When I started working with a founder of a 50-person company, we first surveyed the team members. What impressed me most was that 100% of respondents said that they were “extremely proud to work at the company.”
When team members are proud to be part of their organization they feel like they belong and are more likely to expend discretionary effort and weather any storms. Second, company pride serves as a unifying factor amongst team members. Last enthusiasm is contagious and rubs off on current and prospective employees. I just saw a post from a colleague who in his update, announced his pride and provided a link to the company’s community engagement. Last, employees become ambassadors of the company and brand which retains and attracts potential customers.
Below are four ways to foster company pride:
1. Honor Company History
Honoring the origins and progress of the company over time instills pride for team members who have helped make it happen and new employees gain respect for its heritage.
• A client of mine conducted a pilgrimage from their first to their second larger building. The employees who had worked in the first building walked with pride recognizing their contribution to the company’s success and growth. For newer employees, the pilgrimage rooted them in the origins of the company, giving them a greater appreciation for the company’s history of which they were now a part. This shared history created a sense of team unification.
2. Showcase Team Members as a Collective
When you visually remind team members they matter and are part of a whole.
• On a prominent wall, Honest Company has a tree with polaroids of all team members hanging off the branches.
• Hulu has framed pictures of each team member on their lobby walls. To reinforce bringing your full self to work, team members were encouraged to express their individuality.
• One of my clients created a video entitled “I am (company).” All staff members spoke about the company’s mission, what it meant to them, and what it was like to work there. This video continues to inspire and renew commitment when shown at all-hands meetings and special events.
3. Highlight Success Stories
Team members want to be part of a successful company. When they understand the impact they are having on the company, commitment rises.
• Read and display positive customer comments to reinforce the impact team members are having on their customers.
• Share your Customer NPS (net promoter score) measured by “how likely are you to recommend us to a friend?”
• Broadcast positive press, industry rewards including being identified as a Best Place to Work.
4. Showcase Civic Contributions
Team members want a sense of meaning at work and values when their company actively impacts society.
• At Grindr, now at 70 employees, works on core issues of gay men.
• At Deloitte they hold an Impact Day where offices around the U.S. on the same day participate in community service on the same.
• TOMs continually reports how they are going beyond their original one-for-one shoes.
One last note, swag matters. When team members choose to wear their company brand on their bodies or head, it displays how connected they feel to the organization.
What of the above practices can you implement in your organization? What else might you do?
Also by Sue Funkhouser
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