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Marketing & Branding

How Do You Describe Your Company Culture? Using the Right Words Matters.

By August 31, 2022No Comments

hands painted red in shape of heart to depict company cultureCultivating a sustainable competitive advantage when it comes to recruiting and retaining talent is a priority for every CEO and business owner – but how do you get there? 

One thing that’s a true differentiator is company culture. It’s a singular attribute that can’t be duplicated because, like a fingerprint, it’s something you own that is unique to your company. Culture shapes an organization’s brand identity, and if the culture is authentic, it will foster a positive reputation as a workplace that current and potential employees want to be a part of…and talk about 

In today’s challenging labor climate, companies need to actively promote WHY their organization is THE BEST place for employees to work today. And the most effective way to do that is by weaving the characteristics that make up the culture throughout the messaging.

That’s why, in my public relations and marketing consulting work, I’m increasingly asked to collaborate with the human resources team as I build out a strategic communications plan. Together, we look at core brand values and company pillars, analyzing how they are actually playing out in the culture. 

Take the Time to Carefully Choose

Descriptive Words

When shaping the messaging to accurately – and enticingly – reflect  a client’s culture, I make sure to use appropriate language and phrasing that brings it all to life. I thoughtfully select words that are clear to understand, as well as actionable. 

Below are 10 of the terms I like to include in the communications I craft that I believe resonate well with today’s job seekers and current employees alike.

1. Transparent

Employees want to work for organizations that are open and honest about information and decisions. 

2. Connected

It’s important to let employees and recruits know that management and their peers value and accept each other, are open to ideas, and work together well.

3. Autonomous

No one enjoys being micromanaged. Today’s workforce wants to feel trusted and have the freedom to make independent decisions.

4. Collaborative

Employees want autonomy, but not isolation. They also crave the opportunity to build interpersonal relationships, work in teams and bounce ideas off of each other.

5. Nurturing

So many employees are jumping ship, not just for better pay, but for professional development offerings and support. They want to know that the company they work for cares about, and is engaged in, their career aspirations, and will help them get there through regular check-ins.

6. Inclusive

Diversity and inclusion are not just buzzwords. It’s imperative that organizations walk the walk and not just talk the talk.

7. Flexible

COVID has underscored the desire for flexibility, be it working remotely, hybrid work models, and/or number of work hours. People want the ability to create a better work-life balance.

8. Trusting

Productive and happy employees have feelings of trust, among their teams and their management. That trust enables the free flow of ideas and drives innovation.

9. Happy

The last 2+ years have caused a shift in how we view our work. It’s not enough to just be satisfied with your job. Workers want a sense of purpose and to be happy with where they are in their career and their work-life balance.

10. Progressive

A stagnant company will cause applications to stagnate. Gen Z in particular wants to be part of organizations that are innovating, open to new ways of thinking, and exploring different approaches to problem solving.

Company culture, when leveraged correctly, can be a key competitive advantage in the battle for talent. When HR, PR and Marketing teams work together, magic can happen.


Julie Livingston

Author Julie Livingston

Julie Livingston is president/founder of WantLeverage Communications

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