As a business owner and as a human being, you have ethics and values that you follow. Establishing a set of best practices early on can set your company apart in terms of employee satisfaction and consumer loyalty. Do you believe that company values should be a matter of a team’s personal preferences, or is there a set of best business practices that every company should follow? Whichever you believe, you might want to have a discussion about company values and culture with your team members. This may already be part of your onboarding process for new team members, but it’s always helpful to give everyone a refresher and update current expectations based on relevant political and economic issues.
Your company values and ethics might be related to your current company goals and brand identity, but overall they should reflect you and your team as people. After all, consumers are becoming less trusting of large corporations, so introducing your team and ensuring that your company culture reflects their personal values can be a good way to humanize your company as a whole.
Of course, when establishing company values, it’s equally important to consider any concerns that your clients have expressed. According to a recent Salesforce report, consumers are re-evaluating their relationships with brands. Consumers are seeking transparency in company information and asking brands to establish a clear societal role and maintain consumer relationships in order to prove their trustworthiness. This means that consumers are not only looking for companies to state their values, but they’re looking for companies to demonstrate their values.
With the importance of consumer loyalty and brand transparency in mind, here are a few ways to take action and demonstrate common company values.
1 Recognize Your Employees
While outward-facing marketing and brand image are important, internal satisfaction is also key to making your business stand out. When your employees enjoy their jobs, feel valued, and talk highly about their work to clients and friends, it will reflect positively back on the company.
In order to ensure that employees feel properly recognized and rewarded for their hard work, check in with each employee individually on a regular basis to see if their priorities, work style, and personal needs have shifted. It’s also important for you as a business owner or your managers to regularly assess team dynamics. Team members may become frustrated if they are regularly assigned to work with the same team members and do not have opportunities to learn and grow. Both individual and team efforts should be recognized and rewarded.
In addition, if you want to get to know your team members more personally, some might say that the best way to do so is to start by being vulnerable yourself. Open up about issues that you’re struggling with so you can build trust among your employees. If you’re redefining your company values and mission, be open and vulnerable about that, too. Employees will feel more satisfied when they’re an active part of those larger decisions.
2 Establish Company Culture and Voice
Your company culture and voice go hand-in-hand when it comes to establishing yourself as a brand in a cohesive way. If you have a young team that’s passionate about evolving political and social issues and your target audience is also young, you should be able to use those consistencies to your advantage. Consult your creative team to establish a voice and art style that’s young and self-aware. This may include certain lingo or slang as well as objects and symbols that are popular with young people. It’s also important to think about symbols and slang that you don’t want to be associated with your company values.
3 Research Relevant Issues
If you do not yet have a team with a cohesive set of personal values, it might be up to you or a hiring manager to do some digging on current issues. As the Salesforce report proves, consumers expect companies to take a stance on social and political issues. This might seem intimidating at first, but there are a few easy ways to take a stance. You can commit to diversity and inclusion by setting a goal to hire a certain number of BIPOC and female employees. You can commit to sustainability by reducing energy usage in the office or switching to eco-friendly mailers when sending out merchandise. You can even commit to socioeconomic inclusion for all employees by offering free education and opportunities to earn certificates.
4 Proactively Seek Out Clients
While many brands wait for clients to find them, you can switch up the marketing game by proactively looking for your target audience on the platforms that they prefer. Your marketing department will be able to advise you, but you probably know your target audience the best as a business owner. Nonetheless, the platforms that your audience uses are likely to change every few years. Don’t rely on tried-and-true methods of email and snail mail marketing. A campaign on Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok can go a long way toward drawing clients who are keeping up with the latest trends.
It can be difficult to stand out in an age of constant online advertising, but focusing on your company’s mission, culture, and employee satisfaction can have a surprising impact on your brand image. As long as you establish clear and consistent company values, you will be working toward consumer trust and loyalty.