Ever get the feeling someone is talking about you? That’s because they probably are.
As a business owner, you’re aware there are a lot of opinions about you, your company, and certainly your success.
The fact is, people talk. Whether it’s your employees - current or former - your family and friends, or, of course, your competitors: everyone’s got opinions on how you run your business and its reputation. However, when people are leaving reviews - positive or negative - remember they’re not just talking about the quality of your products or the level of service they got in your business. Indirectly, they’re talking about your company culture.
You May be The Problem
If a customer gets terrible service once, that could be written off as an employee having a bad day. If you’re getting bad reviews on a regular basis, it’s time to start asking whether you’re part of the problem. Why you? You didn’t serve the customer. Ah, but you created the culture that allowed continual bad service to happen. You’re the leader, so it all comes down to you!
Ask yourself, are your employees unhappy? Why? Have they voiced concerns to you? If they have, have you done anything about their complaints? Are you offering them enough support when they are having a hard time? Are you paying them a living wage? Are they in need of a little extra flexibility? Solutions to these problems don’t all have to be financial and they don’t have to be complicated.
Let’s Talk Solutions
Using our own company culture as an example, we are really really proud of what people have to say about us - behind our backs and in front of them.
We pay our employees extremely well. Earlier this year, we started an experiment of a four-day work week to allow for more work-life balance. We work remotely and during hours that fit our lives, so when someone wants to visit family in British Columbia for a week, we create flexibility for that.
These solutions have paid off. Our whole team’s productivity is up markedly and everyone is happy to come to work in the morning - or afternoon, if that’s what’s needed.
The Proof Is In The Pudding
But don’t take our word for it. Nicholas Bloom, professor of economics at Stanford University, recently wrote about the remote work revolution and the four-day work week for the New York Times, noting that employees equate working from home to an eight per cent raise! He points out that remote work also saves companies money on office overhead, has a positive effect on the environment with fewer commutes, and supports families who need more time in their days. Just for good measure, it also improves your prospects for finding top talent, since you can work with people from anywhere.
Using Your Outside Voice
Externally, we have been committed to value-based pricing since our inception, instead of an hourly rate. As well, we’re unabashedly ourselves. Rogue Penguin believes in equality, transparency, humour, and pushing boundaries - and we show that off when we meet with clients and when we market ourselves.
It’s one of many reasons why we see so many referrals from our clients to their friends and colleagues. It’s also why people who don’t agree with our business model tend to stay away, so we’re not pitching to the wrong customers.
Shine your Light
Your company’s culture defines how you do business and how you appear to the world and you can use it to your advantage to set yourself apart from your competitors. Business is all about people, and that means your customers and your employees are your brand ambassadors, because people will talk - whether you like it or not.
Interested in finding out what people have to say about your company? Or are you interested in changing what they’ve said in the past? Let’s talk about your story and how you can share it with the world.