Faye Loader, head of business development at The Brewery, describes how she gets her team to understand and embrace company values.
We all like to think that we have values; whether it’s the food we buy, the politicians we vote for or events we attend. The stumbling block for many brands will be following through and maintaining a persona that its staff and customers buy into and relate with. It’s easier said than done, but for businesses to succeed and achieve their collective goals they need a team behind them to establish and deliver on the values they set themselves.
As a leader within a business it is important to live and work by the brand values yourself. In whatever role you play at work you want someone to look up to and be inspired by; instilling your company’s brand values daily within the workplace will filter down and help develop a culture that reflects your products and services.
Having responsibility can feel like having the weight of the office on your shoulders, so ensuring that people around you buy into your goals will help to share the load and propel your message to those around you. Imparting an integrated sales and marketing strategy will reaffirm this message across all internal staff and external communications to stamp an identity on you and your brand which stands out. It’s important to remember that, once your business has set and communicated its values to the wider market, it is there to be copied, pulled apart or questioned. Set values that are truthful to you, are transparent, universally approved and above all, achievable.
Having employees on board from the beginning makes it easier to sell and for the team to immerse themselves into. Engage staff in all aspects of the product, so from event delivery to trying the food or experiencing an activity or new launch before everyone else. A hard sell doesn’t work anymore, having people on side that believe in your product will ensure they understand the background and, importantly, future plans which can become part of everything they do. A unified message will become apparent to any customer whether they’re speaking to the managing director or an assistant.
Equally, don’t take for granted that everyone knows what your company values are and understands them explicitly. Employees need time to learn and implement your vision and ideals; consider an employee reward and recognition scheme for demonstrating these. At The Brewery we’ve laid out four company values, stewardship, integrity, inclusivity, transparency which is applied to every employee whether they work in sales, operations, facilities or senior management and these are displayed on posters around the building to reinforce the message and make it much more visible to all staff.
We also ensure that staff interact and discuss these values, which in turn helps senior management to understand what the agreed principles mean to the workforce and identify when they are in need of a refresh. Through regular forums, employees are able to discuss our company values and wider issues in an open environment, keeping our brand’s personality at the heart of everything we do.
Seeing is believing, so wherever your business lies, the messages and persona you want to represent needs to be delivered from the top down and for all to see in action. An aggressive stance can be intimidating so delivering on a personal and face-to-face basis can have an evergreen effect and make a world of difference.