Companies place a great deal of emphasis on what the public thinks of their brand. Public brand perception is important, but it’s only a facade if you lack a healthy and thriving culture within.
What kind of work environment are you building. Does your team enjoy a healthy work / life balance? Strong cultures are more than a mission statement. They touch every facet of your business.
Unfortunately, a Gallup survey of employees in a variety of industries indicated that just 27% of employees at America’s biggest brands share their company’s core values. That’s a pretty wide discrepancy and it’s often the result of a company overemphasizing public perception and ignoring internal communication needs.
Brands that last are built around consistency. Part of this is communicating the same customer-focused message to your team members internally and gauging their reaction.
If your team hasn’t bought-in, it’s time to start focusing on why. You can gain team buy-in by investing time into an energetic pitch to rally the troops. Help them understand why a new product or promotion matters.
Your instinct might lead you to talk about numbers: “We can reach our goal if we push our sales just 10% higher this month!” Numbers matter, but engaged teams need to feel it in their heart and soul. You have to become an internal brand evangelist to move the needle with employee engagement.
This is why getting company values and workplace culture right is so important.
Work culture is the sum of your beliefs and vision statement put into action on a daily basis. What do your employees feel when they walk in the door (including mental health)? How are they treated throughout the day (management styles)? How are they engaging with co-workers and customers (internal and external corporate communication)?
Workplace culture is more than a dress-code. It’s a top-down set of corporate core values that jump off the pages of an employee handbook and into the rhythms of your workplace.
These are the long-term guiding principles that dictate how your company operates. While workplace culture is more focused on internal interactions, company values impact how you compete in the market, engage customers and make strategic decisions.
Naturally, there’s some overlap between “company values” and “workplace culture”. When you get both right, your team is perfectly aligned to tackle market opportunities together and delight loyal customers.
Why should your team care about this new product? Place yourself in their shoes. Hit up HR for some employee data. What makes your team tick?
Once you know what they care about (Don’t be afraid to ask them!), you can fine-tune your pitch to convert clock-punchers into fired up brand evangelists. You might even need to recalibrate your business’ core values.
For instance, if you are rolling out new pre-packaged healthy meal kits that will help parents save time at the end of a long day, share the “why” with your internal team: You’re helping children gain access to healthier, well-balanced meals that are farm fresh and taste great!
If you're rolling out a new pair of sneakers that are eco-friendly, but at a higher price point, share the importance of making that investment to protect our environment: You are protecting our planet, one step at a time.
In both of these examples, there will be employees whose personal values will align with your target market’s core beliefs. Recognizing employees that share your vision will help create a positive workplace culture.
And by the way, how you share the message is just as important as the message itself. It could be one-on-one with direct leadership, or an engaging informational flier or an inspirational promo video. It all depends on your audience, your message and the objectives that you are hoping to achieve.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to reinforcing a company culture that fuels your successful company.
It’s important to note that your employees should be the first to hear about a new message or pivot involving a major component of your business. Don’t pull an Elon Musk and share via Twitter before important news is shared internally with those who are most impacted.
If you are sharing the message with your employees after it goes public - whether it’s a new marketing campaign, brand message or product - it’s too little, too late. You will be playing a game of catch-up in trying to reassure your teams of their value and their role in pushing the brand forward.
You’ve gained your team’s buy-in - now what? It’s time to bring it home. Channel their excitement and energy into the tasks that will move the needle.
Communicate to each member of your team why this new product, campaign or change is so important and exactly what they can do to champion your brand in the process.
Everyone has a role to play. When your team understands why their individual efforts matter, they’ll be more engaged and productive. And you’ll reap the benefits of improved brand engagement and loyalty from your customers.
We’d love to know how you’ve seen this play out at your company. Contact us today with your thoughts!
Attract top talent and increase employee engagement and retention with a human-centered employee value proposition (EVP).
Fratzke Consulting breaks down this week's digital marketing, communications & culture and brand strategy hits and misses.