I just completed a 15-page paper on company culture and one of the topics that surround company culture is values. A company’s culture derives directly from the values of the ownership, management and its employees. In my paper, I discussed the difference between company culture today and years ago. Let’s face it, company culture has become a hype term to give a “good feeling” to employees and customers across many different industries. I pointed out a number of differences between today’s focus on company culture and previous decade’s company culture implementation.
30 years ago it was enough to say here are our values and culture, and not have any accountability. It was about marketing. Marketing Directors of year’s past would simply have to do a good job marketing a company’s values even if it were only implemented externally. Today, there is accountability. Employees use social media to discuss their employment, good or bad. Customers are savvier when it comes to understanding and identifying exactly who a company is. Does that mean as marketing individuals, we don’t promote a culture? Absolutely not. Marketing teams have to be more transparent on how they display their cultural successes. That’s why it’s important to take pictures and show the world your team is volunteering. Make sure the employees are well versed in the values of the company by creating internal marketing pieces. With the exception of their corporate website, I’ve never seen Chick-Fil-A promote their values, they just do it. It starts with the management and how they communicate with the employees.
When you say thank you at Chick-Fil-A, they are taught to say “My Pleasure.” Once the employees grasp the culture, that’s the marketing. As marketing professionals, we have to put on our HR hat and develop strategies to communicate internally what our values and culture is. It’s not enough to say, you must do. If you’re in marketing, talk with your owners/management about what opportunities you have to develop marketing pieces for team members. Give them resources. Make sure they know what your company is about and who they work for. Values of a company will shine through its employees, and that’s where your marketing efforts should be.