by Emma Siemasko
Your company needs core ideologies and a solid brand. These things don’t just happen on their own. They all start with the company leaders. Branding and company culture are inextricably linked. If you want And to build a great brand, you need the best employees. It’s a chicken-and-egg situation.
A company is a living, breathing organism. It grows, changes and responds to outside influences. That’s why we think of culture, passion, efficiency and core values as part of a Brand’s DNA. This is the stuff your company is made of!
Your Brand’s DNA is two-fold. It’s directly related to:
- Your internal culture: The productivity and passion of your employees depends upon your leadership. If you build a brand that prioritizes passion, personal development and work-life balance, you’ll be much more likely to have a happier, more dedicated team.
- Customer perception: Do you want your customers to see you as another nameless, faceless corporation without personality? Probably not. That’s why it’s crucial to build your brand DNA with customers in mind.
You don’t want to be just another chiropractor, software company or law firm. You want a branded image that makes you recognizable, strong and inspiring. We’ll focus on your internal culture and how you can build one that reflects a healthy DNA.
Deciding Who You Are and What You Believe In
To create a thriving company culture, you need an identity. You need hard DNA — not just fluff. So, how do you define yourself? You’re probably a generous person wanting to provide a valuable product or service to your customer. You probably love what you do and want to make a living doing it. Think of the values you care about and want your employees to care about — things like generosity, skill, cutting-edge technology, a team focus, empathy and fun.
A brand is led by its founders. It takes time to build. Without deciding who you are and making a commitment to follow-through, you can’t create the brand that you want.
Writing Down Your Beliefs
It’s not enough to say that you want ambitious people with a great attitude. You’ve got to write it down. Once the guidelines are written, you can make sure everything you do is aligned with your values. At Grasshopper, we developed some core values to define who we are and what we’re working for. These help us chart a path for the future and inspire and remind us who we are in the present.
We chose the values we did because we’re on a quest to fulfill our mission “to empower entrepreneurs to succeed.” We’re passionate about providing a great phone system, but we also want to offer something bigger than that. We’re not working just to work — we’re working to help others start, run and grow their businesses.
We created G.A.R.Y.:
Having values allows us to consistently check on the pulse of our company. They serve as a report card to make sure our team is aligned with the company mission. We even have “I caught” cards so employees can celebrate each other by catching coworkers in the act of living our core values.
Company Culture is More Than Ping Pong
You’ve heard it before: Company culture is more than just a Ping-Pong table. But those Ping-Pong tables sure do help.
If your employees can only play at the table or in the game room after hours, you might as well not have them. Workers need to feel like they can relax and take a breather without getting in trouble or raising eyebrows.
If you create reasons for people to want to come to work, provide good benefits and offer flexibility, your employees will feel lucky to be where they are. It’s about way more than the Ping-Pong table. These things help reinforce the culture.
If you want to build a successful, lovable company, start by investing in the people you work with. If you’re going to skimp, don’t do it here.
Here are some things you can do to generate a positive company culture:
- Provide ample healthcare and time off.
- Hold employee outings and parties.
- Give employees gifts when they start.
- Make sure every worker is equipped with the best technology, if feasible.
- Celebrate employees’ life milestones, such as big moves, getting married, having babies or passing classes and certifications.
- Celebrate employees’ birthdays every month. Lump them together and celebrate with a monthly birthday party.
- Provide tons of snacks and food options so no one is ever stressed if they forget their lunch.
- Pay for some other things like gym memberships, rail cards and cell phones.
Building a Company Culture That’s Great
If you want to build a great brand, you need an amazing company culture. It isn’t easy, but a healthy brand DNA can make or break your company.
Emma Siemasko is the Content Marketing Specialist at Grasshopper, the entrepreneurs’ phone system. Grasshopper provides toll free numbers, call forwarding, and a host of other features to help small business owners sound professional and stay connected. You can follow Grasshopper on Twitter and learn more at Grasshopper.com.