How to communicate your company culture to clients

January 21, 2016

By: John Burchfield

It comes as no surprise that company culture initiatives are now one of the top focuses for fast- growing businesses. Companies big and small have quickly realized that creating a supportive work environment not only makes employees happier — it also makes them more productive and efficient.

But culture shouldn’t be contained within office walls or displayed only on your company’s social media accounts. It can — and should — be easily known and quickly understood by clients. A visible, front-of-mind culture encourages strong performance throughout a business, which then positively affects client relations and can aid turning prospects into clients.

Think of culture as a top selling point when addressing new business. If a company’s culture helps retain its employees and boost productivity, this can translate into better service for clients. (Happy workers are 12 percent more productive than the average worker, according to the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick.) This will set your company apart from the sea of others in the same industry.

But how exactly can business leaders easily communicate their culture to clients?

  • Choose a point-person. It’s hard for a company to claim it truly prioritizes the culture of its organization if no one takes complete ownership of it. To convey a clear, concise message about your company culture, appoint a “Culture Warrior” as the lead go-to on all culture-related questions and initiatives. Make sure he or she is aligned with core values and uses the same tone of voice across all client and prospect communication, such as email marketing and social media. Your point-person should have an engaging personality and the ability to produce groundbreaking ideas.
  • Make it authentic. A successful company culture requires buy-in from every level. I f the culture is real, it will flow from the top. Culture can’t be an appendage or accessory. It’s either part of the organizational core or it’s synthetic. If it is part of the company’s core, you’ll see evidence in the company’s business decisions and strategy.
  • Fine-tune your message. Write something that clients and prospects will see that showcases your corporate culture, such as a tagline. A publicly shared phrase like this can serve as a subtle reminder of the core values on which a company was built. Use it in communications, meetings, common areas and even email signatures.
  • Show, don't tell. There's only so much an over-the-phone explanation can do. Show current and prospective clients whyculture should matter to them. Create interactive, shareable content, such as videos, photos and blog posts about the benefits of working with a company with an active culture — such as low turnover, which implies happy employees who enjoy what they do and therefore produce better work. Use this content in initial client or sales meetings, at company-wide events and as social media content to attract new talent, too.
  • Get outside the office. If a community service program is already in play, expand it! Invite clients and remote employees to join in through their hometown communities. This provides a chance for the neighborhood to see an example of the business’s culture and creates goodwill among employees, clients and prospects. When participating in additional out-of-office activities, don’t be afraid to give employees a little bit of friendly competition to create a relaxed and fun environment.

Showcasing your culture will help clients and prospects see your firm as full of happy, productive team members churning out the best results possible. Isn’t it time to show off your internal culture?

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