Cultural Awareness

Employees: The branding and workplace culture link

People are a vital component of a company’s brand identity

Your employees don’t just work for the company. They re-present it, directly influencing your client’s, competitor’s and future employee’s perception of your brand. Now, if we want our employees to consistently represent our company, giving them a uniform just won’t cut it.

Each person brings a unique set of strengths and abilities to the table as a contribution to their work and to the company’s corporate identity. We must hire employees with the soft skills and self-awareness required to run our business and provide existing employees with training in these areas. Imagine if each employee could identify their values, unique strengths and potential, learn how to balance and use them and have opportunities to align their goals with the strategic goals of the company. Since these strengths and abilities, along with the quality of interactions, are also the key to employee engagement, surely they become increasingly engaged, enthusiastic and, I dare say, more innovative.

Effectively Communicating Purpose and Values

A company will often communicate their values through their marketing campaigns, policies, and procedures. However, it is often the case that on a regular basis, workplace interactions actually reinforce opposite values within the company. When this happens, everyone feels somewhat betrayed and it becomes harder for those who are immersed in the culture to figure out the root of the problem.

For example, a company may believe in the power of strong connections and open communication. These values are spoken about frequently in their advertising as well as team meetings. But if the manager always has the door to their office shut, takes a long time to reply to e-mails, and often fails to share relevant information, these seemingly small actions send a very different message to everyone in the office about the real value the company places on communication. Eventually, discrepancies between promoted and perceived values, such as these, erode employee engagement.

However, it might not be as simple as asking the manager to speed up their email replies. There are many issues to consider. The speed of technology and the expectations that follow means some employees and managers are receiving and having to reply to a staggering number of emails per day, which often gets in the way of more productive, and urgent matters. There may also be a discrepancy in the perception of time, specially noted within generation gaps such as those between Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z. So, when devising and implementing  change strategies, one-size solution formulas will not fit all workplaces. In order to identify key issues and design strategies to strengthen the culture and brand, each workplace culture must be assessed in the context of the present-day employees, values, social dynamics and interactions.

 

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