RingCentral’s employees recently voted CEO Vlad Shmunis as one of the country’s best CEOs for women and diversity in Comparably annual rankings. Our CRO, Phil Sorgen, recently spoke with Comparably about the culture and brand Shmunis built. This article is based on his conversation. 

A company’s brand is more than its logo. Nike isn’t a simple swoosh, and Starbucks is more than a caffeinated mermaid. Each brand is the sum of everyone’s experiences with it.

A great brand is a product of consistently doing great things. It’s delivering exceptional value to your customers, building a diverse and inclusive workplace, and empowering people to live up to their true potential.

If your brand truly reflects your company’s purpose, mission, and values, you’ll attract loyal customers and outstanding employees. Those two assets will feedback into your work, building on your success and ultimately reinforcing your brand.

Brand in the coronavirus era

Now more than ever, companies need a culture of empathy and engagement. We’re all going through the same unprecedented situation. We’re experiencing the same economic shocks in the market, stay-at-home orders, and healthcare crises. Even though we all share the same stressors, it doesn’t mean our experiences are identical.

A young professional with no dependents will scroll past news about schools reopening without a second thought. Meanwhile, moms and dads across the country may read those same articles with dread.

Personal stressors are only half the equation. The pandemic forced us from our offices and into remote roles. Nowadays, we are our own workplace. Rather than going to work, work goes with us.

Today, the need to help people achieve work-life harmony, productivity, engagement, and professional development are essential, but so is encouraging them to switch off. We must support our employees’ efforts to detach from work to be fully present with their family and/or involved in non-work life.

As with personal stressors, no two employees experience professional demands in the same way. Consider communication. While one person prefers phone calls and finds texts or messaging tedious, their colleague may feel the exact opposite.

Given that we aren’t together physically, it’s critical to use multiple communication channels — message, video, phone (MVP). Using multiple communications modes, you can connect with people in a way that’s most comfortable for them, helping to ensure they receive and understand your message.

Craving connection

According to a Comparably survey, 85% of people working remotely miss interacting with their co-workers. While the crisis has been destructive and disruptive, it’s provided an opportunity for organizations to rethink interaction.

Instead of leaving employees to figure it out on their own and hoping they create a positive culture and brand, organizations are doing more to guide and support them. They’re creating positive environments where both their customers and employees benefit. They’re building resiliency, loyalty, and engagement. When the pandemic finally abates, it’s those organizations that will emerge strongest.