When you think of your brand you might consider your logo, tone of voice, color palette, and fonts associated with your branding. While visual appearance is a large contributor to a strong corporate identity, there are also many important intangible qualities that make up your brand image, such as mission statement, core values, and positioning.
One factor that isn’t always considered when defining your brand image is company culture. This attribute lives internally within your business but plays a bigger role than one might think in addressing who your brand actually is. However, it can be clear when brands take shortcuts to portray a certain image. Lately, you can see examples of this with businesses attempting to define themselves as “fun” brands that don’t take themselves too seriously with shiny new additions to their offices. However, the truth is company culture runs deeper than free cold brew coffee and a ping pong table in the break room.
What is Company Culture?
More specifically defined, company culture is “the shared values, attributes, and characteristics of an organization.” It’s generally a space that allows leadership to give their staff the opportunity to find meaning in their work, generate excitement around their contributions to the team and foster professional growth.
Studies show that when people see value in the work that they are doing, it changes the way they approach the work. Meaningfulness creates motivation. It’s the purpose behind the work being done that rallies your team together. Culture is where the purpose of work is defined and discussed. The more transparent you are with your team about how their contributions affect the overall business goals, the more connected they will feel to the organization.
Why Does Company Culture Matter?
Organizational culture is more than just a trendy marketing agency buzzword. It actually holds merit within your business. Think of it as the relationship between the business and its employees. Culture fit has become a priority for many people on the job hunt today. If we spend over 40 hours a week working, wouldn’t you want to spend it surrounded by people you like in a place you enjoy coming to day after day?
When employees feel that their employers truly care about the wellbeing of their staff, you see better morale and less turnover. The American workforce has been bred to believe that the businesses care more about their bottom line than they do their employees, which creates less loyalty and more distrust between workers and leadership. Companies that are successful in creating a strong culture do a great job of eliminating that barrier.
New shifts in workplace culture are looking to address the concerns of burnout and imbalance between prioritizing work and personal life. Businesses are working to become more considerate of their employee’s personal lives by implementing things like flex scheduling and remote work. If your competitors are putting more attention into work-life balance than you are, they will surely win over the better job candidates on the market.
How Does Company Culture Affect Your Brand?
Your employees are your number one brand ambassadors. You can count on them to bring in new candidates, business leads and share the vision of the company with the outside world… that is, if they feel good enough about the business to do so. Even long after they have stopped working for your company, they will always remember the experience they had during their time of employment.
Websites like Glassdoor.com, which allow past or current employees to rate their experience working for the company, unveil a lot of truth behind a company’s culture. So, getting clear on what the relationship is between the business and it’s employees, as well as upholding it is extremely important. Just like any important client relationship, you must nurture the ones inside your organization as well.
The Bottom Line
Your brand goes beyond your visual identity, it’s also defined by the values shared between the company and its employees. Great company culture is more than just a tactic for social media marketing, it aligns your team with the company’s vision and fuels their motivation to rally together. It’s the relationship leadership grows and nurtures between the business and its employees. When company culture lacks, you run the risk of losing your best employees, missing out on top-notch candidates, and tarnishing your brand image as a place that puts profits over people. If you’re experiencing friction within your organization, consider how you can shift your company culture for better morale and employee satisfaction.