Identity is a word of monumental proportions, with definitions a plenty, including i). displaying certain characteristics; ii). in reference to self; or iii). reference to social category.
For the purpose of defining workplace identity, let’s look at the first option; displaying certain characteristics. That leads me to my first question: how do you present these workplace characteristics to the world? However, the characteristics, or you could call it the soul of your workplace, quite often stems from your people. Your employees can truly define your business and set you apart. They can be, more times than not, the influencing factors in securing new business and wowing your clients and the outside world.
How do the characteristics grow and form over time? They are certainly driven from the cultural direction of the workplace; which helps to define the identity and thus influences the way in which the workplace is seen. This also steers the direction of your choice of people. The visual representation of the workplace is a strong influencer, as are socially responsible work practices.
At the grass roots of workplace identity is the formation of the brand’s logo and subsequent branding – an obvious visual influence as it is the face of your business. Visual clues about your business’ culture can be portrayed by clever use of colour, font and graphics. From the initial branding, your business identity grows from here. If done well initially, it is an easy shift to subtly enhance your branding over time, a perfect example of this being Qantas. Qantas has maintained it’s iconic kangaroo since it’s inception in 1944, incidentally which was adapted from the Australian one penny coin but over the years has updated and tweaked it to symbolize a new phase in the companies growth.
By defining the workplace culture, the workplace itself is molded into the desired shape and form. The “people-first” culture has been gaining momentum for a number of years around the globe as an intrinsic working model. According to Forbes, people who are happier at work are also more productive and loyal. The companies that engage the people-first approach have also found it easier to attract the best of the best. In the words of Richard Branson “If you look after your staff well, they will look after your customers.” Not only will a workplace culture that looks after it’s employees offer high end talent, but it’s a cosy feeling knowing that the people you’ve engaged to work for you are genuinely happy in their jobs; thus striving to present the best outcomes possible. It’s a win win.
A workplace is influenced by the people it comprises. “Identity is a foundation of a brand, and so the identities of the people who work at the organisation…”, according to Michel Hogan. This makes sense to us. Cuckoo Creative is currently rolling out some witty social media posts, under the banner of Cuckwho, giving you a glimpse into our people. That’s part of our culture – we care about our people and like to discover fun stuff about them (and we like to think we’re quite the comedians in doing so).
In addition to this people first approach, many workplaces today believe in and strive to be socially responsible. From applying sustainable work practices to raising awareness and money for charitable organisations. Once again, this plays a role in how your workplace is viewed, though not only externally, but internally as well. The recent Vinnies CEO Sleepout is a great example of social responsibility, a one-night event whereby hundreds of CEOs sleep outside to support homeless Australians. The 2018 event has raised a staggering amount in excess of $6.5 million. We are proud to say that our founding CEO was one of those who braved the elements and contributed to this great event.
Workplace identity is influenced by each and every factor of your business. From management, employees, branding, location, web presence, social stances, or lack thereof, social media, well, it’s an endless list. Treat people well and strive for the best. With our impressive line-up of passionate, smart, creative, and honest people here at Cuckoo we welcome the opportunity to work with your business to achieve some great outcomes together – give us a bell.