Guest Blog: Rhino Interiors

Rhino specialise in tailored office design & build, fit-out & refurbishment, and industrial projects, building inspiring spaces where employees thrive.

Employee retention is more important than it has ever been; the pace of change is dictating that you need a strong team to even just retain your present market position. Your top performers could be just a LinkedIn message away from being lured from the team you have put so much effort into.

But some organisations achieve a much higher level of staff retention than others, so there are some key secrets worth noting.

1. Company culture

The personality of a company has a vital role in attracting and retaining the right people.

Company culture is what makes an organisation unique and authentic – it is like its DNA; the system of values and norms everyone works to when making decisions. Every company has a culture but only some actively recognise this and cultivate a positive one. The presence of a company culture makes a big impact because employees inevitably face choices that cannot be regulated by the rule book – both in working with external customers, but also in engaging with colleagues and co-workers.

Leadership expert and author, Simon Sinek says:  “If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.”

Culture will underpin the way we communicate, our decisions in the moment, employee’s loyalty; in fact, just about everything. With a great culture you can achieve almost anything, without it you will struggle all the way!

2. Training and development

As Richard Branson once said: “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to”.

Agile working is empowering people to work flexibly.

Training and development is a clear signal to your staff that you believe in them, and that you are prepared to invest in their future. This needs to be articulated in the hiring process – and then demonstrated right from the off. Over 40% of employees feel their job satisfaction is impacted by having opportunities for career development. And this doesn’t need to be all ‘big ticket’ expense. It could be attending trade shows, online training modules, opportunities to joining in-house mentoring schemes, running workshops and inter-departmental training sessions. Whatever you set on, ensure it is sustained and relevant.

3. Recognition and a sense of ownership

Atlassian is an example of how recognition coupled with the first two points on this list can be a powerful force for good – and create a sense of ownership all round.

Every year they have a ‘ShipIt’ day – described on their website as “24 hours to innovate. It’s like 20% time. On steroids.” It is an opportunity for every staff member to work on anything they want, with anything they want – from replacing inefficient light bulbs or sharing homebrew to creating the beginnings of an entirely new product.

For a very illuminating speech on this by Dan Pink and illustrated by RSA Animate, click here.

Recognition and a sense of ownership are the key foundations for building loyalty and autonomy – as the old quote goes: “You can hire head and hands, but you have to win hearts and minds”; and once you have won these the staff are part of the family and are more likely to stick by your organisation.

4. Flexibility

Autonomy and trust are co-dependent, and the pandemic stress-tested both but with very positive effect.  From the workplace studies we have run with various companies it is clear that in many instances hybrid working is both efficient and preferable.  This level of flexibility is now cherished by the workforce, and while there is evidence of a ‘carrot & stick’ approach (pizza to pay reductions!) to getting staff back to the office, changing jobs has never been easier, and losing your talent due to inflexibility would be a serious own-goal.

Creating a flexible working policy that is designed around the principles of agile working and activity-based working allows your employees to have more autonomy over where (and when) they work. This will enable them to do their best work in the most suitable environment, which will help to keep them happy and productive.

5. Have a workplace your team want to be in

Your staff have aligned purposes; they are the heart and soul of your business and feel valued for their contribution. Their loyalty and fire cannot be quenched and they can work how and where they will deliver the best results….an unstoppable winning team! Now try and imagine this team working in a bland and sterile office environment with grey carpet and beige walls – it just doesn’t feel right!

Great teams have personality and charisma – they buck trends and create new paradigms; and they need a workplace that articulates this, somewhere they want to be – for peer-to-peer feedback, problem-solving, to celebrate success and just to be with the team.  Given the shift to hybrid working patterns it is even more important that your workplace has balance. When the team make the effort to be in the office it is essential that it is fit for purpose; providing the work areas, social space, collaboration areas, and small focus spaces that will accommodate the needs of groups but without compromising the needs of the individual.

Research has shown that focus work is the hardest type of work to support – hence the decades of railing at the open plan concept. So, any redesign of the environment that sacrifices focus in pursuit of collaboration will decrease the effectiveness of both – especially important when you consider that single person or two person meetings are often the most prevalent meeting type.

Your workplace can be regarded as a reflection of your company culture. It is a known fact that capturing the essence of what makes your organisation great isn’t always easy, but the clearer you understand your ‘why’, the better you will be able to articulate your unique DNA profile that sets you apart. This, in turn, provides invaluable direction in shaping the workplace – both functionally and aesthetically.


These are just five key factors, there are doubtless a myriad more.  Step into a workplace and it isn’t long before you start to get a sense of their culture; meet a few senior managers and some employees and the impact of these factors is quickly evident – sadly sometimes by their absence. And if they are absent no amount of bean bags and bright paint will fix it.

If factors 1-4 are present, then a great workplace will augment it. Sometimes we are asked to create a great workplace to develop a good culture, and while this can help, ultimately it is your people that make the team. But having built a great team make sure they have a great place to gather – as one customer said to us recently: “We need you to design a workplace which makes working from home a tough choice”.

Rhino specialise in tailored office design & build, fit-out & refurbishment, and industrial projects, building inspiring spaces where employees thrive.

Our approach is insights-driven, enabling us to create a workspace that is a great place to work, and that supports your employee retention and recruitment strategy. To find out more about how we can help your business realise your workplace goals contact us on 0121 728 9977, or email

Rhino Interiors Group