Some businesses, due to the nature of their industry, understand quite clearly how workplace culture affects brand - as their people and culture are highly visible to their clients or customers. For example, anyone can see why employee engagement can affect a brand in retail because every employee-customer interaction is a brand experience.
When it comes to areas of manufacturing relationships, the connection becomes less clear when we are just shipping product, yet in the world of OEMs, brand and culture are beyond important to the process because a lot of relationships are integrated. Today, it only takes one bad review or relationship, or even an employee posting on social media that could mar your brand.
It doesn’t matter what industry your business is in - technology is going to revolutionize it in the coming decades. Because of this, all organizations need to cultivate a new culture mindset centered around personal growth and employee engagement. It’s a fast-changing world and your business needs a dynamic culture, focused on growth, that can meet its challenges.
A brand is a reflection of culture, so it’s essential that workplace culture and employee engagement become a central element of your branding strategy.
Here are three elements of workplace culture and engagement to consider when formulating your strategy:
Purpose is the why of an organization: its reason for existence. It offers a calling, beyond profit, about how to change the world through the work that the organization produces. As always, this concept can be expressed best through story:
During the days of the Apollo missions President Kennedy was walking the halls of NASA. While making his rounds he ran into a janitor and Kennedy asked him, “What do you do here?” The janitor responded, “I’m helping put a man on the moon.”
This story demonstrates the immense power of harnessing purpose to inspire your team. From the most humble worker to the most senior executive, purpose shows the bigger picture that your work offers to the world. Purpose reframes work to show how it’s not mundane drudgery but an effort to change the world.
The power that imbuing a sense of purpose could have on workers in manufacturing cannot be understated.
Once an organization knows its purpose for existing, it needs identifiable ways of achieving it. These are concrete ideas that organizations seek to fulfill in their daily work that will provide the right path to achieving an organization’s purpose. When finding your values, you should be sure to outline the specific actions and what a perfect embodiment of the value looks like.
It seems obvious, but it’s often neglected - organizations need to make sure these values are actually lived. Just consider the now defamed Enron - they had “integrity” front and center as one of their core values and yet still engaged in daily practices that went directly counter to that value. No, it doesn’t necessarily matter what you call your values, but that they are lived and help your organization and its team grow.
Habits are the ultimate test of whether your business is living its values. They’re the little elements that form a major element of your brand’s impression.
Up to 40% of our day is comprised of automatic behaviors. This means that almost half of what we do could be improved by simply developing better habits. This is why the success of an organization in all areas, from productivity to brand identity, comes down to the actions the organization regularly engages in.
But habits are tricky to form and even once they’re formed it’s easy to fall back into old behaviors. This is the reason that culture traditions are important to establish. Culture traditions could be anything, from team building activities to motivational speakers, that offers inspiration and motivation to your team and that reminds them of the importance of the organization’s mission and how values and the behaviors that comprise them help achieve that purpose.