Research Report

Keeping culture, purpose and values at the heart of your SME

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Keeping culture, purpose and values at the heart of your SME

Published May 2014

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617 KB

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This report examines how SME organisations can retain people’s identification with their founding purpose and values over time and promote the desired culture. Employees’ sense of purpose and the set of values steer and guide the culture of the organisation.

A more informal definition of culture is ‘the way we do things round here’ and CIPD research has highlighted the key role of culture to business success. This report provides practical ideas, hints and tips for smaller businesses about how to retain what you’re all about over time. It draws on the practical experience of 16 case study organisations and consultants who work with SMEs.

The case study organisations are:

Arolite, Caljan Rite-Hite, Choccywoccydoodah, DUO, EducationCity, Healthspan, IMarEST (The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology), Julia’s House, MJF Cleaning, Naked Wines, NP Group, Romax Technology, Secret Escapes, UKFast, Watford Community Housing Trust and Youthscape.

"Events and changes in the organisation have the potential to derail what you’re all about,
... there are numerous opportunities to reinforce the desired way of doing things by implementing and
managing organisation change in a way that supports and reinforces your way of operating."

Content of the report

  • Introduction 
  • Our research
    1. The importance of culture
    2. Creating and embedding the narrative around your purpose and values
    3. Dealing with the cultural implications of structural and organisation changes presented through growth
    4. The opportunity to reinforce ‘what you’re all about’ through your people practices
  • Summary
A further report is due shortly.

Read our earlier report Achieving sustainable organisation performance through HR in SMEs

View more information about people management in SMEs