Elevating Your Business Culture: The Pub Test!

Yolande Coombes Psychologist, Coach & Facilitator

As we delve into the nuances of business culture and transformation, one iconic institution cannot be ignored – the pub!

The pub has been a cornerstone of business culture for centuries. It’s where deals are sealed, relationships are built, and ideas are born. But what if we told you that the pub could also serve as a litmus test to evaluate the health of your business culture? Intrigued? Let’s grab a pint and dive into the details of the legendary “Pub Test” and how it can elevate your business culture to new heights!

Sharing Ideas over a Pint or Two

One of the hallmarks of a thriving business culture is the ability to foster open communication and idea-sharing among team members. And what better place to do that than over a drink at the local pub? The pub provides a relaxed and informal setting where team members can let their guard down, share their thoughts, and engage in meaningful discussions. It encourages open and honest communication, free from the usual constraints of formal office settings. So, step back from the boardroom and gather your team for a brainstorming session at the pub. You’ll be amazed at the creative ideas that flow when everyone is relaxed and comfortable in a casual environment (and it need not involve alcohol!).


Fostering an Inclusive Environment

Inclusivity is a hot topic in today’s business world, and rightly so. A diverse and inclusive workforce is proven to be more innovative, productive, and engaged. So, how does the pub test measure up in terms of inclusivity? Well, it’s simple – the pub is a melting pot of people from all walks of life. It’s a place where diversity is celebrated, and everyone is welcome, regardless of background, position, or title. Taking your team to an informal setting like the pub, sends a powerful message that everyone’s voice is valued and heard, regardless of their role within the organisation. It creates a level playing field where ideas flow freely, and everyone feels included; casual interactions create more connection which is a catalyst for building a genuinely diverse and inclusive business culture.


Pouring the Perfect Pint of Guinness

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room regarding the pub test – the art of pouring the perfect pint of Guinness. In Ireland, Guinness is not just a beverage; it’s an integral part of the culture. Pouring a pint of Guinness is not just about filling a glass; it’s an art form that requires precision, patience, and attention to detail. And that’s where the pub test comes into play. Pouring a perfect pint of Guinness is not just about the technical skill but the pride and care that goes into it. It symbolises the commitment to excellence and attention to detail that should be ingrained in your business culture. It’s a reminder that the little things matter, and living your values should be at the heart of everything you do in your business.


So, how can you apply the pub test to your business culture and elevate it to new heights? 

  1. Embrace the power of informal settings: Create relaxed and casual environments where team members can connect, share ideas, and engage in open communication. This fosters creativity, innovation, and collaboration within the team, leading to better outcomes and results.
  2. Foster inclusivity: Celebrate diversity and create an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and heard, regardless of their background, gender, ethnicity, or position. This promotes a sense of belonging, motivation, and loyalty among team members, leading to higher employee engagement and productivity.
  3. Relationship Building: Do you actively promote relationship-building among your team members? When people build personal connections, share stories, and establish rapport they create deeper connection and improved collaboration – this is something to be nurtured in a strong business culture.  This creates a supportive and cohesive team environment where team members are more likely to go the extra mile for each other and the business’s success.
  4. Fun and Enjoyment: Do you prioritise fun and enjoyment in your business culture? The pub is often associated with laughter, camaraderie, and good times. Similarly, a healthy business culture should not be all about work and deadlines but prioritise fun, enjoyment, and a positive work-life balance. Encouraging team members to have fun, celebrate achievements, and take breaks when needed can boost morale, reduce stress, and increase overall team satisfaction. Happy, engaged employees also happen to be more productive.
  5. Pay attention to the details: Like pouring the perfect pint of Guinness, pay attention to the little things in your business culture; they add up to the whole experience.

We’re excited to see where this shift goes next, as leaders and organisations begin to realise that supporting their people and nurturing a healthy culture isn’t a distraction from business goals in fact, it’s deeply strategic.

Contact us to find out more.




Helping people be more collaborative is essential for high performance so a change of scene maybe just what is needed.

The Core Story are innovators in the transformation of business performance enabling leaders to engage hearts and minds and bring strategy to life for everybody, everyday. We are an imaginative force transforming leadership. Specialising in human centered leadership and strategy, we partner with clients to establish their strategy story and bring it alive throughout the organisation.

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