A thriving culture and employer brand drives customer service. What your employees think about your business matters. It shows up not only in turnover and employee satisfaction, but ultimately in revenue and profits. Your customers aren’t naive; if your employee experience is weak, they will notice and your revenue will suffer. Who wants to shop somewhere where everyone is miserable? This is why building a thriving employer brand and culture is at the core of successful organizations. Here are six actionable ways to build and sustain a thriving employer brand and culture today:
1. Communicate the purpose.
One of the most essential ways to develop an employer brand is by introducing a higher purpose beyond profit. It may sound counterintuitive, but when people are working for something more than just profit they actually make more.
Action: Tell a story. Either in front of your team in person or through an email, tell your team a powerful story about the good that the organization has done.
2. Take leadership seriously.
Are you leading or are you just managing? Leaders lead people, and managers manage things. If you’re just a manager — setting schedules and enforcing policy — no one will be inspired to go the extra mile.
Action: Lead with love. Write a short gratitude note to someone you lead. It doesn’t need to be elaborate or long, just enough to show them that they’re appreciated.
3. Establish peer-to-peer recognition.
People love to be validated for their strengths and abilities, especially when it’s done by their peers or those who work closest with them. It’s not that recognition from higher management is ineffective, it is effective, but the recognition peers offer can be more authentic.
Action: Best self-reports. Give each member of your team a number of index cards. Everyone should receive one card for every member of the team. Then they write out one name per card and on them write out the strengths, or success stories, that relate to the person on the card. At the end, everyone gets the cards with their name and learns how their team views their strengths and best moments.
4. Make mindfulness a habit.
Not only has mindfulness been shown to be helpful in numerous workplace dimensions, it has been demonstrated to be especially effective in dynamic environments such as retail. The more your employees have to deal with on a daily basis, the more mindfulness exercises such as meditation will help. This is because it calms your mind’s internal distractions and allows you to focus on what’s happening in the moment.
Action: Just breathe. Among the simplest mindfulness exercises is focusing on breathing: taking in deep, purposeful breaths. Doing this for as little as five minutes can offer drastic improvements in overall performance.
5. Facilitate job crafting.
Most tasks, even for the most interesting of jobs, if taken out of context can be monotonous and uninspiring. This why reframing everyday tasks in light of a larger purpose can transform monotony into inspiration.
Action: Explain the connection between everyday operations and the larger organizational mission — i.e., what part those tasks play in the overall ecosystem. Let them know that you will be giving a shout-out to those individuals or teams who live the organization's mission exceptionally well.
6. Play defense.
Think about it, if someone isn’t willing to stand up for you, would you be willing to stand up for them? Probably not. So why would your employees defend the brand if the brand isn’t willing to defend them? If you want a culture of brand loyalty, you must first show your employees that the brand is loyal to the team by showing them that they have the support of leadership.
Action: Reach out and ask a member of your team how things are going. Let them know they can open up honestly to you and listen attentively. Then offer the support or guidance that they may need. This should be an unexpected offer for support, not a part of regular operations. The point is to show your team you’re willing to go above and beyond for them.
Adam Fridman is the author of the best-selling book, "The Science of Story," where he studies the science of employee engagement and defines what employees need to perform at their best. Adam is also the creator of ProHabits, the positive psychology-based technology platform that inspires organizations to transform and create more engaged cultures by supporting personal growth, developing positive habits and helping to increase emotional intelligence.
Adam Fridman is the author of the best-selling book, "The Science of Story" where he studies the science of employee engagement and defines what employees need to perform at their best.
Adam is also the creator of ProHabits, the positive psychology-based technology platform that inspires organizations to transform and create more engaged cultures by supporting personal growth, developing positive habits and helping to increase emotional intelligence.