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Best-selling author to deliver keynote at annual Fastest 50 Awards

The annual Ward Hadaway North East Fastest 50 Awards in partnership with The Journal is back for its 23rd year, celebrating the region’s fastest growing, independently owned businesses. Here, we talk to keynote speaker, entrepreneur, best-selling author and podcast host Raman Sehgal, alongside Ward Hadaway’s Damien Charlton, about the role culture plays in success.

The importance of culture to a business’s growth has never been so well documented, heightened by the pandemic and its impact on the DNA of every company affected by Covid. Whilst business leaders are fully aware of what constitutes workplace culture – shared values, shared purpose and a focus on workforce wellbeing – the challenge lies in creating the right kind of culture.

The aim is to develop an environment that not only attracts but retains employees, nurturing a connected, committed workforce that will help to grow a business.

No one knows the power of people better than Raman Sehgal, best-selling author, podcast host and founder of specialist international PR and marketing consultancy ramarketing. Now the agency’s global president, Raman founded ramarketing in his spare room in Gateshead in 2009. The business is now a $multi-million global player, helping high-growth companies get noticed in the pharmaceutical and life science sectors.

Raman, the keynote speaker at next week’s Fastest 50 event, explains how North East firms can create a culture that cultivates a dedicated, dependable team, “Building culture starts with values as the core. Simple, non-corporate terms that set the tone for how you behave and expect people to behave and act within the company. They are not just fancy words on the wall, business leaders should hire and fire based on these values. As good as someone is at their job, if they are a bad culture fit, it can be toxic and spread quickly.

“In my experience, building a meaningful and genuine culture becomes a superpower when it comes to attracting and retaining your people. Yes, perks, benefits, and flexible working are core elements in a modern workplace but it’s that special intangible feel about somewhere that makes it truly sticky. At ramarketing, we have focused hard on our values and prioritised our culture. I am proud that we have maintained this as we’ve expanded internationally and grown from a team of one to over 70 people. Everyone at ramarketing is as canny (one of our values!) as our first hire.”

As a firm with 440 people across offices in Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle, Ward Hadaway understands the importance of a people-centred business and was recently recognised by Investors In People (IiP), achieving We Invest in People Gold accreditation.

Damien Charlton, a partner at Ward Hadaway, said: “Attracting and retaining employees is no easy task. They are the backbone of successful companies. Exceptional business success is a testament to the investment Fastest 50 businesses have made in their people, harnessing their collective power to drive forwards growth.

“Building the right culture must be a fundamental priority for any business that wants to grow. Culture is about the intrinsic values that bond employees to a business and fosters a shared desire, a feeling of togetherness, to improve, prosper and grow. We see the impact of this when we listen to the stories of those in the Fastest 50 list each year. Congratulations to all the companies – and their people – that feature in our Fastest 50 list. They should be proud of their collective achievements, and rightly so.”

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

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