It often happens that you read job advertisements or company presentations that describe the company as “a family” with phrases such as “Welcome to our family”, “Our company is a family” or again “We are a family that has values”.
We spend at least a third of our time at work and it is not uncommon for relationships with work colleagues to evolve into relationships of friendship, trust and emotional support that go beyond the workplace.
Even if this type of relationship may have a similarity with some positive values that we can find in the family such as respect, the spirit of collaboration, empathy and a sense of belonging, this should not lead us to think that, if used in the communication of enterprise, distinguish the company for the benefit of its image.
In my opinion not. Indeed, it can be detrimental to the brand image.
Meanwhile, in terms of effective communication it is always useful (when writing, describing or narrating) to change perspective by putting ourselves in the position of the reader by communicating what may be of interest and help. Specifically, we must agree that the definition of family is not the same for everyone, but is filtered by the experiences that the individual has had with his family members, therefore not excluding that it can have positive as well as negative connotations.
A part of our audience may take this very aspect of our intended play on their feelings unfavorably, causing them to leave rather than engage them in learning more about us.
Choosing to use this statement in the description of your company hides a basic pitfall represented by the question: “are things really like this?”.
Talking about the company as “a family” might seem like a good idea to emphasize the value aspect and convey a positive image, but it could also be perceived as a statement far from true.
If we are in a position to bring out (spontaneously) this aspect from the conversations and posts on social networks of our collaborators, then we give the user a reading key through which he himself – if he wants – will be able to grasp this aspect from authentic statements. If not, better avoid the slogan if we can’t document it.
I do not exclude the possibility of the coexistence of a family atmosphere in the company. In some cases (especially in the range of small or medium-sized family-based enterprises, the backbones of our country’s economic system), it is possible to trace interpersonal dynamics similar to those of families. In these cases – for the purpose of effective communication – it will be more appropriate to avoid slogans and let the user get an idea from the testimonies of collaborators who talk (and publish on social networks) about episodes from their work environment and the beautiful climate around them in the performance of their duties.
Collaborators are ambassadors more authentic in disseminating awareness of the brand in which they work (also defined brand ambassadors).
Therefore, if we want to communicate the characteristic of the family atmosphere that distinguishes the working environment, let the company stories convey this aspect. The message that will come from a collaborator (or even from the owner himself) will be more authentic and solid than a simple statement. It may contain anecdotes about overcoming the difficulties, why the company exists, what problems the product/service offered solves and how the company operates. This is the message that helps the public discover the your distinctive uniqueness and helps you conquer a space in his prospect’s mind in a marketplace crowded with messages.
When choosing a brand, the public he doesn’t choose only based on the pricebut also – especially today – based on values that the company is able to express and with which the public chooses to identify itself.
I find that a company is more like a team of doctors with different specialties, a sports team, the crew of a boat rather than a family. The company is an economic entity and, by its nature, tends towards profit. Its performance is to generate profits that exceed losses.
By describing itself, the company should convey to the public the vision that employees have in common “its purpose”, “its why”. Shared purpose leads everyone down the same path.
Some research indicates that companies geared towards sharing purpose among collaborators have a better chance of success. They are those companies in which everyone, at every level, has gained the awareness of belonging to a group in which everyone shares the route, provides their own skills and performances which inevitably influence the achievement of common objectives.
In conclusion, the telling of real stories made by the people belonging to the “team” interests much more and generates the expected involvement of your audience.
Until next time!