Culture Matters: Thoughts on A-LINE, balance and telling your story

The holidays gave everyone at the A-LINE team some time to think about what we’re grateful for, and what we want to accomplish in the New Year. As a small business, we are especially thankful for the great team we have put in place, and the flexibility, fun and freedom that our work environment allows. At A-LINE, we care a lot about our culture – and we know many of our clients do as well. But beyond wanting to treat people well, are there ways your company can benefit from having a positive, unique culture?

Varied interests make for better employees

A-LINE is a group of people who bring their own passions, interests and lives to work every day. We understand that happy, well-rounded people will bring their enthusiasm and creativity to work, so as a company, we get excited about not just our own growth and our clients’ growth, but also about our employees and their lives. For example, Nicole and her husband Brian have been working hard to start a brewery, Fireforge, and they get nothing but excitement and support from the A-LINE team. Three of our staff members are home much of the day watching their children, meaning they especially value the time they have to balance work and family life. Several of our staff members are actively involved in local charitable organizations. And many other staff members are passionate about outdoor sports, and they balance time at work with time on the trail. This constant interplay of work and personal interests has resulted in employees who are loyal and caring – and who also add personalized, truly passionate contributions to creative projects, especially when those projects align with their interests.

If your employees don’t love you, no one else will

A-LINE can build you an amazing website that will sell your products and promote your brand…but if your employees aren’t doing the same, the site will eventually lose steam. The way your employees talk about and interact with your brand is one of your most positive assets for advertising and promotion—but it can backfire if employees aren’t happy. So work to cultivate a culture that keeps employees happy, and then empower them to go out and tell their story. Your employees—from accountants to custodians and everyone in between—can be your most powerful brand advocates. (Hint: before you give employees the reigns to talk about the company on social media, make sure you have a company social media policy in place and everyone has been trained on it. Find advice and tips for writing a social media policy here).

Customers dig culture

In the world of social media, consumers don’t just want to hear about the latest products and services; they also want to engage with brands on a more personal level. The Facebook and Instagram posts that often get the most engagement are those that show off a company’s culture. That’s why A-LINE always recommends that our clients tag employees, share their successes, and show photos of them engaging in local community events. Let your customers see what it’s really like inside your company.

At A-LINE, a glance at our Instagram feed clearly shows that we like eating good food and drink (beer and coffee mostly), playing outside (on bikes, mostly) and attending Spartanburg events. Look over at Astral’s feed, and you’ll see this outdoor performance gear company truly practicing what they preach. You can’t help but want to slip on some Astral shoes and go explore the world. Social media gives your company the chance to gather fans who are interested not just in what you make, but how you make it. Don’t be shy in showing your personal side, and you may just be surprised with the goodwill and growing fan base you’ll get for it.

So this year, we’re excited to keep improving our culture at A-LINE and sharing our passions and interests with clients and our community. What are you going to do in 2017 to keep your employees happy? And how can that help your bottom line as well? If you need help in telling your story, just give us a shout.

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