How to Leverage Company Culture to Build a Successful Brand
As companies in Silicon Valley promote their high-tech offices with flex space, bean bags, and unlimited coffee around the clock, many people see these benefits as culture. But culture goes way deeper than free snacks and a standing desk.
“In a nutshell, culture is the “heartbeat” of a company. It’s something that lights up the entire system. If a company has great culture, it can be the backbone of their success. – Claude Silver”
Claude Silver, the Chief Heart Officer at Vayner Media describes it this way, “culture is a texture. It’s a vibe. It’s a feel.” This is exactly what culture is. It is the connection that your employees build with others in the organization. It is the communication that is encouraged and the collaboration between teams to build a strong and solid foundation. Yes, unlimited lattes and chips are a plus, but what good is free food if your employee can’t come knocking on your door because they are scared to give you their opinion. Silver compares the company culture to the backbone of a business. Culture is so important that without it, your company would not function.
It’s one thing to know the importance of culture, but how do you build it? Cracking the code on building the perfect culture is very difficult. Building a brand can transform your business into an enduring household name. But how do you build a brand when you are starting from scratch?
Yolofsky Law is designed to be a different kind of law firm. I knew that I wanted to be a different kind of lawyer. This meant that my company culture had to be unique from any other law firm. As a team, we strive to maintain a memorable company identity. Our values and mission are our way of life. How we treat our employees and those that interact with our firm is what sets us apart. Two examples are that:
- We have a professional development & reading program
- Our hiring process creates a feeling of accomplishment
It’s no secret that Yolofsky Law has adapted cultural lessons from the US Marine Corps and other elite military units. We also have applied lessons from Vayner Media, Facebook, Ben Glass Law, The Pittsburgh Steelers, the New England Patriots. Nearly as important are the lessons of what not to do in terms of culture and leadership. As a quick aside, if you’re a leader, you must be prepared to do the things you ask your team to do. For example, if I ask someone on my team to get a certification for one of their fields of expertise – what am I doing to keep up with my legal education?
These four items will determine your company culture for your business:
- What you believe in, what you strive to offer your customers
- What sets you apart from your competitors
- How you treat your employees
- Operation ethos of your organization
You should clearly define these components at the beginning of your business. You will then have a solid blueprint for a business brand.
The More You Give, The More You Get Back
Giving value and showing value to your employees will give you an increase in your ROI. Why do we say this? When employees are engaged and feel valued, their productivity increases, thus increasing your company’s revenue. When your employees feel like they are a part of something greater and with a mission, they will do their best and strive to be better both for themselves and for the company at the same time. This not only saves you big money on team turnover but will also ultimately result in a powerful company brand. A strong company culture helps employees invest in the business and work together more effectively.
By the way, the millennial generation focuses more on these non-monetary items than GenX or the Baby Boomers. Organizational culture will be a defining factor for a company’s success in the next generation.
Investing in your company’s culture can:
- Reduce employee turnover
- Boost employee satisfaction levels
- Improve workplace productivity
- Foster a fun, positive, and healthy environment
Are you willing to lose?
Not having a strong company culture can make for a very unsuccessful brand. In Deloitte’s 2018 Millennial Survey, 59% percent of Gen Z say that they expect to stay with their current employer for less than 2 years. Just like it is more expensive to acquire new clients, it is just as or even more expensive to invest time in a new hire and then lose them. The cost of replacing an employee is $15,000 for an employee earning a median salary of $45,000 a year1. Investing in culture can save you money down the line and create a successful and identifiable brand.
The values of a clearly defined business culture must be reflected in everything you do. Your business will stand out and attract like-minded employees, be approached by dedicated investors, and be more flexible in the face of change. A robust company culture will eventually speak to the public in an authentic way.
Building a strong company culture to leverage into a successful brand won’t happen overnight. If you’re looking for a place to start, you could consult with us as your small business lawyer before you begin. Believe it that there are ways to build culture with your business documents. Indeed, how you contract with your employees and customers will reflect the culture you are building. We are always thinking past step 1 and will help you build a solid foundation so that you can be a hero to your business and to your employees.