The five C’s to cultivating culture

Writing note showing Culture. Business photo showcasing characteristics and knowledge of a particular group of showing.

According to a recent study by FlexCareers, 75 per cent of employees and jobseekers say hearing employee stories about what it’s really like to work for a company is very important in choosing a job. We like to think we’re an employer of choice for like-minded creatives. Our culture is centred around our people, and our attitude around “sharing your magic”. Put simply, we empower our people to have the courage to share what makes them great.

This philosophy plays an important role in our company and has helped us to uncover a direct correlation between an engaged workforce and delivering an exceptional customer experience. So, while we’re helping our clients share their magic online, we are sharing skills and transforming behaviours internally to develop our workforce and leadership team.

Yet with all good magic comes a good dose of realism, and we use the “five C’s” model care, connect, coach, contribute and congratulate to achieve it. We believe the magic is in the simplicity of the framework. The five C’s can be adopted and adapted by any small-business owner or start-up looking to build a high performing team and a culture of strong employee engagement and retention. How? Let me explain.


Understand people are motivated by, and desire different things. You’ll need to recognise employee wants, needs, and actually listen to them. For example, we offer flexible working, provide the freedom of autonomy and also consultation, plus a range of regular wellbeing activities.


Identifying and understanding employees’ goals and aspirations is vital, and I find connecting with them plays a large role in this. Make connection a priority via in person or virtual meetings, to talk about goals, aspirations and provide advice on how your business can help facilitate these. Also consider social events and regular team check-ins. Without effective connection, culture can’t be bullet-proof.


I went from an entry-level position to CEO in five years. This is a true testament to the leadership and growth opportunities that can be created by a founder,

down. Consider things like training, performance evaluations and the encouragement of continued learning. These aspects have inspired our employees to always want to be better, and do better.


The best ideas don’t usually come from the top, in-fact the team on the ground are often the best to problem solve, innovate and create change. It also allows for diversity – everyone has different experiences, perspectives and understanding, so encouraging our employees to bring these aspects to the surface to problem solve and innovate has been a game-changer.


How people feel will determine their actions. Our best retention strategy is to celebrate good work, strong character and aligned values. Everything else can be trained.

So, start by asking yourself and your team;

  1. How would you rank the 5c’s in order of importance to you?
  2. What do you want to be best recognised for internally and externally?
  3. What does our team look like in 12 months from now?

If you can lead by example and show your team how they can be successful and also how they can win, they’ll maintain the culture you’ve worked so hard to build or in the case of start-ups, contribute to cultivating your dream culture.