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How you can create a company culture that thrives

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How can you create a thriving company culture, where people love coming to work? Educ8 is a training company based in the Welsh Valleys, with a very clear idea of how to achieve it – so much so that it’s been ranked the sixth best small company to work for in the UK by The Sunday Times.

“We are so chuffed,” says Karina Hicks, Head of Sales and Marketing. “When I joined seven years ago, it was one of my objectives to get us on the list. And we did it.”

But how? “We started with core values. We got staff onboard by asking them what our vision and core values should be. We came up with honesty, integrity, respect, and positivity. All decisions are made with these values in mind. So if we have a potential client and they don’t match our values, we turn them down, even if they are lucrative – we have done that a few times.”

The company, based in Caerphilly, works hard to keep the values front and centre. “Staff have meetings with their manager every month, and wellbeing meetings with their manager’s manager every six months. We ask staff if we are reflecting our values. They are encouraged to challenge us if not.”

There are teambuilding activities every quarter, with brainstorming in the morning followed by fun in the afternoon. “We’ve done orienteering, rock climbing, and have kayaking coming up,” says Karina.

The only downside? Educ8 is now 124 people and growing fast. “Next year we might be too big for the Sunday Times ‘small company’ list,” she says.