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Corporate culture class

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Effective brand communications starts with a positive workplace. One that is filled with individuals who believe in your mission and can communicate your brand effectively. How do you build the right skills and strategy to achieve this success? You need to start by engaging employees, providing continuous information and empowering individuals to be successful.

Corporate culture plays a key role in developing a positive communications brand. If your employees don't buy into your company's brand and what you stand for, chances are they won't support your efforts and help you grow.

So how do you build a healthy, collaborative and profitable culture that aligns with your brand communications strategy? It starts with a positive, performance-based workforce with a strong communications strategy.

First, you must define your culture to realize the opportunity for growth. For example, ask yourself a few questions such as: What kind of culture drives my organization? Do I have the right team? Is the leadership team ready and able to change? Am I ready to communicate effectively?

Now, you're ready to begin implementing a culture change. First, identify your core values. Then develop a vision/mission statement. Third, work to build the right team. Fourth, rely on experience and learning from the past to mold the future. Then, communicate to educate: Every time you interact, you have an opportunity to reinforce your brand communications which may include your positive culture, compassionate work environment, respect, values and mission. Lastly, evaluate to improve performance and incorporate specific dates and measures that allow you to review the state of your workforce culture.

What's the catch? Time and communications. Progress toward a performance-based culture backed by a positive brand is measured in months and years, not days.

When you get through the first phase, you must identify the tools for your plan, which include a blueprint and a toolbox. Your blueprint is a statement of your strategy and should provide a bird's-eye view from 50,000 feet. Use technology to your advantage with e-mail updates, put messages on pay stubs and set up information centers to keep everyone in the culture loop. You might even want to consider video monitors throughout your company with success stories, brand messaging, and achievements and rewards.

A positive-performance-based workforce backed by a strong brand communications strategy gives you an opportunity to reach out to your staff and build momentum for growth. By setting achievable goals and rewarding people who attain them, you can stretch the competencies of your workforce and have a team that embraces your brand—all designed to help you maximize sales and productivity.

Ron Cain is CEO of TMSi, a national logistics firm in Fernandina Beach, Fla. He can be reached at ronc@tmsilog.com.

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