When it comes to developing internal campaigns on activating culture, we always listen first.  Over the years, we’ve talked with hundreds of colleagues and clients at start-ups to Fortune 500 global companies, across many industries. Across the board, these are the best practices for success.

  1. Holistic integration with values, brand, purpose. Often, companies develop their brand and purpose/mission statements to be outward facing. Company values may appear on the careers page, but for the most part, those responsible for fulfilling the brand promises are unaware what they are. The trick here is to meld the external with their existing internal reality in a way that doesn’t feel forced.
  2. It must be top down. This activation is as important as any other company initiative. Leaders/managers must make it a priority and commit appropriate time and other resources. When they see you model the culture, employees naturally will want to “live the brand” as well.
  3. To be relevant, it must also be bottom up. If employees see this as yet another flavor-of-the-month management directive, it’s doomed. The best way to get employee buy-in is to invite them into the process. Everyone’s perspective is relevant.
  4. It must be benefit-oriented. Show how individuals win, teams win, and the company wins, and ultimately, the consumer wins.
  5. Don’t lump it with regular training and compliance. It’s not training. Internal culture is not a skill or process to be learned. It’s a celebration of each person’s role in making the company what it says it is. 
  6. One and done will not work. This is a long-term commitment. It will have sets of exercises and learnings, but it’s continuous, with no obvious endpoint. 
  7. The engagement factor (fun). You’re trying to open people’s eyes, minds and hearts. Engage them in ways that are challenging/intriguing/enjoyable – and most importantly, out of their usual work sphere. Fun is a big success driver.
  8. It needs to paint an authentic picture. Employees know when something feels off. They know what feels genuine to them. This is about holding up a two-way mirror, validating their truth through the lens of the company – and vice versa.
  9. Logistics are important- including measurement. Successful businesses benchmark, assess and recalibrate as needed. Think of internal culture activation as a key business function that deserves the same serious actions. Keep listening. Keep engaging. And measure everything you can: attitude changes, process changes, systems changes.

Is it time to amplify your brand and culture internally? Drop us a line at letstalk@globalbrandworks.com.