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.

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  1. Alexandra Depledge

    Founder & CEO at Resi

    How to build and scale a business with a culture of performance and accountability

    In this episode we discuss the truths unearthed from the typical startup mantras of culture and performance. Lessons in culture and its importance from a veteran of business building.

    Alex Depledge has founded and built two successful businesses from scratch. Through the years, they’ve made mistakes in building a culture of excellence and accountability while also trying to run a business people really wanted to work for.

  2. Bretton Putter

    author and CEO of CultureGene

    We were wrong about culture fit, we should be hiring for values fit

    We thought the key to building strong culture through hiring was screening for culture fit. Turns out, we were wrong - it’s a value fit that will be the greatest asset to your team and business.

    We speak to Bretton Putter, author and CEO of CultureGene, about how and why companies should be screening for values fit when hiring - and how to define, embed and manage your culture.

  3. Angela Bradbury

    Chief of Staff at Farewill

    How to build a culture that is both professional and allows people to be themselves

    It can be difficult and seemingly impossible to build a culture that is professional and tuned in, but also open to quirks and people enjoying their days at work. One that is both focussed on business success but also gives room for real relationships to form and for people to have fun with their colleagues.

    We speak to Angela Bradbury the Chief of Staff at Farewill about how they’ve found that balance and nurtured it in their team, even though they’re in the business of death.

  4. James Routledge

    Founder and CEO of Sanctus

    How to get your company talking about their mental health

    How can you encourage and equip your team leaders to have supportive, constructive conversations with their team members about their mental health? It’s impossible to leave your mental health at the door every morning, so it’s vital that companies do more to support it.

    We speak to James Routledge, the founder and CEO of Sanctus, a company on a mission to open up the conversation around mental health at work, about how you can do that.

  5. Phill Burton

    COO of Bloom & Wild

    How to use one-to-ones to improve your culture, remotely.

    The effects of a good one-to-one on your culture and personal relationships at work can be enormous. In the current work climate of high-intensity, remote work, it’s even harder and more important to do them well.

    We speak to Phill Burton, the COO at Bloom & Wild about how one-to-ones have worked for them in a remote setting and strengthened their team and business.

  6. Carolyn Stransky

    Software developer, Journalist and Advocate of Mental Health in the Workplace

    How to enable your team to bring their emotions to the workplace.

    Bringing your full self to work is in our opinion both difficult and important. Building a culture of openness and support can help your team feel safe, and achieve those ‘productivity gains’ in the healthiest way possible. Because no one can be a ‘good, productive employee’ 100% of the time.

    We speak to Carolyn Stransky, a software developer, journalist and advocate of mental health in the workplace, about her experiences as an employee and how businesses can do better and support the emotional wellbeing of their teams.

  7. Tushar Agarwal

    CEO and Co-Founder of Hubble

    On remote working; don’t give up your office just yet.

    The environment in which our teams work has a huge impact on productivity, motivation and business success. Many companies have been taking their teams fully remote, but that may not be the best choice for all.

    We speak to Tushar Agarwal, CEO and Co-Founder of Hubble and a Forbes 30 under 30, about why the office isn’t dead, and how teams and businesses might benefit still from a physical presence of their teams at work.

  8. Chris Edson

    Co-Founder and CEO of Second Nature

    How to run probation periods fairly and productively.

    The most important element of a new hire’s probation period is communicating correctly. How do you set expectations, measure success and utilise two-way feedback in a way that is most beneficial to your new hire and your business?

    We speak to Chris Edson, the CEO and Co-Founder of Second Nature and a Forbes 30 under 30, about how they have improved the way in which they use and approach probation periods for fair employee and business growth.

  9. Phillip Blaydes

    Founder and Co-CEO of Talentful

    How to hire for the future, remotely.

    COVID-19 has not only changed hiring and growth for the present circumstances, it has arguably also changed the future of team-makeup hiring.

    Following on from our discussion last week about how the demands on your team makeup are changing - we speak to Phillip Blaydes, the Founder and Co-CEO of Talentful about how to build that team you’ll need, remotely and fairly.

  10. Charlotte Melkert

    Co-Founder and CEO at Equalture

    Is the team you needed in the past, the team you’ll need for the future?

    A company without a successful team can never become a successful company. So how can you build a team that operates as a growth engine for the new, future-looking ways of work and avoid creating a bottleneck that inhibits progress moving forward?

    We speak to Charlotte Melkert, Co-Founder and CEO at Equalture about how you can optimise your team for the new ways of work through assessing skills, personalities and reactive responses.

  11. Pip Richardson

    Founder of The Circle Line

    The role of therapy in the workplace.

    Therapy can be a means to improving employee wellness, and therefore business health - which begs the question - should companies be looking to provide therapy for their employees?

    We speak to Pip Richardson, the Founder of The Circle Line about how and why businesses should consider therapy for all employees an essential part of their wellness and business plans.

  12. Grace Tolley-Smith

    Co-founder and CPO at Bippit

    Should businesses be responsible for employee financial wellbeing?

    In the age of mass furlough, many staff members have had to absorb a 20% reduction in their pay to ensure businesses stayed afloat. It is now more important than ever for companies to find new ways to help their teams members - furloughed or not - to weather the storm.

    We spoke to Grace Tolley-Smith, co-founder and CPO at Bippit, about how and why businesses should think about employee financial wellbeing.

  13. Sarah Mourtada Sich

    Head of Marketing at Work.Life

    Getting communication right and aligning your business when remote working.

    The vital factor to making a culture of autonomy and trust work, is communication.

    Now that many teams are remote, aligning everyone and nailing that seamless communication is key to productivity and maintaining that culture of trust.

    We speak to Sarah Mourtada Sich, the Head of Marketing at Work.Life about how they're maintaining clear, open, productive communication with their team through these remote-working times.

  14. Tom Fraine

    Chief People Officer at Bulb

    How Bulb built an agile culture that took them from the office to remote work.

    How do you define an agile culture that runs through every team at your company and prepares you for quick, dynamic shifts? Most teams and businesses have faced a dramatic shift in working styles - and the implications big and small, business and personal, are wide-ranging.

    We speak to Tom Fraine the Chief People Officer at Bulb about how they managed to shift their 750 person team from being in the office every day, to being fully remote overnight with the help of an agile culture.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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?

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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?

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.