AlbionVC, the technology investment arm of Albion Capital, has published a new study which establishes a clear link between a company’s ‘fitness to scale’ and workplace culture.

The study reveals the five internal benchmarks which, it says, are critical to commercial success. It also identifies certain elements of a company’s workplace culture that enable hyper-fast growth, and others likely to constrain it.

The study, carried out by Fenji & Co, is a qualitative and quantitative survey of founders and employees from nine fast growth technology companies within Albion’s investment portfolio. It measured the extent to which their workplace culture would make them fit to scale, then mapped that against their commercial performance.

The study also breaks down workplace culture into practicable, actionable insights. It highlights positive behaviours for founders to embrace, as well as negative symptoms that indicate the need to address a problem.

For example:

Positive workplace culture attributes

Seamless integration and coordination between departments.

Efficient feedback loops and agile processes that foster continuous innovation.

A unique and clear strategic narrative that excites and attracts talent.

Negative workplace culture attributes

Founders fail to hire the right talent first time around, causing costly disruption down the line.

There is little or no time for recognition or celebrating success.

Company loses talent to the competition and struggles to fill roles.

The companies that scored highly in all five fitness-to-scale categories are currently performing significantly better than the rest when it comes to financial growth, customer acquisition/retention and fundraising.

“It’s not hard to find companies with potential,” said Ed Lascelles, head of technology, AlbionVC. “It’s the ability to execute on that promise that defines global category leaders.

“We like meeting founders who are open to learning about key factors such as leadership, hiring and retention and process: it gives us greater confidence in their fitness to scale.”

Albion says fitness to scale can be measured by the extent to which it:

  • attracts, manages and retains talent;
  • is aligned around a clear and compelling purpose and direction;
  • enables people to work well together;
  • has the potential and capability in the business to execute flawlessly; and
  • responds and pivots quickly and effectively.

“Successful founders exhibit similar strengths,” commented Nick Watling of Fenji & Co. “Their companies tend to have above-average levels of employee engagement and retention, a tendency towards interdependence over independence and flexibility over stability.

“They develop workplace cultures characterised by ethics, trust, learning and customer focus. And unsurprisingly, they are results driven.”