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As elusive and perhaps even fictitious as the notion of company culture may seem to some, it’s an irreplaceable segment of how well your employees integrate into your brand’s overarching purpose. It also impacts how your potential employees perceive you through job ads and social media, while your customers will be able to sense the lack of positive company culture and fail to connect to your brand fully.
The culture you create, promote, and continue building is the key prerequisite for your employees to feel motivated to come back to work, to give their best, and to ultimately make your customers happy.
Such a vital component of your brand’s presence cannot be overlooked or neglected while you’re searching for new candidates, writing your job ads, creating your career pages and conducting that onboarding procedure. Every step in which you interact with potential and current employees can affect their perception of your culture and help you establish yourself as a relevant entity in your industry — one that appreciates its employees.
Working in the same office is hardly enough for people to feel part of a team or a community.
Sharing common values, the desire to make a difference, noticing ways in which they can contribute, on the other hand, are all hallmarks of belonging, team spirit, and community.
Now, there sure are ways to build that within the office with the help of creative bulletin boards, gratitude messages, and Secret Santa gift exchanges, but you can actually explore other, more impactful options that can help your employees feel like a part of a greater cause.
Be it for the holidays or any time of year for that matter, setting up a fundraiser for a local family in need can be a great way to support your community as a team.
Heading into the nearby parks and nature reserves one weekend every month to clean the lakes and rivers while you also use those nature lodges to bond and have fun — these are also great ways to make a difference while bonding. The sky’s the limit as far as volunteering ideas go, as long as you can pull them off as a team.
Brands spend every waking moment using their various digital channels to promote their products and services, and rightfully so. It’s by far the most effective way to reach more customers, earn loyalty, and work on building up a stellar brand reputation.
However, isolating your brand in its role as an employer and failing to talk about it online simply makes your brand look and feel incomplete. Your role as an employer is one major part of your entire brand identity, so using the very same digital channels to talk about your culture will help you develop that part of your reputation internally and externally.
Use your website to showcase your employees and their bios, if you’re a smaller business. That way, they get to say something that will shape your brand, too. Use your social media pages to promote employee-created content such as conference videos, blog posts, informative articles, or simply to promote your team-building sessions through photos. A sense of togetherness takes time to create, and if you’re proud of your culture, continue building it through your digital presence, too.
Those most notable gestures such as setting up funds and organizing team-building getaways are, of course, one very vital way of protecting and developing your company culture. That, however, is no excuse to neglect the less prominent ways in which you can celebrate your unique company culture and connect with your employees.
For instance, using personalized employee income cards is a great way to systematize your payroll process, but also a chance to provide your teams with faster access to their funds without all the extraneous fees or waiting. Such gestures show just how much you care about your employees and how willing you are to take care of them.
Add to that, printing personalized business cards for them is both a way to let them feel like a valued, recognized part of the team, but also a chance to let them promote your business and your culture whenever they have the opportunity. Plus, other personalized perks that are linked to company culture such as the benefits you provide them with are another great way to express appreciation and to let your employees develop your culture naturally.
For most businesses with an under-developed culture, what employees do outside of their work hours is simply none of their concern. Those with a close bond with their employees know that employees are individuals and need the right kind of care outside of those work hours in order to be able to give their best at work.
You should do your best to be the kind of employer that cares, and who makes that care a part of the company culture.
Enable your teams to create the kind of work-life balance that makes them happy, allows them to spend time with their loved ones, and develop hobbies and interests outside of their professional realm. You could offer them gym passes and similar perks to inspire them to get active, encourage them to cycle to work, or event allow them to have a treadmill in the break room. Heck, why not?! All of that may not seem like much, but it actually fosters the kind of health-focused culture that enables employees to thrive as individuals, not just workers.
A healthy company culture should be at the very heart of every branding initiative and every onboarding procedure you have in place. You should be continually employing creative techniques to promote your culture and empower your employees to take ownership of it and develop it over time. Oh, and your brand will flourish, too. 🌱
Jacob Wilson is a business consultant and organizational psychologist based in Brisbane, Australia. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for Bizzmark blog.