In this episode of “Where We’re Heading: Business in the Age of Covid,” I spoke with Paul Robbins of Paul Robbins Associates about the importance for businesses and organizations to continue to get their messages out, and how they can modify their messages for the “new normal.” The interview is like a series of short white papers, as Paul gives us a few case studies on how to thrive in times of uncertainty.
Stop for a moment and think about how you would describe your company’s culture. Which words would you use? What examples come to mind that demonstrate the culture of your organization?
I have been working on a workshop on best practices for on-boarding and orientation videos when my thoughts turned toward the best way to communicate a company’s culture. Then I realized I was getting ahead of myself a bit. Before asking how to communicate it, we need to understand what we are communicating.
I’ve seen articles that attempt to categorize company culture. Is your culture team first? Traditional? Highly competitive? My hunch is that no single category is a perfect fit. Most likely, your company culture includes aspects of several categories. If that’s the case, then how best to go about articulating that culture?
My suggestion is to spend time defining the company culture as you best understand it. Then refine that definition. From there, I’d validate with others in the organization, even going so far to survey your employee population for validation and feedback. You may be surprised by the results. Leadership’s understanding of company culture can be significantly different from the general employee population’s perspective.
Once you have this information and deeper understanding of your company’s culture, bringing it to life in an orientation or on-boarding video becomes an easier process and will result in a more effective production.
I recently spent time in Houston, Texas, on a video shoot. The goal was to produce a couple of videos the client can use to recruit prospective associates and clients. It was a fast-paced, frenetic few days with many highlights (not the least of which was getting direct flights each way! Whoohoo!). I really enjoyed the time I spent with the people there, which is the purpose of this post.
The people were great and that made the all the difference because they’re in an industry where there’s very little differentiation between products and services from one firm to the next. So that’s what we decided to capture — the people stories.
But wait! Don’t their competitors have great people, too? Probably. But how effective are they when it comes to telling the stories of their people and the difference they’re making in the lives of the people and the communities they serve? Done well, visual storytelling can be compelling and a difference-maker. It makes people say, “I want be a part of that.” “I want to work there.” “I want to do business with them.” It provides a connection.
So that’s what we did for a couple of days. We spent time with people to understand their stories and the places where they live and work. It was a blast! It’ll be a while for the final production to make its debut, but when it does, I’m confident it’ll be . . . different.