Today, we are taking a break from the topic of SEO and handing the blog over to Mr. Shiraz Madan, the Vice President of SEO Design Solutions. Today’s article focuses on establishing a corporate culture to improve character and enhance brand perception.
Corporate culture is a very broad term and can be interpreted in several ways. The corporate culture of an organization includes the values, beliefs, principles, business operations and business strategies that make a business unique and establish its character.
This corporate culture is not only a “way of business” internally, but also a foundation for how a company operates with its clients and prospects. Just a like family whose children often adopt the habits, good and bad, of their parents, a corporation’s employees will often adopt the work habits, ethics and strategies that upper level management display.
It’s no mistake that Japan’s leading automakers such as Toyota, continue to improve based on proprietary production philosophies while US automakers…well, we know the story there. With this being said, it’s vital for corporations to select the appropriate candidates for management level positions and provide the needed training in order for management personnel to identify areas to establish corporate culture and create an environment that intrinsically motivates employees to reach their potential while achieving corporate objectives.
A few areas to begin assertion of a corporate culture include the following: Setting personal and team oriented goals, inspiring vision and innovation, instilling leadership and promoting a “Team First” environment.
When setting goals for an individual, it’s important to recognize the basic components of goal setting. All goals must be: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely, whether they are individual or group based. If the goal doesn’t stand up to these metrics, the goal may not be worth pursuing.
Personal goals within an organization often include sales quotas, production quotas, time management quotas or implementation standards. The key is, providing a broad level scope to each of these goals that allow the individual to understand that each personal goal helps to obtain a specific team or corporate goal.
For example, a sales representative responsible for selling P90X fitness training packages may have individual goals related to meeting a monthly sales quota. It would be vital to allow this sales representative to see that their sales production for the month, assisted in meeting a much larger quantifiable goal for the company.
This should be taken a step further to convey to the sales representative that achieving this company goal has allowed this life changing product to improve the quality of life for X number of people. This reinforces the end level product of their hard work and provides another layer of motivation in the corporate culture.
No matter the industry in question, vision and innovation to adapt and create is what allows companies to gain a first mover advantage. Often times, this vision is limited to senior level executives who are often times too far from the ground level work to fully wrap their head around a process, product or service that needs refining.
It is vital to promote innovation and vision within a company at all levels. This can be achieved through setting monthly meetings where ideas submitted are discussed anonymously to promote the progression of these ideas into implementation. This can be complimented by a rewards system for ideas and innovation.
Based on the value of the idea (which can be measured by money earned, money saved or brand value impact), a reward or bonus can be implemented to motivate employees to participate in the consistent redevelopment of company strategy and implementation.
Identifying the most drastic areas of innovation can also assist in promoting the needed changes in business structure and operations. In 2000 when Xerox admitted that their business model could no longer compete, it was vital that they focused on innovation to gain a first mover advantage.
In fact, they went as far as creating an innovation system based on their customer’s needs; this was called the 6 S’s: simpler, speedier, smaller, smarter, secure and socially responsible. This created a culture where innovation was now part of the business model and an expected necessity in delivering products to their clients.
There’s an age old adage that states “leadership involves creating leaders out of those being lead”. This maybe a general term, but digging deeper into this saying reveals the meat and potatoes of leadership and its impact.
First and foremost a leader leads by example. If a 9am start time is applied to employees within a company and management shows up late 10% of the time, employees are now conditioned to feel it is acceptable to be late 10% of the time. This holds true for level of production and quality of work. In order to build leadership qualities in others and truly harness a domino effect of production and quality workmanship, the bar must be set high by those sitting at the top.
While playing tennis in high school, my coach required us to participate in two a day practices. This involved getting to the school at 6am to run stairs, execute wind sprints, calisthenics and other workouts. This would have been a lot more difficult to swallow had our 40+ year old coach not participated in every workout, being the first one to practice and the last one to leave.
In addition to leading by example, it’s important to identify team encouragement, assistance and development. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link and it’s vital for a manager to build up his/her team to establish an acceptable level of competence.
Investing in an employee can result in that employee investing in others, creating a synergy within a company or group. An individuals job requirement at that point stem from their own listed duties to the overall betterment of their colleagues.
Looking to the sports world for exemplification, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are widely touted as the two best players in the NBA. There are players that produce better individual numbers than both players; however, they both carry this status due to their ability to make the players around them better.
It’s no mistake that each of their respective teams had the best record in their respective conferences. Each player is an extension of the coach, on the basketball court. In order to produce leadership qualities in employees, its important to create an environment where everyone is concerned about making everyone else better.
To conclude, instead of banging your head against the wall trying to find ways to leverage business advantages, utilize the intangibles within your firm to create a corporate culture that translates into how your brand is perceived internally and externally. After all, there’s nothing better than reaching the status when everyone wants to to work for you, or with you.
This article was written by SEO Design Solutions’ VP Mr. Shiraz Madan who consistently refines the focus of our collective marketing and branding efforts through bringing fresh insight and vision to broaden our business horizons. If your business requires a fresh perspective with new eyes, then feel free to contact us at 1 (312) 794 7883 to see what opportunities exist.