Book Launch : Brand Story

Author : HELEN YU

Technology is driven by vision and wisdom, but in the end, it is a product of the workforce that creates it. That’s why your employees, and the company culture that supports them, are so important. As you step onto the global stage with your start-up or business, take your entire team with you.

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Employee Culture and Customer Experience

How exactly do you create a collaborative culture and positive employee experience? Your view may be from the top, but the work starts from the ground up with employees who feel included, valued, and heard.

A company that thrives on cultural collaboration supports an inspired workplace, and this positive employee environment ultimately leads to a better customer experience. The company culture you cultivate can motivate your collaborators and employees and help inform your hiring process and whom you bring on your start-up or your business leadership journey.

Encourage Accountability and Transparency

First order of business: foster a culture of learning and people who believe in the overall mission. This encourages employees to help one another, cultivates gratitude, sets down a practice of transparency, and clarifies how each person can contribute to the company’s success. Disrupting the standard daily grind leads to innovative thinking and a more profound commitment that will define your company inside and out.

Not everything will go as planned. There will be bumps along the way. Believers will stay with you even when they can’t see what is in front of them and even when things go wrong.

Brand Values

Next, clearly communicate what your brand stands for. Make sure employees understand your company’s goals, expectations, and concerns. When your team sees what your brand means to you and what it stands for, they are more likely to become believers and support you in both triumphs and failures.

To create this supportive company culture, be clear about your company’s goals, core practices, and overall purpose so that everyone on your team cares about the business as much as you do. Consider putting your mission, vision, and values on a card people can keep near their workspace. In team meetings, ask people to share examples of your brand in action. 

Hiring the Right People at the Right Time 

A team of employees who fit the culture you have created will set your company apart and support it for the long run. Don’t bow to pressure from the board or your investors to hire quickly. Take the time to find individuals who are best suited to your company. Tech-savvy founders and growth leaders need people with business experience to complement the start-up build. 

You may even wish to find someone who has already scaled the tech start-up mountain and can work beside you to make your vision a reality. Partnering with someone who has complementary experience can help you ascend to the next level.

To secure your spot on the global stage, build your team beyond your network. Hire people who support your vision, the top one percent in the industry, and those who deliver and have shared values, beliefs, and commitment to customers and team. And once your dream team is on board, be sure you’ve taken all the necessary steps to empower them to succeed.

Removing Employees Who Do Not Reflect Your Brand 

Hiring is just the beginning. You must partner with new hires so that they succeed. Align your business strategy with the day-to-day execution of employees’ tasks by clarifying roles and responsibilities, setting up clear expectations, holding people accountable, rewarding top performers, and weeding out toxic employees.

Unfortunately, not everyone who begins the start-up journey with you will stay the course. As a result, you may have to make some tough decisions about whether or not to leave people behind. Often, you have to take a detour to achieve your goals. Personnel changes may be necessary, but adjustments to your team along the way can ultimately work in your favor. Stay agile and open to change.

Humanity as the Central Focus

No doubt, 2020 brought turbulence into both the global economy and our everyday lives. Many organizations were faced with difficult choices, including how to downsize quickly and effectively. The way that process was managed is a direct reflection of company culture, values, and beliefs.

Some organizations did it well; many major corporations opted for pay cuts or furloughs with full benefits to avoid layoffs. One of these was Hormel Foods, which furloughed 350 workers instead of laying them off and also allowed them to keep benefits like healthcare. “Our employees are long-term investments for us, and they’re a precious resource, so we needed to do what we could,” said Hormel Finance Chief Jim Sheehan in an article from the Wall Street Journal. 

Unfortunately, other organizations did not handle the situation so well. For instance, start-up Bird, known for its sporty scooters in urban areas, laid off its entire 406-employee workforce in a two-minute zoom call. 

The people you bring with you onto the global stage directly contribute to the overall success of your start-up or business. An environment where humanity is a central focus is not to be underestimated. In supportive workplaces, employees feel more included, valuable, and essential. This is the pathway to growth – both for the company and the people driving its success.

Helen Yu


Helen Yu is the founder and CEO of TigonAdvisory, driving growth for tech companies from start-up CEOs — who go on to achieve multibillion-dollar revenue growth and record profitability — to global titans like Oracle and Adobe. She’s a board advisor to fast-growth SaaS companies and is on the board of the Global Cybersecurity Association. She’s a top Twitter influencer with a 10M+ weekly reach and was ranked a Top 10 thought leader by Thinkers 360, and a top 10 digital transformation influencer by IBM. She’s spoken at SXSW, TiECon, DMS, and Money2020.
An avid adventurer who trekked to Mt. Everest base camp and ice climbed glaciers, her new book is Ascend Your Start-up: Conquer the 5 Disconnects to Accelerate Growth(Made for Success, May 2021).
Learn more at tigonadvisory.com

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