As an observer of workplace culture, I’m fascinated with company-posted signs, especially those displayed in public or semi-public areas of the organization. Other than themed motivational posters that promote Teamwork, Excellence, Achievement, etc., I’m more interested in the signage meant to reinforce a company’s vision and culture. Here are several examples.
“Think Like the Customer”
These words were painted above the doorways of a satellite office of MBNA, the former credit card processor known for its quality customer service. (The company was later acquired by Bank of America.) I happened to notice this doorway signage when I walked past an MBNA office in Camden, ME, while on vacation a number of years ago. Being familiar with MBNA as a satisfied customer, I was impressed with how the company utilized vacant wall space to reinforce its customer-focus among employees.
Formula for Success
I saw this sign displayed above the kitchen entrance at Copperhead Grill, a restaurant in Allentown PA. It captures the connection between employee-customer engagement and business results. (Special thanks to the manager and staff who exhibited great patience while I stood near the kitchen to photograph this sign.)
This last example is courtesy of my colleague, Kim Plyler, president of Sahl Communications, a Bethlehem PA-based PR firm. I recently met with Kim and her associate and noticed this sign while using their office restroom. (This same list of business drivers is also posted on the office refrigerator, but I wasn’t a captive audience there.) I love that it’s a simple, handwritten sign of the qualities that guide the company in its client service and culture.
What’s important about any such signage is whether the message reflects the actual company culture or is merely window dressing; i.e., managers’ wishful thinking. In my experience with MBNA, Copperhead Grille, and Sahl Communications, their displays are true pictures of their respective business.
In the business and consumer places you visit, what signs get your attention and why?