How engaged with your brand and your products are your employees?
Most CEOs would answer very engaged; however, the reality may be much different from the desired level of engagement and that may be a direct result of your work culture.
I recently led a webinar on global employee engagement. The majority of the questions focused on whether company culture impacts brand perception. And the answer is: absolutely. A positive culture equates to engaged and passionate employees who are respected, trusted and encouraged to share ideas. A negative culture is the polar opposite – a culture of fear, suspicion and degradation of ideas.
Here are several tips for changing your work culture to help inspire your employees to be engaged with your brand and to become ambassadors for it.
- Recognize employees for their accomplishments, publicly and individually in person.
- Align expectations between employees and management. This is very important. Employees must know that the projects they are working on and their objectives align with management’s expectations and goals.
- Proactively address and develop solutions or incentives for overwork.
- Eliminate cliques and favoritism by encouraging social interactions with others and ranking inclusiveness in performance reviews.
Next, ensure your company is clear on its purpose, values and behaviors.
- Define your company’s purpose. Why do you exist? What do you hope to solve?
- Survey your staff and customers on the values they identify with your purpose. You will often see the end result of this defined in a tagline (“Fly the Friendly Skies”, “Think Different”, “We Try Harder”).
- Describe the behaviors which reflect those values in action. How can you live the purpose of your brand?
- Establish an employee engagement pilot program to help you define purpose, values and behaviors and to embody those characteristics in their daily interactions at work, internal and external.
- Hire for culture first, skills second. Ensure your new hires demonstrate and believe in your values through group interviews and problem solving exercises.