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What’s business culture got to do with reputation?
What’s culture got to do with reputation? The straight answer is everything. Organisational culture impacts on employee engagement and attitudes, on the relationship which a business has with its customers and suppliers, on attention to product design and marketing…… In fact, if we listed every aspect of a business which was affected by its culture then we would be listing every aspect of the business.
And businesses reputation is no different. In an increasingly social media world the reputation is built on publicity and news stories, on social media postings and forum discussions and all of these are affected by the way in which the culture drives interactions. So it was quite pleasing to see former head of Barclays, Antony Jenkins, linking culture and reputation together when he analysed Barclay’s position at the time of his departure. Following remarks about capital and costs he said that “the culture was changing and reputation was improving.”
It’s an important point. Unless the fundamental culture is geared towards creating products and services which meet customer needs and towards providing exceptional levels of customer service; then no matter how hard a business tries, its reputation is never going to be that strong. Trust and a strong reputation come from a genuine desire across the organisation to do what is right for customers and the wider society. As Mr Jenkins said businesses are there to make a profit but “we make a profit by serving our customers, by fulfilling our obligations to society and by providing great work environments for our colleagues.”