Customer-centric businesses pride themselves on the care, attention, and satisfaction they provide their customers with, at every touchpoint and with every interaction.
This is a noble goal for every single brand, and if you indeed manage to build a bond based on trust and meeting customer expectations, you’ve come a long way in your industry, whatever it may be. What makes a great brand different from a good one, however, is its role as an employer. This is where the relevance of company culture becomes pivotal in the process of developing your brand. Without a strong culture among your employees, you risk losing the integrity of your entire organization.
Yes, customer-centric is amazing, but employee-centric should be a part of your identity, too. In a way, how you build your brand from within will shape how your employees communicate your brand to your customers, if they are aligned with your values, and if you craft a stable business based on high retention rates. To achieve all of that, your brand-building process should certainly focus on establishing the right company culture . Here’s why that matters so greatly, and what you can do to evolve your culture.
Understanding how you choose your employees can make all the difference in how your company culture evolves, and thus how your brand develops over the years. Your employees are your most powerful brand builders, and you need to start thinking of this as part of their roles from the moment you start looking for new talent to expand your company. So, naturally, your elimination system, your hiring criteria, and your interview all need to reflect your need for brand ambassadors first and foremost, not just workers to fill a role.
Talk to your potential employees about more than just their skills and experience. Get into what they expect from your office atmosphere, the relationships among employees, what kind of communication they enjoy, and ask them to share examples of successful collaboration or problem-solving in their previous position. This can give you a better insight into their personality in the workplace and how they handle their role in the process of building a culture.
While keeping your focus on the employee is vital, you should also take a closer look in the mirror – to see your brand in its role as an employer. This is that one key aspect of brand development that can help you gain a stronger presence and a better foothold in your industry, since your capacity as an employer will define the kind of people you attract and the kind of people that will ultimately build that brand.
To do just that, you need to define your values and look at your purpose from this new angle, see what you have to offer as an employer, and if that matches your promise as a customer-facing entity. If you can pinpoint the driving force of your business to make your customers happy, you should be able to recognize your purpose as an employer, too.
Yes, there are certain people who thrive on healthy competition, but when your teams don’t know how to help one another, share ideas, and develop them together, you’ll always end up with a house divided – one that cannot stand. Building a positive workplace, one that uses collaboration as the key mindset is more likely to lead to happy employees. In turn, happy teams have the potential to have a 12% increase in productivity, which ultimately leads to a more powerful brand.
This is certainly one of the key mindset-shifts modern companies need to make in order to reap the rewards of a more inclusive, supportive, transparent company culture. In such environment, where people feel their ideas are encouraged and respected, employees work better, and brands grow stronger.
Much like you’d never want or aim to cause stress in the lives of your customers through your offers, you should definitely do everything in your power to avoid the same in your employees’ lives. After all, they are the ones giving it their best every day for eight hours to expand your presence, sell your offers, and inspire loyalty in your customers. Your brand should do the same for them. Your company culture and your attitude towards your teams will greatly shape their own representation of your business.
How happily do they talk about their role? Do they feel valued and purposeful? Do they understand how they contribute to your business? Are they happy to recommend other people for your jobs? When they talk about your brand, do they truly know how to convey your essence and your purpose? The answer will be affirmative only when your company atmosphere isn’t a source of excessive stress for your teams. It’s time to show them how much they’re vital for your brand for them to truly feel compelled to build it together with you.
A company culture doesn’t sprout out of thin air, much like your brand reputation or your footprint in your community. To build it, you need to embed your brand with your values, hire based on those values, and build an atmosphere that appreciates people for their contribution every day. This is the only way for the true identity of your business to spread its wings and shine in your industry. Use these bits of advice to guide your own teams through the process of culture creation that will ultimately support and build your entire brand.
Jacob Wilson is a business consultant, and an organizational psychologist, based in Brisbane. 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.
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