Culture shock – how to keep feeling the love

Lockdown has affected organisations in myriad different ways including, in many cases, challenging its culture

The culture of a company is often referred to but it isn’t something that can be seen – it’s more tied up with the attitude and behaviour of that organisation and the feeling customers and, indeed, employees, get from that business.

Company culture isn’t about the products and services on offer. This is why companies which are basically providing the same products can sometimes seem very different, as consumers are also attracted by a business’ mission, leadership, work environment, values and ethics.

In the 1980s, for instance, many City firms wrapped their culture around shiny buildings and smart suits, as well as working and playing hard. This has largely disappeared with many companies now understanding that mental health is important and offering a more flexible working environment with wellbeing and perhaps an emphasis on environmental values as part of that.

Some companies have flattened their management structure to make staff feel more involved and listened to. The cosmetics company, Lush, for instance, doesn’t just offer face creams and bath bombs, consumers are attracted by its company culture too, which is at the centre of everything Lush does. For instance, there are no company car park spaces only bicycle racks and all permanent staff are given their birthday off as an extra day’s holiday.

Taking time to create a good culture benefits both employees and employers. Employees are more likely to enjoy their work if their needs and values match those of their employer. If a staff member is happy, then they are more likely to be more productive, while staff turnover will also be reduced. In addition, happy staff members are more likely to give a good impression of where they work on social media – perhaps sharing corporate social media posts and writing fewer ‘thank goodness it’s Friday’ type of posts…

One way of identifying a company’s culture is to look at its social media streams and also its website. In the ‘about us’ section, is there a description of that company’s mission and values? In addition to case studies from happy customers, are there also testimonials from employees? Not only are these a great way of engaging with potential new employees but it can also make your business seem approachable, friendly and trustworthy. All very good reasons why somebody would want to buy from you.

Lockdown has affected organisations in myriad different ways including, in many cases, challenging its culture. For instance, a business’ culture might have been built around teamwork and a real pooling of skills. How has that been altered now that staff are working from home?

While many staff have enjoyed this time, others are missing working as part of a team with ‘real people’. Many companies have tried different ways of keeping in touch, not only from a business point of view but also by holding more social Zoom events. One company we heard of recently has continued the Friday evening drink in the local pub but have been doing it over Zoom. In that way, staff still feel part of something, key in maintaining company culture.

For a ‘bricks and mortar’ business, the company’s culture might well have felt more wrapped-up in its customer service values. They may have prided themselves on making customers feel welcomed and special. With more businesses having to move online during lockdowns, some have found it challenging to maintain that culture. However, many have been achieving it through social media posts or including blog posts about the hobbies their team members have taken up during the pandemic, for instance.

If you’d like to know more about how Lake Solutions can tailor your website to better highlight your company’s own particular culture, then get in touch.

Article Details

Ian Jepp
07 September 2020