Building a strong company culture is no longer just an option for organisations; it has become a necessity. In today's rapidly evolving business landscape, a robust and positive company culture can make all the difference in attracting and retaining top talent, fostering employee engagement and productivity, and ultimately, driving sustainable success. A well-defined company culture serves as a guiding force, shaping behaviours, values, and attitudes that define an organisation's identity. It creates a shared sense of purpose and belonging, aligning employees towards common goals and motivating them to go above and beyond. We recently sat down with Kylie Telford - IANZ's Head of People and Culture - to learn about her and the importance of culture in an organisation.
Kylie, what is something that you were looking forward to in working with IANZ?
A big learning curve in a new industry and meeting new people. I've spent a long time in people-related roles, but the IANZ industry, accreditation and all that it entails are entirely new to me so I was really looking forward to learning all about it - and it hasn't disappointed, there's a lot to learn! And the people I've met on the journey so far have been awesome!
How do you think both your working style and the workplace in general have changed in the last three years due to Covid?
I've been working flexibly since my daughter was born 13 years ago. But what covid has taught me is I really enjoy a hybrid world; I love people and enjoy being around them, but when I need to put my head down and get work done I prefer to do that in the quiet of the home environment. I think many people operate well this way and I think workplaces of the future will see the office as the place where people congregate for the social aspects of work; meeting days, team building, workshopping, brainstorming etc. and home offices will be the quietest spaces to work away from the noise.
A large part of your role is supporting the culture of the organisation. What do you think makes a great workplace culture?
I think you spend more time at work than anywhere else, so work needs to be a place you can be yourself, grow and develop and be appreciated for your contribution. To enable this I think you need clear values and purpose, open communication, trust and respect and an environment that embraces diversity and strong, supportive leadership. Work should be a place you can really achieve things, but you want to have a little fun along the way.
And, lastly, what is one essential office item you can't live without and why?
My favourite notebook and pen?! Sounds old-school I know, but my daughter gave me them when I was starting at IANZ as she knows I'm a prolific note-taker and I take them everywhere with me!