Happy New Year! ‘Tis the season to reflect on the past year and consider how we want to improve and develop ourselves in 2018. New Year, New Me as they say. Whether it’s big shifts or little habits, you may be thinking of ways you want your identity to change over the course of this next year. We’re naturally influenced by the ever-changing factors in our lives, so it’s normal for our identity to get constantly shaped and reshaped. How will your life change this year and how will it affect your identity? We’ve been considering the same thing. Dan McAdams, a Northwestern psychology professor who has spent his career studying life stories, describes identity as “the internalized and evolving story that results from a person’s selective appropriation of past, present and future.” Even with that insight, it’s still difficult to answer the question “who am I?” And it’s just as hard, if not harder, to answer the question “who are we?”
“Who are we?” Knowing your company from the
inside out is more essential than you might think.
In addition to having an external brand, knowing the internal identity of your company is becoming increasingly important. Leaders must foster a common identity and common understanding within their team. It’s easy to spend the bulk of time devoted to customer satisfaction—but as your business continues to grow and change, maintaining a competitive culture and keeping employees connected to the company is a top priority. For companies to reach their full potential, employees must have a shared identity and mindset.
Why a collective identity matters in the workplace:
• It’s good for your brand. Harvard Business Review found that when people care about and believe in the brand, they’re motivated to work harder and their loyalty to the company increases. Employees are unified and inspired by a common sense of purpose and identity.
• It increases employee morale. Employees need to hear the same messages you market to your target audience. At most companies, however, there’s often miscommunication between the internal and external. This can be very confusing and threatens employees’ perceptions of the company’s integrity. It’s important to create an emotional connection to your company and weave the brand into the fabric of the company.