Culture and brand are inextricably linked. In a successful organisation they coexist, one facing inwards and the other outwards.
Culture can’t be forced. It can be influenced however, by everyone in the company. The key is inclusion at all levels on a regular basis. It’s no longer a case of keeping employees happy and making them want to come to work each day. It’s about providing points of inspiration, opportunities for personal growth and giving them ways that they can positively influence the company’s collective behaviour.
Culture is also about mutual respect for each other’s needs whether management or employees. For example, at LADUMA our team members are not required to work on Friday afternoons and once a month they can take the whole day as paid, personal time. For the employee, it means that they get a chance to spend time with their families, something that’s important to the business. They’re also encouraged to provide some form of community service. It’s not mandatory but many of our team members have become involved with pro-social programs since we instituted the “Fri-yay” initiative. For management, who are also given the same benefits, Fri-yays mean that they can expect team members to do their best to schedule personal appointments such as dentist visits on Fridays meaning less missed hours or work day disruption during the rest of the week.
The working environment is an aspect of culture that we feel very strongly about. LADUMA is a young company full of smart, passionate, creative and fun people. We work hard to build those qualities into the spaces in which they work. Music, chosen by team members is constantly playing. We have table tennis tables, arcade games machines and foosball in every office. Colors are bright, graphics are bold, fun and irreverent. Pompous inspirational quotes printed over images of waterfalls are banned. Each office has multiple informal meeting areas with bubble and egg chairs, comfy sofas and all kinds of objects from cool radio controlled boats to origami books to create talking points and fun distractions when needed. And we always make sure the fridge is fully stocked for whenever anyone needs sustenance. All of this contributes to increased levels of creativity, experimentation and confidence in always being able to succeed.
Of course what we do doesn’t work for absolutely everyone but that’s a good thing. Our approach to working environments and flexible working tend to attract a specific sort of person who thrives and contributes to the development of company culture. It’s a never ending journey which continues by translating to our clients and partners, and in turn to their customers. We’re predominantly B2B which is often seen as a duller cultural and brand domain than B2C, but for us that’s not the case. LADUMA’s presence at B2B trade shows for example, is always built around our progressive culture. Company representatives don’t sit behind tables in rows waiting for a visit. Exhibition booths are designed to mirror our vibrant offices and we engage visitors with cool technology and games. In short, we work to leave a unique impression and make the experience of interacting with LADUMA very memorable.
In some business cultures everything I’ve described could be seen as a superficial veneer. At LADUMA it’s not. Brand authenticity is vital to any company, especially when their employees and customers are millennials. This culture and its impact are very real. Employee morale is extremely high, we have the right level of staff churn and our creatives are extremely motivated and constantly create new products, some without us knowing, which is something we encourage and often reward.
We pass all of this on to our customers who enjoy being part of our cultural ecosystem. Many are from the sports and entertainment industries and love what we stand for. Others are from more traditional verticals such as the medical industry and they see us as a breath of fresh air to work with.
At the end of the day we passionately believe that our mission of building a unique culture enables LADUMA to be perceived as a progressive, creative and vibrant brand which listens, cares and is committed to the success of our employees, our clients and their customers.
To find out about opportunities to work with Laduma, connect with us on LinkedIn.
By Dave Alder, CMO, Laduma.