Reduce, Recycle, Reuse)

1. Value Natural Resources

2. Reduce Reuse Recycle

3. Waste No Food

Find the details of their values here and watch this video to hear the passion they have for their food and restaurants:

More on the Leon story here:

At 3.46 on the video on this page you’ll hear one of Leon’s founders talking about bringing the values of their business to life.

The second part of the interview is here: - here Vincent expands on his views on business leadership too.

More examples of values

Have a search through the stated values of some of the world’s most recognised companies including Coca Cola, Virgin Airlines, Starbucks and more:

If you want more ideas, check out this hubspot page and download the glossary report about values – like this article suggests:

“Ultimately, core values are critical if you want to create a long-lasting, 

successful, and motivating place to work.”

Here you’ll find more examples of values plus the process an internet company (Hotjar) used to establish their values:

More research on the value of engaged team members

  1. 80% of employees felt more engaged when their work was consistent with the core values and mission of their organisation. (IBM)
  2. Highly engaged business teams result in 21% greater profitability. (Gallup)
  3. Companies with engaged employees see 233% greater customer loyalty and a 26% greater annual increase in revenue. (Aberdeen)
  4. Belief in senior leadership is the strongest engagement driver, with growth and development as the second. (Modern Survey)
  5. Organisations with high employee engagement outperform those with low employee engagement by 202%. (Business2Community)
  6. 85% of employees said they were likely to stay longer with an employer that showed a high level of social responsibility. (Ultimate Software)

More research on the value of engaged team members

“More than anything else, values are critical because they define your business’s personality.

…an organisation that has properly identified its values and adheres to them will naturally attract the right employees and repel the wrong ones.”

Patrick Lencioni – ‘The Advantage’ – Why Organisational Health Trumps Everything in Business.

Lencioni goes on to suggest you’ll also attract the right customers and repel the wrong customers too.

Your workplace culture is a reflection of all the decisions, actions and work habits of your people.


“The single greatest advantage any company can achieve is organisational health. Yet it is ignored by most leaders even though it is simple, free and available to anyone who wants it.”

Patrick Lencioni - The Advantage - Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything in Business

The book and other resources

Practice What You Preach

David H Maister

In this brilliant book David proves that employee attitudes are directly correlated with financial success. Based on a worldwide survey of 139 offices in 29 professional service firms in numerous lines of business, Maister proves that companies perceived by their employees to practice what they preach in matters of client commitment, teamwork, high standards, and employee development are more successful than their competitors.

Put simply, employee dedication causes improved financial performance. ‘Practice What You Preach’ can help you increase profitability and provides proof that great financial rewards come from living up to the standards that most businesses advocate, but few achieve.

Here is David Maister in a short 3-minute video talking the importance of values, principles and standards to the success of a business and why to succeed you need to have a core ideology.

Watch this video here:

The Advantage - Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything in Business

Patrick Lencioni

In his thought-provoking book, ‘The Advantage’, Patrick Lencioni is signposting a call to action and a blueprint about how to go from an unhealthy to healthy business. It’s simple and practical. The real-world examples and true customer stories are particularly compelling because they reinforce the concepts and bring them to life.

Lencioni believes that most businesses have plenty of talent, intelligence, and expertise to be successful. What’s more, he contends that almost every business has access to the best ideas and practices about technology, strategy, and many other topics because information is everywhere and easy to locate. However, what many businesses lack is a healthy workplace culture.

Watch this short video (less than 3 minutes) where Patrick Lencioni discusses the difference between smart and healthy organisations and the last untapped competitive advantage in business.

It’s worth watching just for the great reference to ‘I love Lucy’!


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