Corporate Culture: How Employee Happiness Can Boost Your Brand
By Philip Trampe
When people think of white-collar jobs, images of cubicles and the color beige spring to mind. Like a scene out of “Office Space,” the concept of even going to work makes employees depressed, hating their jobs. But up until recently, It seemed that the only way to get anything done would be to work in this format; follow the chain of command. Produce work in a vertical hierarchy that didn’t encourage much interaction between management levels.
I know what you’re thinking, even as your reading this I hope you notice that this work environment is abysmal, and therefore ineffective. In a day and age where people have unlimited distractions, the workplace should be somewhere that employees find exciting and endearing, as well as motivational for work. But having a vibrant corporate culture does much more than keep your employees happy. The boosting of your culture can also boost your productivity, profits and brand image.
First of all, unique cultures attract buzz! Certain cultures can resonate with certain individuals. Find out what environment can help your team become more productive, and then execute it. Your brand lifestyle will leak, most likely through the tweeting of your employees. Think, “Just won the company’s foosball tournament #awesome #salesdepartment #lovemyjob” compared to “Just had another BOREDmeeting #FML”
This kind of fun insight is what consumers love. They want to know that they support a brand that supports their staff. Again, think: “We enjoyed making this product, we hope you enjoy it too,” rather than “Buy our stuff.”
Furthermore, this will attract more people to seek out your company for employment. Your company will be able to more selective in its hiring process, in turn increasing effective productivity.
An example of this is the magical corporate culture of Google. Google knows that they are a company that needs to be continuously creative on the tech front. How do you do that? You give your employees time to mess about with personal projects. This is like recess in elementary school, but for a very unique group of people that will most likely end up creating something revolutionary, and Google gets to stamp it with their name with the happy consent of their employees. This open and freethinking culture has resulted in Google now receiving around 75,000 applications for jobs a week. Imagine how selective Google can be in their hiring process, and the applicants all sought Google out, not the other way around. Their culture sparked their strong reputation and product. This in turn makes consumers loyal and completely in awe of Google, (Just ask BING).
Of course I don’t need to explain how the Google culture has boosted its profits, but Google is also a special case due to its sheer size and influence. But small businesses can achieve similar feats on a gradual scale. Look at Hubspot in Boston. The lively and fun culture intrigues younger applicants; a demographic that is very beneficial to a modern tech based inbound marketing company.
Corporate culture can also be beneficial on other levels. A great example of this can be reducing other costs is promoting healthy lifestyles as a core component of corporate culture. Health is an important part of happiness. Having health and wellness campaigns can greatly decrease the cost of Healthcare plans, reducing company expenditure. The employers are happy, and so are the employees. I recently heard about a great initiative where companies were trying to help smokers quit the sticks encouraging them to do it together. Not only do the companies save an average of $1,000 on health plans per quitter, team building ensues. Sure they may be cranky for a while thanks to withdrawal, but they are cranky together, and if the corporate culture possesses a positive and encouraging (but not forceful) atmosphere, it may result in great publicity, healthier staff, and saving money. That’s a Win-Win-Win situation, all through corporate culture.
There are numerous other ways besides what I have written that use corporate culture for positive returns. The key is to find out what truly is the essence of your brand, and deriving your culture from that.
If you need some inspiration, check out why employees love working for these 100 companies.