Company culture, AKA corporate culture, is a term used to describe the core beliefs of an organization which informs how owners, managers, and all employees behave while on the job. Corporate culture also creates an atmosphere which impacts customer relationships and how the company is perceived by the public. Much like branding strategies, company culture evolves over time as new individuals come into key roles, as the market changes, and as other factors ebb and flow. Savvy marketing professionals understand that while company culture is its own unique concept, it is also an integral part of building a strong and unique brand presence.
Today, we will review how to get your employees to buy into your company culture by discussing how to build a strong corporate culture, aligning corporate culture with brand personality, and how to encourage employee participation with incentives and other intangible methods.
Creating a Strong Company Culture
There is no one answer when it comes to building a strong company culture. Nor should there be. Each corporation will have its own unique goals and atmosphere which will inform the direction its culture should take. With this in mind, here are some good jumping off points when it comes to cultivating a robust and enticing corporate culture:
- Always have a clear brand message in mind. As we will discuss in greater detail below, corporate culture is just one avenue of your brand’s identity and personality. If your brand is all about quality, so too should your company culture. If your brand is about youth and energy, your company culture should fit.
- The company’s goals and standards must be clearly established. This can range from daily terminology to the core values of your organization. All members of your organization should be on the same page from top to bottom, and the first step in this process should be establishing expectations.
- Start with buy in from corporate leaders. Good luck getting employees to buy into a corporate culture if the leaders are not fully engaged. Leading by example is especially important when it comes to corporate culture as it blends personal and business concepts.
- Prioritize company culture and people. Well-treated employees who are incentivized to participate in company culture are much more likely to buy in (more on this below).
Encouraging Employees to Buy Into Company Culture
The strongest hypothetical company culture in the world won’t do your organization any good without your employees buying in. The obvious question then becomes: how exactly can I get employees to buy into our corporate culture? Just like there is no singular answer on how to build your culture, so too are there no singular solutions to corporate culture buy in. There are, however, some high level concepts which will encourage buy in from employees at all levels, including:
Prioritizing company culture: this might seem obvious, but it is also the easiest component to miss. Employees are much less likely to buy into company culture if they can see that it is not important to management. This starts at the top and should be reinforced regularly through actions.
Ask for volunteers from different sectors: another great way to drive engagement is to find volunteers for committees that can serve dual purposes of gathering information about employee morale while also informing decisions about the future of company culture. Getting a good representation from different sectors is useful.
Stay in touch with managers regarding corporate culture: perhaps the most common way in which corporate culture breaks down is when managers do not buy in. This can result from a bad hire (a mismatch in personality) or simply failing to communicate the importance of culture to the management team. Keeping an open line of communication with managers at all levels is critical for maintaining a strong company culture.
Aligning Corporate Culture with Brand Personality
One of the most valuable aspects of company culture is that it builds your brand personality organically from within your organization. Subsequently, one of the biggest risks of building company culture is mismatching that culture with your overall brand strategy. This is one of many reasons why brand alignment should permeate all decision making processes. Just as company culture is worthless without employee buy in, it is also true that employee buy in is worthless if it doesn’t serve your company’s overall interests.
Brand alignment and corporate culture standards often stem from a strong brand positioning statement. These statements are tools which can serve as a backbone for both internal and external brand alignment. The strongest cultures walk step in step with branding strategies to deliver a complete and coherent package to customers.
Competitive Brand Analysis from Clock Tower Insight
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