Why you need to build a culture of trust
Dernière mise à jour : 17 sept. 2019
If your company splashes out on employee perks like foosball tables or video games, there’s something more important to build : a corporate culture of trust. Discover how to make your employees brand ambassadors.
Give your Employees Trust not Perks
Just because Google-style office is cool doesn’t mean the same design elements will work for you. Whether foosball tables, video games or free food are fun they’ll never substitute your corporate culture. To create an environment and culture where people are willing to come in the morning, and where they want to stay, it has nothing to do with perks, but everything to do with the trusting environment that the CEO has created, including approachable management, flexibility, constructive feedback, clear objectives and above all a vision. It is crucial to develop a culture of trust to give employees sufficient freedom to explore creative ways of problem-solving.
You can talk about culture all you want, but if you're not authentically living it and creating a culture that everyone really believes in, it's sort of… snake oil. Sooner or later, your employees will figure it out.
Build a Strong Corporate Culture
Authors and academics Kevan Scholes and Gerry Johnson developed the Cultural Web as a useful tool for analysing and changing assumptions surrounding corporate culture. Here are the six inter-related elements that the model contains:
Stories and myths: These are all the previous events which are discussed by your stakeholders. A typical question you may ask yourself include: What stories do people tell new employees about your company?
Rituals and routines: These are all about the daily actions of individuals within the organisation. Routines indicate what is expected of employees on a day-to-day basis, and what has been either directly or indirectly approved by the executive members. So ask yourself: What do employees expect when they come in each day?
Symbols: This is the visual representation of the company; how symbols appear to both employees and individuals on the outside. It includes logos, dress codes and sometimes advertisements. So, what kind of image is associated with the company from both the inside and the outside?
Organisational structure: The organogram is a formal representation of a structure. But there are other power structures in an organisation like the unwritten power and influence that some members may exert. So, is responsibility distributed in a formal or informal way?
Control systems: Every organisation has ‘controls.’ These include systems for setting and maintaining standards. It can refer to many things, including financial management, individual performance-based rewards and quality-control structures. In general, is your company loosely or tightly controlled?
Power structures: Power in the company may lay with one or two executives, a board, or a department. These people have the greatest amount of influence on decisions, operations, and strategy. Do you know who makes decisions on behalf of the company?
By analysing each element you can easily see if your corporate culture fits your vision.
Make your Employees Brand Ambassadors
There is one competitive advantage any company has - its employees.
We all talk about the companies we work for or used to work for. That word of mouth has a significant impact on the reputation of a brand specifically with social media. If you want to know more about a company, who else would you trust than a friend who works at the company?
Your employees can be a strong asset in creating brand awareness. If you give them the right communication tools, employees could be one of your most valuable marketing resources. Here are basic steps to turn your employees into brand ambassadors:
Communicate your vision - Make sure your employees understand the value you are providing. The “who we are”, “what we do”, “how we do it”, and “why we do it” should be clearly communicated to employees.
Issue social media guidelines - Some employees are reluctant to share information about their employers on social media. Creating a social media policy of dos and don’ts will help your employees to know what they can and can't share.
Create content - The content you create is the driving force behind what your employees will choose to share on social media. So make it relevant and above all customizable. The risk is to have dozen of similar posts on LinkedIn.
Make it easy to share - Gather all shareable content in a platform so that employees can share it. Some solutions like Everyone Social, Hootsuite Amplify, SMARP, Sociabble or Social Toaster can allow you to make employee advocacy real. Again, make sure employees can customise their posts.
Here's an infographics on how to build a strong corporate culture: