On Fridays, we wear stripes.
You can spot a Bradford Groupie from a mile away. There’s a code we all adhere to. We meet in the kitchen at 8:38 every morning, look forward to Beer Fridays and order Jakes’ Bakes any opportunity we get. In fact, half of us get our hair cut by the same stylist.
Call it company culture or office norms, when you work together for 40+ hours a week, you start to dress the same, eat at the same places and laugh at the same jokes.
Recently, we worked with Concept Technology to host a panel on company culture with the Nashville Chamber of Commerce. The conversation reinforced what we’ve found to be true: Company culture can be as simple as the small things, but it’s as important as your brand – especially in the age of Millennials.
Why is company culture important to a brand?
Great employees encompass more than just a certain skillset. A productive, smart and savvy employee can be infectious to an organization if he or she is equally selfish, pessimistic and greedy.
If you want to attract a certain persona, your company must embody what that person would value. If your team rarely strays from tradition, you’re likely to attract those who enjoy the status quo and won’t push your company to test the limits. If your company relies on self-managed individuals, a culture of independence and empowerment is likely to attract free thinkers and doers.
And while every company has a culture, not every company accurately showcases it to the outside world. One of the first places potential employees look is your website. A powerful website will capture the personality of a company. It should exude company values. Even the colors, layouts, pictures and voice should intentionally personify a brand’s individuality.
Millennials won’t just scour your website, they’ll judge your social media presence, too. They want to see what larger conversations you’re playing into, what life looks like day-to-day and if you share their sense of humor.
And the culture can permeate through other aspects that affect your brand, even your hiring process itself. The job description, interview steps and methods of communication speak volumes to an outsider about what your company looks like within office walls.
If you love what you do and the company you work for, you’re much more likely to stick around. Not to mention, people who are happy in their office environment and a great cultural fit will invest in what they do and do better work. Companies must recognize the opportunity they have to positively impact attitudes and weave culture into everything. By setting goals as a group, keeping each other accountable and celebrating together, tasks look more like passions and coworkers seem more like family.
Often, people underestimate the power of a strong company culture. In reality, everybody notices, even potential clients. People are more willing to work with you when they know your team is close, dedicated and invested. This kind of camaraderie can’t be faked. An attitude of support seeps through emails, tweets and projects. It has the ability to attract, connect and inspire.
The Bradford Group culture is one of the things I love most about my job. There’s a level of ownership that permeates across the company, and we’re each others’ biggest fans. In our kitchen, you’ll find a whole wall of praise for one another. And we know how to brighten each other’s day, whether it’s a Cuban from Crema, a veggie burger from Wild Cow (California style, of course) or an entertaining night of trivia.
They call us Groupies for a reason.