Maintaining company culture while working away from the officeTuesday, 11th August 2020
Guest Blog by Jo Scott, Founder / Managing Partner – Truth Creative
While there are signs that lockdown is starting to ease, the truth remains that a return to normal working patterns is a distant ambition for many businesses.
Government advice for the foreseeable future will be that employees should work from home wherever possible and that means business owners will have to work harder to maintain a sense of corporate culture both internally and externally.
The coronavirus pandemic has at least revealed a sense of resilience and put new technological means of communication into common practice. Whether via ZOOM, Microsoft Teams or good old fashioned Skype, we’ve managed to keep in touch and in business.
But if we’re only communicating in a new stilted way dictated by digital limitations – accidentally speaking while on mute, or factoring in faltering wifi – then some of the more nuanced aspects of business life could potentially be watered down or even lost.
It isn’t only because we’re branding professionals that we care so passionately, it’s because we too have been living through the challenge of channelling team spirit and creativity down an internet connection these past few months.
Of equal importance is the opportunity (necessity) to revisit and revise your corporate brand during these extraordinary times.
But it can be done and we’re happy to share some of the advice we’d pass on to clients. If you like what we have to say, we’d be happy to talk some more about the other ways that we can support your business.
For now, here are some thoughts from us on maintaining corporate culture while working away from the office.
- Communication is key. Under normal circumstances, employees are literally surrounded by the logos and branding that define the company they work for. Without visual cues, communication becomes more important. There is no harm in rehearsing and refreshing the factors that give a business its unique spirits and strengths via email or team building sessions. Taking time to do that in an informal team meeting online will also provide people with a safe space to raise concerns. If you haven’t already done so, factor it into your working week. It will also lift your spirits.
- Employer brand is just as critical as your core brand. We’re incredibly proud of our work building the corporate brands of organisations including PZ Cussons and GC Aesthetics. However, as important as it is to project a brand personality to potential clients, building an employer brand must also be taken seriously. Equally important during lockdown and recovery is maintaining it. We’ve been doing that via virtual quiz nights and other sessions designed to help us keep in touch away from client work. Not only is that good for staff morale and mental health, it provides a natural opportunity to remind one another of the ideals at the heart of any enterprise.
- The benefits of defining a corporate culture are long term. While corporate culture might appear to be one of the less tangible aspects of branding, the benefits of encouraging employees to understand what your company stands for will be with you for years to come. Brand colours and logos are only part of the story and when times get tough, it will be the common understanding of company mission and culture that will enable colleagues to respond to the challenges they face. It can also help with staff retention and recruitment.
- Your corporate identity needs to evolve. The fact is, coronavirus has changed everything and in some way or another, your corporate identity needs reexamining. It might be that your products, services and mission statement need to adapt to changing demands. The way in which we value our colleagues and the world around us is also becoming increasingly important. As some have learned to their cost, ethical consumerism is on the rise and can now literally make or break a business. Authenticity is key, but demonstrating your belief system to the world is now a must. The reality is that the business you had before pandemic might no longer be relevant now and in the coming months. But it can pivot and innovate and maintaining your company culture will ensure that your loyal staff are there to support you every step of the way. For many, it could be a matter of business survival. If that might be you and your business, we’re happy to help. Stay safe!
Want help with your corporate branding and profile? Truth Labs is a series of Brand Aid™ tools developed to help businesses quickly define, create and implement, clear and effective strategic solutions to any problem without investing months of time and resource. Find out more here.