Whatever your job or interests we all know about brands. They surround us. They talk to us. They affect our decision-making. They make us feel like we belong. They give us surety and confidence. And in a digital age we all engage with them countless times each day.
This doesn’t just apply to consumer brands, but employer brands too. The boom of the knowledge economy has put people at the very epicentre of lots of businesses. People are a company’s biggest asset and so it’s costly, disruptive and potentially quite damaging when employees leave.
Brand is one way to help keep employees motivated, enthused, productive and loyal. View your employees as your brand ambassadors for they should embody everything you stand for and project it to you suppliers, customers and the outside world. View your office as your embassy; a space to reinforce your DNA and convey who you are and what you do. Businesses that embrace this are able to improve staff retention, motivation and productivity. So how do you make your workplace your brand embassy?
Stop thinking about logos.
A company logo is certainly a key component of brand expression, but making your workspace and employees live the brand is about more than just putting the logo in prominent places.
Capture your vision, values and purpose.
Put the focus on capturing your company vision, values and purpose on paper. This will say more about your brand than a logo ever will and it should be at the heart of your workplace design.
Take BBC Worldwide for example, where one of its brand values is ‘working together’. The organisation has created a workspace that supports and delivers that. There are countless meeting spaces to aid collaboration and teamwork, from traditional meeting rooms to breakout space and big project tables, all of which are supported by technology.
Or look at Auto Trader – this is a technology business with values that are centred on being inspired and curious in order to deliver the best experience for their car dealership customers. Its Manchester office has been designed to include quirky features such as cars that double up as meeting rooms and that can be written on. This piques employees’ interest in their work and surroundings and means they’re never far from a surface or space in which to capture new ideas. Bristol based Ethicall’s values are passion and inspiration; qualities its team needs to keep delivering the best fundraising calls for its clients. The inclusion of two slides in the office keeps the fun factor strong for a young and go-getting team.
Be the 3 E’s – effective, efficient and engaging.
The best workspaces are effective, efficient and engaging. That means they support the work that is done, give people the resources and facilities they need to do it efficiently and provide enough visual stimulus to be motivating and inspiring into the bargain too. If you address these three components you are well on track to making your workplace your brand embassy.
Pride is a powerful emotion. Make your workspace one your employees are proud of somewhere they want to go, somewhere they want to show off.
When law firm Shoosmiths invested in a new Birmingham office complete with statement client suite and creative breakout spaces, pride was a very welcome bi-product of their investment.
Carol Light, Head of Estates Management at Shoosmiths said about the project: “The team has never held its head so high. There’s real pride in the new environment and it’s lifted morale and productivity now they are all within easy reach of each other, in modern surroundings. It’s a memorable office, and it’s another strategic asset in our bid to attract and retain the very best talent.”
Working environments should support a company’s ethos and brand values, be conducive to employee health and wellbeing and reflect the way work is done in that organisation. By getting this combination right, employees will have the full complement of support systems which, combined with remuneration and career progression, will see them much more likely to stay in a job and be the very best ambassadors of your brand.