May 13, 2024

A guide to building a strong company culture

A guide to building a strong company culture

With internationally dispersed teams and continual change major factors in global mobility, building a cohesive company culture can be a challenge. Sterling Lexicon’s Kristin White outlines the steps companies can take to keep their brand values strong, bringing benefits to staff, customers and their business

Multiple studies show the advantages of diverse teams working together around a common culture – boosting creativity, innovation and retention, and making engagement stronger. But what happens when company culture isn’t well defined?

With rapid change and fully remote and hybrid workforces presenting new challenges to fostering strong company culture – with mergers, acquisitions, and expansion into new territories often creating further complexity – it’s a good time to ask that question.

Culture is fundamental to what makes a company different; its DNA. For a global organisation to be truly united, its people, services, messaging and brand must all align with, and reinforce, the same values, purpose and mission. Here, Sterling Lexicon provides some learnings from its recent brand refresh.

FIDI Focus (FF): How does a business embrace change while preserving culture?
Kristin White (KW): The most important thing is to stay focused on your purpose, because this doesn’t change. Holding true to why you do what you do is essential for maintaining a strong culture and brand. When you work to keep the focus here, your core messages and, more importantly, your actions reinforce that purpose. When teams align around purpose, there are internal benefits – and customers experience more consistent service delivery.

In our case, we knew that our ‘why’ was to help people move and settle into new roles happily, safely and compliantly. But we also recognised that the world of talent mobility was changing as fast as the world of work. We had to do a better job of telling the story behind the people who fulfill our purpose, including their passion and tenure, and the range of moving and relocation services they can call upon to put it into action.

FF: What are some practical ways of accomplishing that unity?
KW: Pre-pandemic, companies struggled to overcome geographic silos. Now, it’s routine for teams to engage in virtual chats, share recorded meetings and training sessions, and communicate well across cultures, languages, and time zones. That said, we still don’t have those personal connections – the hallway, lunchroom or ‘water cooler’ conversations; the glimpse of a family photo or award proudly presented on a desk that might spark a non-work-related conversation. These are all fundamental parts of culture-building, too.

Some relevant tips we have learned include:

  1. Listen carefully to the voices of as many stakeholders as possible. We met with current and prospective customers, network partners, and employees, including members of our global executive, client solutions, account management and operations teams. It’s vital to gauge how these audiences perceive the company, and whether unified messages are understood and meaningfully demonstrated throughout every interaction the company has. The next step is to confirm what you have heard and demonstrate which actions have been taken to incorporate the feedback.
  2. Foster cross-functional collaboration. We’ve continued practices that started with our brand refresh, because we see the benefits of bringing our global client solutions and marketing teams closer together, for example, and connecting our account management and operations teams with our global network integration leaders. A more formal emphasis helps our workforce feel more connected, and sparks ideas about where and how to improve.
  3. Cultivate and reward your brand or culture champions. While you want every employee to be fully engaged with your common goals, certain individuals are in roles that are especially suited to brand ambassadorship. In our industry, we’re in a position to interact with customers in a highly personal way – whether it’s helping them pack and move their belongings across town or halfway around the world, supporting their and their family’s visa and immigration processing, or finding a school for their children. Every touchpoint is critical, and one of the most lasting impressions people have is how we made them feel during their move to new destinations.
  4. Regularly check in. Our brand refresh exercise started in late-summer 2023, and is an ongoing, multi phased process. The same is true for protecting company culture, particularly when you onboard new team members or engage with new partners. Gather regular feedback to ensure your efforts are working and that the messages you want to convey are being understood and embraced, internally and externally.
  5. Be mindful of proximity bias. The concept of people leaders naturally, if subconsciously, having a more favourable view of those physically closest to them is not new, but guarding against it is even more important in the world of remote work. Following the steps above will help combat the risk of leaving out key stakeholders.

FF: Any final recommendations?
KW: Building and preserving culture in a rapidly changing world is a journey, not a ‘one and done’. Stay true to your purpose, identify your best ambassadors, and focus on delivering consistent quality to your customers, partners and people, and the rest will fall into place.



Kristin White

Kristin White

Kristin brings nearly 30 years of experience in global workforce mobility, PR, marketing, editorial planning and communications to her role as a member of the thought leadership and content development teams. Before joining the company in 2020, she worked for many years at Worldwide ERC® in collaboration with cross-departmental teams and industry stakeholders to develop in-person and virtual event programming, digital and print content, and served as editor of Mobility magazine. Contact Kristin at

Related Posts