Company culture is a relatively new concept. Don’t think so? Try bringing it up at Thanksgiving dinner and see what Grandpa has to say about it. My guess? “Company culture? In my day, the company culture was to work! End of story!” (And I’d love to know what actual responses you get, by the way, so please comment below.) 

In any event, we know today that developing a distinct internal brand is important for employee engagement. But we still have plenty of work to do, considering 40% of employees find it difficult to describe their organization’s brand or how customers might differentiate it from competitors, according to a study published in A Journal of Brand Management. Worse, brand consultancy Tenet Partners reports only 28% of employees surveyed strongly agree that they know their company’s brand values. 

So it probably shouldn’t be any surprise that only a third of workers report being engaged. And that’s tied for the highest percent engagement since Gallup started polling in 2000.  


Why Employee Engagement Is Important

Employee engagement isn’t just about attracting quality employees (although that’s part of it). Satisfied employees are, on average, 12% more productive as compared with employees who are neutral, according to a study by researchers at the University of Warwick. Unsatisfied employees are 10% less productive than neutral employees. 

The employee experience also translates into the customer experience. Happy employees are more engaged and more productive and interact with customers in a more positive way. They’re more likely to stay late, go above and beyond, and make recommendations on how processes can be improved, according to the Temkin Group


The Role of Your Purpose, Values

A lot goes into engaging employees, of course. How you recognize accomplishments and celebrate employees, whether you offer professional development and growth opportunities, and how you empower employees. 

One key piece of engagement is making sure employees feel connected to your mission, purpose and values. It’s important for employees to first know the purpose so they can live it (and love it!) and communicate it to others.


5 Examples of Passion from Companies 

When your employees know and live your purpose and values, that translates into a passion that shines through in your marketing. When you’re producing content, are you showing your passion and purpose? Here are a few companies we can tell are passionate about what they do:

MailChimp – They have a happy, informal style (without being unprofessional) that always makes me smile. When I schedule an email, for example, I see a “Rock on!” message. 

REI – These guys love the outdoors, clearly. In fact, they don’t do Black Friday because they want to encourage people to go hiking (or whatever) the day after Thanksgiving, rather than go to the mall. This helps drive home their message in a meaningful, tangible way. It’s a marketing/PR strategy that reinforces their passion and purpose.

Cultivate What Matters – When I purchased last year’s goal planner, the subject line in the confirmation email was: “Best Decision Ever! Thank you for your order.” Everything they send me is positive and encouraging. That first sentence in the subject line is soooo them. These guys love goal setting, man.

Dutch Bros. – If you’ve ever wondered why the baristas at Dutch Bros. seem to be so interested in what you did last weekend … or what you’re doing this weekend … or how your day is going, look no further than their third company value: “We may be a coffee company, but we are in the relationship business.” 


What about your company? Do your employees exude your core values? If your answer is anything but a definitive “yes!” then check out 3 Ways to Make Your Purpose a Priority.