When you think of a great brand, things like a logo, products and maybe an advertisement pop into your head. Like if we’d say McDonald’s you’d immediately think red and yellow arches and deliciously-bad-for-you fries.
But do you know what separates great brands from the average ones? It’s not what’s projected about the brand on TV and social media ads. It’s what happens behind the screen. It’s a brand’s employees and values and how its workplace embodies those and its brand.
The Importance of Workplace Branding
A goal of every company is to have its employees live and breathe the brand and core values. And unbeknown to some, workplace branding does that and more.
People today are more aware of the designs around them, which involves products they use, where they spend their time and their workplace. As awareness increases among those who spend time in your office–from your employees to investors to potential clients and employees–it is increasingly important for you to implement strategic office design.
Teem’s design team highlights three reasons why you should put an emphasis on incorporating workplace branding into your office design:
Reinforces company culture and brand. Your brand isn’t just your logo or website. It’s the attitude and personality of your company. It represents what your company stands for and how you want to be presented. Your office environment should be an extension of your brand through event and product promotion, company goals, and tools you already use, like digital conference room displays. This daily reinforcement makes a big impact on anyone who spends time there—it makes them feel a part of your brand and culture.
Boosts employee morale and productivity. People want to be comfortable while they work. They want to be inspired and motivated when they come into work and feel like they’re at home with family and friends, especially since they spend most of their waking hours there. According to a FlexJobs survey, 65% of people say they’re more productive at home because there’s a more comfortable office environment. And another study found a direct relationship between office design and productivity, with the findings showing that a comfortable and ergonomic office design motivates employees and significantly increases their productivity. If you walk around Chicago, currently more than ever, people are donning red and blue Cubs gear. Fans wear that gear because it makes them feel like they’re a part of something bigger than themselves. The same needs to happen with your workplace branding. The design and tools you use should create a sense of community and make your employees feel comfortable, which then makes them work harder.
Helps recruit and retain great employees. The office R&R isn’t rest and relaxation; it’s recruit and retain. Workplace branding isn’t just about pleasing current employees. You have to look good to outsiders, too. Anyone who steps into your office should come in and instantly know what your brand and company values are. So make sure you create good buzz and word of mouth, along with giving people a branded visual experience inside your office. Doing all of these will give people a sense of place, and ensures there won’t be any disconnect or disappointment with your brand. Office branding not only impacts how your office functions; it affects how people perceive your entire company.
How to Brand Your Workplace
Too often, companies think painting walls company colors and slapping a few graphics on windows of your company logo is all it takes. But that’s not effective branding. It’s just decorating. Your workplace should be designed to encourage behavior that’s consistent with your brand and its values.
As Brian Brindisi, senior associate and design director at Gensler, said in an interview with Metropolis, “A good brand does more than establish a visual language; it creates an immersive experience for every person who enters their workplace. … At its core, branding workplaces is a process of taking the characteristics that make a company great, and expressing those characteristics through emotive experiences that ultimately enhance learning, productivity, and the overall workplace experience for employees and clients. Today, everyone wants to work in spaces that closely mirror a particular lifestyle and makes them feel engaged, valued and connected to a company.”
Here’s how you can do all that.
Create custom images to promote upcoming events and product releases. Holiday party happening next month? Your latest gadget being released in a couple weeks? Whatever it is, broadcast it with appealing images scattered throughout the office. These images remind employees to attend the event and get them excited to be a part of such a fun, hardworking culture. It also shows potential employees your company culture is one they want to be involved with, whether that’s having fun through quarterly LAN parties or giving back through charity events, and how amazing your products are. It can also be a way to express gratitude to everyone involved with getting this product released. You can do all these things with Teem’s Broadcast feature, which lets administrators set and display customized messages that are then communicated to the entire office.
Highlight employees and teams. If you want employees who are satisfied and engaged, recognize them. A 2015 study found that 70% who had received a form of recognition were happy with their jobs, and another found that publicly highlighting an employee increased all employees’ sense that their employer cared about them. Invest in employee recognition software to keep on top of recognizing and rewarding employees and hold celebrations, however big or small you want, to highlight individuals and teams who have gained a new client, hit a goal, etc. You can also have fun highlighting employees via custom image themes and set pictures of the employee of the month as the background on your conference room displays.
Reiterate company goals. Your office space is supposed to reflect your company’s culture and values. We’ve established that. But, another thing we should add in is company goals. Company goals create that unity and internal motivation you want. As part of your visual workplace branding, remind employees of your goals and tell clients and investors what they can expect from you. Put them on screens in office common rooms or put them on your walls using temporary graphics. Whatever you do, make them easy to visualize. Visualization leads to achieving goals
Employees expect to have all the tools and resources they need to do their job and do it well, and a branded workplace is one of those tools. As you work on your workplace branding, remember to make your workplace a reflection of your brand, products and the office space itself, while also creating a space that informs guests, inspires employees and aligns with your culture.