How to Put the ‘Cult’ in Employer Culture
One of the things that we’ve learned from our numerous internal comms projects, live experiences and employee engagement campaigns is that it’s never an accident when the environment fostered in an organisation facilitates friendship, collaboration, job satisfaction, excellent colleague relationships and a positive affinity with the place where they work. To make people connect like that to each other – and to their employer – doesn’t happen overnight and isn’t based on a once-off interaction. Instead, regular touchpoints and communications must be in place that have real meaning and purpose, and that resonate on a deep and lasting level.
At Pluto, every time we are involved in internal communication, we always play the long game. We dig deep for an insight that we can apply not just to an event, but that also applies with equal relevance to on overall employee relations strategy. Our goal is for staff to take something away after every engagement. They need to enjoy the moment – but also to remember the emotion that it generated.
We all have friends, clients, or former colleagues who have worked in an organisation for a decade or longer, and it’s really interesting to explore what keeps them there. It’s been proven in countless studies that Financial remuneration alone doesn’t hold anyone in place that long.
People stay because they feel that their work is their ‘second family’. When companies have a huge amount of staff who have been there for years, people often joke about the organisation being a “cult”. In a company where the employees live and breathe their employer’s culture, they are the biggest advocates and the biggest ambassadors. These are the people who attract new talent and these are also the people whose passion builds indelible trust with their clients and customers. But how do you build a culture where people like this flourish?
The key to building this affinity to a place of work requires strong culture, recognition and reward.
We can help bolster your culture by working with existing internal social teams and CSR teams – or your company as a whole – to find the right activities, team building, charity days, events, celebrations and talks that matter to your people. We work collaboratively to find out what people want, or we can draft surveys to create bespoke events that will pique interests, be a talking point, create learning and promote positive relationships.
Recognition isn’t merely about “hey, we know you’re all doing a great job” – it’s also about listening to your staff. You need to learn about the good and the bad, recognise the pressure points, and celebrate the wins. We work with you to find out the right time to deliver comms that inspire, or deliver a brief respite after an intense period, or that much-needed boost of morale.
We believe that this can be incorporated into the everyday pulse of the organisation. If you have the opportunity for an offsite event or conference, be sure to make your culture form part of the schedule and theme. With the right insight and clear objectives, we can match a speaker and activity into any conference or social occasion that will leave your employees with a real sense of purpose and value.
The best way to reward your staff is to give them some time to focus on important life issues outside of work. This can be as big or as small as you want, but you should think beyond the “holiday party”, and use the full 12-month calendar to your advantage.
The lynchpin to all of this is to make it a treat. A treat for all the senses. Joy and play are always part of our overarching event theme. Strong visuals, exciting entertainment, the right venue and the right vibes to create unforgettable experiences. A bespoke “thank you” that will leave your teams feeling valued and appreciative of what has been done for them.
It’s also vital to adapt with the times, and never has this been so true as in these very strange virus-driven times. It’s more important than ever to maintain your company culture, and strong connections will help you weather this or any other storm.
At Pluto, we are constantly looking at innovative and original ways to reinforce core values, and to recognise and reward your staff. And as a company whose own strapline is “Connections that stick”, we’re acutely conscious that all employee interaction must stem from strategy and insights to deliver physical, emotional and virtual care packages, events and overall communications.
With over 15 years working in experiential marketing and specialising in employee events, we understand how important your brand as an employer is – and create the sort of unforgettable moments that make that brand stronger and more authentic with each passing year.
When done properly, they ensure a happy workforce during and after this current situation. After all, why let your well-established values and company cultures fall apart when you need them at their strongest?
So remember when the tears come out on somebody’s last day and they say “it’s people”. Of course, it’s the people! But those relationships can only incubate in a climate of positive, rewarding and collaborative culture. Where people can make long-lasting, sometimes lifelong personal and professional connections.
By Cormac McCann, Creative Lead at Pluto. Follow him on LinkedIn.
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