Giving your organisation a Brand
When we talk about a company’s brand, we inevitably think of the client-facing side of the business – logos, advertising, websites. This is crucial, of course, but a brand comes down to far more than that – it is a complete cohesion of employees and internal operations, all coming together to produce the ‘face’ of the company that we are so familiar with. But what exactly does it mean to give your organisation a brand, and how can you ensure you’re getting it right? Let’s start by looking at customer service.
What is branded customer service?
Branded customer service is an important factor in your company’s success. We’re all familiar with stories about a company’s success or failure resting on good or bad customer service. After all, have you ever gone back to a company for more products or services if the last interaction you had with them was a bad one? The answer for the majority reading this will be “of course not!”.
Most of us have a favourite coffee shop we always go to (not just because we happen to love coffee), but because the service we get there is always awesome, no matter which barista happens to be working that day. The reason many of us have a favourite coffee shop is because it likely has good branded customer service – a standard of quality that customers know they can count on, based on human interaction. When it’s consistently good (or bad) – you’ve got your brand’s future right there.
What’s more, branded customer service also works wonders in a team setting – making your workers happy. When staff know the standards that are expected of any customer interaction, it provides them with a framework around which to work, which helps others. Effective branded customer service ensures everyone feels included and equal. It also helps to establish a benchmark, leaving no room for your employees to wonder whether their interactions could be deemed as the ‘right’ or the ‘wrong’ thing to do.
Branded Organisational Culture
When we talk about a company’s brand, we don’t often think about what’s going on inside the office environment. But it’s critically important that we do! Your company culture should match your brand.
Let’s think about a practical example. If you’re a business who produces sustainable bioplastics, but the office cafeteria is filled with Styrofoam mugs and a tonne of one-use, take away cutlery, you are faced with a brand that doesn’t match your culture. This can lead to uncertainty among employees, but more worryingly, it can also lead to employees becoming disengaged because they start to question what they are actually advocating by working for a so-called ‘sustainable’ company.
Similarly, if your company is a very customer service-orientated environment, it’s critical that your employees provide positive, great service to everyone they get in contact with. This great level of customer service is going to be hard to achieve if everyone at the company is miserable and uninspired because of overbearing managers, unrealistic targets, and little to no job perks. There’s no underestimating the importance of matching an employee’s environment with what they are selling or advocating.
The importance of giving your organisation a brand, and for it to match up to your company culture has never been so prevalent. We are now living in a time where, the majority of the young working generation are looking to work for a company purely because they believe in its values, and that the job they are doing makes a difference. If an employee encounters disparities between the carefully-crafted company brand and what’s going on internally, this is likely to result in a new employee questioning leaders on their authenticity. It is also detrimental to establishing trust and can leave them feeling alienated.
The Importance of Employeeship
We’ve established by now that giving your organisation a brand matters to your employees. We’ve looked at the importance of matching internal company culture with the external brand image, which leads us on to employeeship.
Employeeship is about creating a company culture in which employees are encouraged to take ownership. The notion of hierarchy doesn’t have such a stronghold in a culture of employeeship, as management and employees take equal responsibility and contribute on an equal level. If employeeship could be summed up in one word, it would be ‘equality’.
Generally, people won’t do things they don’t believe in and they won’t excel at something they don’t understand. Therefore, it’s important that everyone at your company has the same view and understanding of what success looks like. It’s also important that they believe in your company and the values that it upholds.
Firstly, it’s important to clearly define what it is that your company values; what it prides itself on and what sets it apart from the competition. You can then focus on constructing a solid company culture with these values in mind. It’s also important to continually reassess and revisit what your values are to ensure they are running in harmony with what’s actually happening in the workplace. One of the best ways to assess this is by asking for regular feedback from your employees – just as you would with your customers. They’ll be the first to tell you if something could be done better. Knowing that they work for a company that values their feedback will help build a great branded company culture!
The other crucial element to maintaining your brand through employeeship lies within ownership. When a team member believes in their company and sees that the workforce is working together to maintain company values, this feeds the sense of ownership the individual possesses. It creates a feeling of “we’re all in the same boat” or “your success is my success”. When staff members and managers alike are equally responsible for company matters and objectives, this promotes a more engaged workforce and a culture where employees will happily take responsibility.
Responsibility and empowerment go hand in hand. Give staff the responsibility (and trust) to meet goals and run things competently and empowerment will shortly follow. Then it becomes a cycle: new employees see their peers and co-workers taking control and accountability, they also see management owning their successes and failures, all whilst striving for this great company culture that you have created, and they jump on board, too. It’s a win-win.
This atmosphere of collaboration on all levels, from employees and clients alike, will not only grow your company brand, but will breed a positive employee culture and a workforce that is dedicated and engaged.
TMI specialises in creating great and lasting company cultures. We can help you establish your brand and make moves towards becoming a workplace that nurtures happy employees and breeds success. Contact us today and see how we can take your workforce to the next level.