Many would say that a company’s brand is the most important part of maintaining a successful business and that a company’s culture should be a direct reflection of the brand.
Take online retailer Zappos, which likes to market itself as a service company selling shoes. It might sound backwards, as companies typically focus on the product first, but Zappos has had great success with its unique approach that many are now trying to emulate. Many leaders have familiarized themselves with Zappos’ culture vision – to live and deliver WOW. In their words, “We aim to inspire the world by showing that it is possible to simultaneously deliver happiness to customers, employees, suppliers, shareholders and the community in a sustainable and long-term way. »
Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh thinks a company’s culture is its brand; in fact, he’s so committed to hiring and retaining the right people that he even makes an “offer” of a severance package to new employees after orientation. Hsieh wants to make sure all employees really want to be there and feel they can thrive in the environment, so he’s willing to pay those who don’t.
To put it simply, “your culture is your brand” is another way of saying “you have to be beautiful on the inside to be beautiful on the outside”. I never realized my mom was a brand genius when she taught me this simple fact so many years ago.
Employee happiness should be a strategic priority for every company in business. How can we expect our employees to excel in their work if they are not treated well in return?
We see evidence of this in the businesses where we regularly shop. What do Trader Joe’s, Southwest Airlines and In-N-Out Burger have in common? They are all in the top 25 best places to work in 2019 according to Glassdoor.com. They are also leaders in their industries when it comes to bottom line, which is no coincidence. As consumers, we like to do business with companies that have an excellent reputation.
This shift in focus towards culture is particularly poignant as millennials increasingly enter the workforce. Millennials place a high value on positive culture and goal-oriented work. If your company can’t provide that to millennials, there are others who will. With more baby boomers retiring and millennials moving into leadership roles, we simply can’t ignore what it takes to retain millennial talent.
Three ways to create a positive culture
How do companies ensure that their culture, and therefore their brands, evolve positively? Here are some key things to think about:
1. Culture is constantly changing. You must constantly ensure that it is healthy and that the employees are happy. The best way to do this is to interrogate your employees. Annual surveys measuring satisfaction, looking for areas for improvement, prioritizing what is important, etc., are an excellent starting point. I’m sure a lot of results will surprise you.
2. Be flexible about when and where the work is done. Thanks to today’s technology, many employees can competently do their jobs from anywhere for hours that work for a living. While you may feel like the job isn’t getting done if you can’t physically see them doing it, that’s just not the case for talented, dedicated employees. A little confidence goes a long way.
3. Focus on communication. Just like in a marriage or any relationship, communication is key. We all receive communication best in different ways, so it’s important to repeat the message through different channels to ensure it doesn’t get missed. No one likes feeling like they’re the last to know something or that there’s a lack of information. In my work experience, poor communication has been the number one driver of employee dissatisfaction and can be a relatively easy fix.
Candice Aragon is the new Marketing Director of PSA Security Network. Request more information about PSA at www.securityinfowatch.com/10214742.