Workplace culture pillar:



What is an employer’s “Brand” and what does it relate to workplace culture?


The brand values, which make up the core principles, beliefs, and aspirations of an organisation, are lived and breathed within the internal culture through everyday behaviours, interactions and decisions.

“We can hardly continue to make the best outdoor clothing if we become primarily an “indoor” culture. So we seek out “dirtbags” who feel more at home in a base camp or on the river than they do in the office.”

Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia founder/owner and author of  Let My People Go Surfing

Beyond recruitment, other ways organisations can reflect their brand within their culture is through leaders as role models, recognition programmes, and organisational rituals that reinforce brand principles. A leading example of an organisation doing this well is the sustainable clothing brand Patagonia. Its values of environmentalism, integrity and quality are reflected in the people it hires and nurtures, to help cultivate the culture it desires.

Reflective questions

To help your organisation better reflect its brand values within its culture, consider some of the following questions:

    • How do your brand values truly represent your people?
    • If there is a misalignment between your brand values and company culture, how can your organisation address this?
    • When challenges arise, do your leaders stay true to the brand values in their decisions, behaviours and interactions?
    • In which areas can you better promote and champion your brand values? Consider recruitment, onboarding, performance, recognition, learning and development and  leadership 
    • How can you measure the impact of your efforts to strengthen the brand-culture connection?

Resource list

BOOK: Bringing Your Values Out to Play (second edition), by Debra Corey

VIDEO: How to Build a Successful Employer Branding Strategy in 12 Steps, published by AIHR – Academy to Innovate HR

ARTICLE: Everything You Need to Know About Employer Branding, published by 

PODCAST: The Employer Branding Podcast, with host Jorgen Sundberg, CEO of Link Humans 

ARTICLE: What are your organisation’s ‘signature’ ways of working?, by Ella Overshott, Director of Pecan Partnership