5 min read
The Most Overlooked Competitive Advantage: Company Culture
By: Lee Chapman 10/12/22 10:01 AM
Company culture is a hot topic these days especially around recruiting and retaining top talent. But it’s always been at the center of high-performing companies, and it’s also been consistently cited in customer research as one of a company’s biggest differentiators and competitive advantages.
In a recent study by TeamStage, companies with strong cultures are associated with increased productivity, better employee engagement, and higher profitability.
Here are a few thought-provoking data points from their study:
- 94% of entrepreneurs and 88% of job seekers say that a healthy culture at work is vital for success
- Millennials prioritize ‘people and culture fit’ above everything else
- Team leaders have the highest impact on company culture
- Having highly engaged employees can lead to a 202% increase in performance
- A culture that attracts high-caliber employees leads to a 33% revenue increase
TREW Crew Volunteering Day 2022
While the culture buzz is real and timely, we often hear from our clients and prospects at TREW that they want to understand (specifically related to technology B2B businesses) what culture is defined as, who owns it within an organization, and what marketing's role is in promoting it. So, we pulled together specific examples of how culture manifests itself in activities the company does and decisions that the company makes. We’ll share why culture is more important now than ever, and what specific actions you can take as a marketer to strengthen your company's culture over time.
Culture vs. Mission, Vision, and Values
It is one thing to define a company’s mission, vision, and core values, but the behaviors and actions of employees shape a company's culture. When all are aligned and differentiated from competitors, great things happen both internally and externally. Misalignment may be a catalyst for an operational change, such as adopting a new internal tools like Slack to drive engagement; or an outdated notion of values, such as evolving workforce needs.
What exactly is culture? As we see it, culture is the attitudes, behaviors, and core values that are unique to your company. Your internal and external stakeholders experience them every day as you're doing business, as you're in internal meetings, as you're working with customers.
The TREW Crew Retreat 2022
These combined interactions play a big role in:
- Recruiting and onboarding new employees
- Attracting new prospects and customers
- Retaining happy, loyal customers
- Supporting and managing your teams day-to-day
- Creating a brand that has lasting monetary value
Culture Management and Your Brand
Culture is most likely not something that happens day one when you're forming a company or when you're in startup mode. It's something that unconsciously starts happening as you grow your business. It's how you go about working and interacting with your employees and your customers day-to-day. While everyone within a company impacts the culture in some way, making sure that you've got a strong culture starts with leadership and permeates through all the different teams within the organization. Marketing uniquely plays a very key role in that they are responsible for marketing the company and communicating to/with internal and external stakeholders on a regular basis.
This is where brand and company culture combine in the most impactful way. We know that your brand isn't what you say it is. It's what your customers say about you. So having a strong culture that is defined and lived every day helps you build trust and collaboration internally and externally to deliver a cohesive, consistent brand.
TREW Crew members getting together in Golden, CO
Gauging Your Culture’s Strengths
It’s a good idea to evaluate your culture’s strengths on a regular basis. You can do this in a variety of ways including:
- Get your team on a Zoom call or in a room and ask: what do you think our culture is? Notice what the top three things are and then start to look at those. Are they all aligning or sounding similar? Look for those common threads, build those out, take a few of those pieces that you feel like are opportunities that are there but could be stronger, and then look for some new things that you can do to strengthen those.
- Consider sending out quarterly internal surveys where you ask a few open-ended questions around leadership interactions, team-and-manager communication, wellness, working environment and company vision to gage any areas of focus.
- Ask for culture feedback during exit interviews or offboarding discussions to identify any areas of concern.
Promoting Your Culture
Showing off your culture on your website and social media channels conveys a human element and tells your unique story. Including photos from employee volunteer events or team birthday parties, engagements, weddings, baby showers, or retirements, shows connection within your business. People find value in this type of content as they're going through their buyer's journey and learning about your company.
Through our website strategy projects, we find that About Us pages are some of the most trafficked pages on a company’s website, so take that opportunity to showcase your culture on that page. In addition to the About Us page, the Careers page is where prospective employees go to learn about your company ahead of an interview or ahead of applying for a job, so take the opportunity to show your personality and your culture there too.
In addition to photos, consider shooting video vignettes of recent new hires and have them talk about what their experience has been like in the first couple of months at your company. You can also use those videos on LinkedIn as well, and have your team share them from their own LinkedIn page, versus your company page, to expand your brand reach across their network.
Looking for more insight into company culture? Check out this podcast episode.
Lee guides agency strategy and performance, and she champions the ongoing pursuit of building a great marketing team. She has extensive B2B technical marketing experience across a spectrum of industries and application areas including test and measurement, control and automation, and industrial manufacturing. Her focus has always been on building lasting partnerships that connect marketing strategy to bottom line-business results. Lee lives in Austin, Texas where she is passionate about supporting organizations working to end homelessness and provide affordable housing in Central Texas.
About TREW Marketing
TREW Marketing is a strategy-first content marketing agency serving B2B companies that target highly technical buyers. With deep experience in the design, embedded, measurement and automation, and software industries, TREW Marketing provides branding, marketing strategy, content development, and digital marketing services to help customers efficiently and effectively achieve business goals.