The Culture Ops Podcast

About the show

Every business has a culture that affects how it performs. Culture isn’t optional.

How you deal with the day-to-day people challenges in the workplace has a massive effect on the culture.

Building a great culture is difficult. So we’re bringing together founders, CEOs, COOs, Heads of People & Heads of HR to share their honest experiences, their struggles and their learnings.

At the end of each episode, you will have something to take away and implement with your team. We want to help you build a culture where your team can and wants to do their best work.

Ben Branson-Gateley

Co-founder & CEO of CharlieHR

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  1. Robert Rees

    Director of The Grove Practice

    How to support the mental and emotional wellbeing of your team during COVID-19

    How can small business leaders look out for the emotional and mental wellbeing of their teams remotely and during this period of increased stress and tension?

    We talk to Robert Rees, Director of The Grove Practice, an accredited psychotherapist about mental health and its role in the COVID-19 pandemic, and how to deal with your own and support that of your teams.

  2. Charlotte Hamill

    COO of Born Social

    How small businesses will survive, and operate differently after COVID-19

    How can small business leaders overcome the shock small businesses and their teams are suffering during this pandemic, and think about how to develop strong teams and cultures in the long-term, that will get us through the short term?

    We speak to Charlotte Hamill the COO of Born Social about how she’s thinking about what comes next, what policies and processes we need to be thinking about in a post-COVID world and acting on the fact that our teams need our support now more than ever.

  3. Tom Marsden

    CEO of Saberr

    Should you be prioritising team development during COVID-19?

    How do you look at the context of the business, the individual and the situation to decide where your focus should lie right now? Whether honing in on personal development is not just the right thing to drive for with the individual, but for overall business health?

    We speak to Tom Marsden the CEO of Saberr to dig into a question we’ve been receiving over and over again since our working lives changed. Is now the right time to be focussing on your team’s development?

  4. Lewis Tasker

    COO of JustPark

    How to tackle furloughing the right way.

    For the health and survival of many small businesses, furloughing staff is necessary in these turbulent times.

    But how do you minimise the number of jobs lost, accurately calculate the cost and practicality of your minimum ‘skeleton team’ to keep the business going while taking the best possible care of both your team and company?

    We talk to Lewis Tasker, COO of JustPark about how to get furloughing right.

  5. Nick Matthews

    VP & General Manager at Culture Amp

    How to nurture a remote culture.

    Now that the vast majority of small businesses are officially working from home, different lifestyles, communication styles and work elements can lead to serious negative impacts on work culture, productivity and mental health.

    We talk to Nick Matthews, the VP and General Manager of Culture Amp to find out how small business leaders can create a positive and sustainable remote working culture.

  6. Samantha Clarke

    Founder of

    How to look after your team’s morale, when we’re all struggling.

    We speak with Sam Clarke, the founder of happiness consultancy about how you can prevent morale from sliding when social distancing is weighing heavily on everyone’s mind. This is how you support and elevate your team to be happy and continue to be productive in a measurable and sustainable way.

  7. Perri Lewis

    CEO at Mastered

    How to adapt your leadership style in a time of crisis.

    It’s hard to get remote working right - in a way that supports your business, and your team wherever they may be. Leadership styles in times of crisis can be instrumental in making remote businesses work. We speak to Perri Lewis, the CEO of Mastered about how leaders can step up and give their teams what they need without over complicating things, from afar.

  8. Eliza Eddison

    Head of Operations at FabricNano

    Culture - The good, the bad and the ugly.

    Eliza Eddison, previously of Palantir Technologies, shares her experiences of the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to high-performance company culture.

    The culture at work can be hard to shape. As a leader, it’s your job to plan ahead for challenges that may come up against your convictions and may be detrimental to your business and people. How do you, and just how important, is building a high-performance team that also benefits from a positive, supportive work culture?

  9. Ginni Lisk

    People and Culture Partner at Unleashed

    Performance reviews are changing - here’s how to get them right.

    Performance reviews can be employee-led or company-centric - but which will enable people to perform? Ginni Lisk, People and Culture Partner at Unleashed, goes over how you can build productive performance reviews through conversations and respecting psychological contracts. This is how to get performance reviews right.

  10. Jess Ruben

    Chief Officer - People & Operations at JudoPay

    How to build a high performance culture - without perks.

    Jess Ruben had to develop a high performance culture. As a part of that, she decided to roll back a load of perks at JudoPay. When she took on the role, she made the decision to retract their unlimited holiday, £1000/year tax-free travel budgets and Sanctus subscriptions. It was a bold move in a bid to genuinely improve employee experience, motivation and performance.

    In this episode, we discuss why Jess felt the need to roll back those heavy-hitting perks, what she introduced, what the effects were and how she felt at each stage of the process.

  11. Jack Bell

    Business Intelligence Analyst at Monese - previously at Charlie

    We f*cked up and hired someone too junior.

    In 2019 we hired Jack into a position that had too few resources to support and help him grow. He was a strong grad, and a strong culture fit - so it was rough when we had to let him go because we’d made a hiring mistake. In this episode we cover the effect it had on him, and what it meant for his career and confidence.

  12. Kelsey Traher

    COO at Marvel

    What it felt like to fire a whole team.

    What happens when you need to let go of an entire team? How do you deal with taking such a difficult action? Kelsey talks about the process behind the decision - how best to handle something so emotionally charged and whether it’s possible to find the positives from such a negative experience.


  1. Chris Butcher

    Co-founder & CTO of Portify

    The first time I had to let someone go.

    If you’re in management the chances of having to fire someone at some point in your career are high. In this episode we talk to Chris about his experiences having to let someone go for the first time.

    Aside from the legal considerations - it can be emotionally very tough on all involved. Particularly in a small business where the team is tight-knit and colleagues feel like friends.