With a career in Marketing spanning 30 years and the silver hair to prove it, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a great many companies who the majority of us would regard as highly successful brands.
As well as having a strong sense of the Mission, Vision and Values they also share something else in common - each one of them has a strong internal culture.
For me, this is a fundamental to on-going brand success and it is something that all business owners and managers should consider with regard to their existing talent pool and those they are wishing to attract.
Culture is a vitally important cog that reflects how a business behaves. After all, we all want to engage with organisations that we feel reflect our own standards and ideals and present a persona that we can believe in and feel part of.
Culture is something that runs like red letters through a stick of rock - it goes right through a brand from top to bottom. But it always starts at the top - with committed and engaged leadership.
Empowered employees are a proven indicator of a company’s customer experience and ability to grow. People can become a business’s greatest ambassadors, helping to attract and retain customers and increase their loyalty and passion for your brand.
Defining an organisation’s core Values is at the heart of developing a successful internal culture. This enables the working environment to feel collaborative, aligned and engaged. Values are the anchor point for any brand or business. They are a set of strongly held beliefs that drive behaviours and shape strong decision-making within a business.
As someone with a portfolio career in the world of building brands, I spend a lot of time working with companies across a wide range of sectors and often they feel the need to revisit their Values. Typically a business should really interrogate about every five years, so business owners should never feel it is something that’s too established to look at with fresh eyes.
Once the core Values of the business have been settled on, there are literally hundreds of ways to strengthen the internal culture of your brand or organisation. Here are a few of the basics that will go a long way to developing an active management and implementation strategy.
- Ensure the Vision, Mission and Values of your organisation are clearly understood.
- Have regular meetings - share success stories and update people on the status of important business activities
- Hold 360 degree appraisals with all staff members and directors at least once a year
- Apply joined up practices and activities between departments - this is particularly important when looking to engage with external audiences
- Encourage inclusivity and foster creativity from all sources
- Surprise people every now and again. Do something extraordinary.
- Recognise personal achievements and instances where staff members have truly ‘lived’ the company values
- Look for ways to recognise customers - thus enabling a halo effect to settle over your own internal culture
At iMultiply we have a saying “It’s people that transform businesses.”
We believe it to be true for the employer brands that engage with us to search for talent and we also believe it to be true in the way we choose to shape our own culture of entrepreneurialism.
We don’t expect, or want, people to become clones. Being ‘yourself at work’ encourages our people to find their own way of stamping their personalities on the way they conduct their business, which in turn makes them feel more empowered and committed to achieving successful outcomes.
In our experience, this ethos enables people to feel they are part of a culture where they are genuinely valued and can make their own unique contribution count.
After all, you can tell a lot about a company by the people they keep.
David Reid, Marketing Director