Corporate culture is quickly becoming the cornerstone of the modern business world. It’s one of the top questions recruiters face and the deciding factor for many young professionals. There’s something about going casual for a cause, or volunteering that brings out the best in people. While these are great ways to give back, they aren’t innovative. So how can your Marketing Department create a culture that will set you apart from the competition?
To create a strong culture, you may need a fresh perspective. Performing a “culture audit” will give you valuable insights into the following:
- Is your culture clearly defined?
- Is there an onboarding process for new employees?
- Do current employees have knowledge of brand values?
- Are firm leaders engaged?
- Is the focus internal, external, both?
As Marketers, we love to come up with creative solutions. A partner wrote a 23-page article on the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Great! Let’s turn it into an e-book. Firm culture needs a shot in the arm? How about unveiling a firm mascot?
Now a mascot might not be the right fit for every firm but our employees are 100% on board. In fact, a group of young professionals came to us asking for a costume. And you know what? They got one. Our life-sized mascot joins us at holiday parties and staff meetings while a smaller, stuffed version, shows up on the desks of staff members as recognition for hard work, innovation, or kindness.
Maybe for your firm, it’s taking something you already have in place and adding a creative twist. For example, turn a team building event into a service project. Have staff members collect trash, perform random acts of kindness, go on a food scavenger hunt and donate the items to a local food pantry or shelter.
Jump When the Spirit Moves You
Don’t get so locked in that you can’t evolve. Be willing to look at opportunities which jump out at you. That’s exactly how the most popular initiative at MarksNelson was born. Wrapped in Warmth focuses on providing hats, scarves, and gloves to the homeless in Kansas City during the holidays – with a twist. Instead of handing them out, the items are tied to light poles and trees.
This groundbreaking idea sparked from the firm participating in a local coat drive in 2016. Since then it’s grown to include a staff led knitting group to support the cause. Talk about innovation!
Wrapped in Warmth has earned the firm the 2017 We AAM to Serve Award, as well as being named a Corporate Champion by Ingram’s Business Magazine for philanthropic impact.
Creating an award-winning corporate culture is not a one-size fits all approach. It takes trial and error. Defining your values is the biggest step. Once that is done find employees who live the values and make them culture ambassadors. Not only will they help others understand what the company stands for, but will foster a sense of community as well.
About Kim Woirhaye-Reid
Kim Woirhaye-Reid is Marketing/PR Specialist for MarksNelson in Kansas City. She uses her background as an Emmy®-nominated journalist to manage content, both written and video, for the firm as well as the social media accounts. Kim also is very involved in the firm’s innovative Marks of Kindness program including Wrapped in Warmth, an initiative for helping the homeless of Kansas City.