10 mins read

How Design Impacts Employee Engagement and Productivity

For modern businesses, achieving continuously high productivity and efficiency levels is one of the most common aspirations. This begs the question of what ingredients make up the recipe for productivity optimisation and what exactly defines a high-performance workplace.

Among other factors that converge to facilitate optimised employee output and consistently high morale levels, proven gateways include making sure workers feel valued, secure in their roles and tuned in to the company’s greater mission.

The Power of Prioritising Employee Engagement

When employee engagement is emphasised, and an organisation uses its resources wisely, it fosters an environment where workers are more likely to feel fulfilled and incentivised to complete their daily tasks purposefully. In the toolbox for creating such an atmosphere, intelligent design strategy is a principle with promising potential to yield transformative results.

How Can Design Strategy Serve Your Business?

Design strategy is the practice of charting out how to encapsulate the distinguishing features of your business and product in a way that will endure the test of time while simultaneously being primed for as-needed adaptation.

From managers to frontline workers, the effects of design can trickle down through the various levels of an organisation, even going so far as to impact the quality of the end product or service customers receive. 

Let’s dive deeper into how businesses can unlock boosted productivity, greater operational efficiency, spurred employee retention and better customer experiences by applying a design-centric approach across various parts of their enterprise.

Making a Statement for Your Brand

Nowadays, it’s not enough merely to launch a great product and make it widely available. To stand out in the ever-growing crowd, businesses must assemble a total package around their offerings, complete with:

A thoughtful design strategy approach can help to nurture the development of all the above attributes of a winning brand.

Appealing to Your Target Audience

Fleshing out a conceptual strategy that syncs up your brand’s core values with market projections and your customers’ particular wants and needs will serve as a springboard as you further refine your brand persona and pursue the pathways and elements necessary to actualise it. 

In tandem, bringing to life a compelling brand story and crafting a clever way to tell it that will hit home with your ideal customers is a crucial stepping stone. 

Bringing It All Together 

In order to settle on and promote a unified brand identity — both internally and outwards to your company’s target audience — adopting a design mindset is key. This means taking the time to define what makes your business special, what it has to offer that others don’t and what you hope to accomplish in both the short and long term, followed by exploring possible paths to facilitate the journey. 

You’ll also want to collect and work off data on recent competitor moves, market trends and audience profiles, incorporating these insights as you distil more significant ideas to your brand’s essence.

Rooting Your Brand Against the Winds of Change 

Building upon persistent pinpointed core values and objectives, a well-planned design strategy is a work in progress that will ground the brand as it is inevitably pulled in different directions. 

As you encounter road bumps and market shifts, your authentic and well-established brand narrative will serve as a reliable foundation on which you can fall back. The same will ring true for your customers, who will be able to count on your brand to provide continuity and a familiar, trustworthy face as the rest of the world changes.

The Productivity-Elevating Power of Design Thinking

In the absence of a cohesive, well-formulated central brand identity, your company’s messaging is bound to become muddy. As a result:

  • When marketing teams are unclear on the organisation’s precise aims and values and the right messaging to frame and convey them, it can lead to confusion, disagreement and loss of productivity.
  • Team members may become unfocused and disengaged, resulting in lowered morale and decreased work ethic.

On the other hand, when a thoughtfully constructed brand position is put forth for employees to publicise and for audience members to recognise and relate with easily, it will save a significant amount of time and effort for the marketing department. Here’s how:

Rather than expending resources trying to reach a consensus on how best to present the brand, these business ambassadors can instead devote their energy and focus to expanding customer reach and engagement.

Beyond easing the task of successfully marketing your brand, embracing design thinking and its benefits can also carry over to other important aspects of your organisation:

  • With design-focused reimagination, tedious tasks and held-up workflows stemming from inefficiencies can be minimised, freeing up time for team members to instead discover novel ways of innovating and supporting continued brand growth.
  • Meanwhile, mindful and strategic reorganisation of internal systems and operations can function to increase overall business efficiency, thereby driving return on investment and contributing to a flourishing, modernised enterprise.

Just as a well-designed, ergonomic office chair can help an employee be more comfortable and, in turn, more productive in their daily role, infusing design thinking into company operations can effect significant improvements.

A Fresh Approach to Design Strategy

Whether you’re starting from the drawing board or have already identified certain vital concepts you would like to investigate and develop more thoroughly — for a specific digital product or for your brand’s overarching identity — the ettyq team can be a valuable asset to you. We excel in helping companies solidify and showcase the ways in which they shine in their particular niche through tailored design strategy assistance.

Following a dynamic, hands-on design process that delivers impactful results, we are the trusted ally of brands eager to implement inventive yet sustainable brand positioning techniques and evolve from prototypes to fully realised visions. 

Via research- and discussion-fueled design thinking methodologies, we can help your business mature and genuinely connect with your customers at every given opportunity, enabling you to make those wow-worthy first and lasting impressions that are more critical than ever to stay ahead in today’s oversaturated marketplace.

In our service offerings, such as Discovery Design, we’ll dig deep to get to know your brand inside and out:

  • As we unveil the existing cornerstones of your business and sketch out your vision for the future, we will analyse and consider the factors at play in your broader market in parallel, building a skillfully engineered bridge to connect the two.  
  • We’ll call on our signature blend of creativity and technical expertise to help you discover a timeless yet versatile brand identity that speaks to your inherent values, all while appealing to your customers’ most pressing needs and emotions.

3 Internal Branding Success Stories

When strategising to design a cohesive brand that motivates employees to bring their best, internal branding is another essential piece of the puzzle. 

By aligning employee and company values and visions, internal branding functions facilitate unity around a distinct brand culture. Other proven direct impacts include more open communication, heightened feelings of belonging, and a clearer sense of employee expectations and direction.

1. The IBM “Black Team”

When certain employees at IBM emerged as especially adept at locating bugs in code, the company decided to join them together. As a group, their performance skyrocketed even further, demonstrating the power of a unified mentality.

2. A UK financial institution

A department within a UK financial institution was on a mission to cultivate a recognisable brand identity that would resonate with both its employees and stakeholders; ettyq stepped in to help the department craft a memorable identity fueled by the consistent visual language and intentionally designed physical and digital assets that capture the brand’s essence.


3. Starbucks

To fine-tune its branding as the company evolves, Starbucks has reportedly dedicated significant time to discussions with its employees to arrive at a shared vision for the coffeehouse. Recently, the company began framing itself as a “third place” for customers to convene that isn’t home or work, guiding employees as to the type of atmosphere they should strive to uphold there.

Bolstering Employee Performance By Way of Brand Design

Regardless of what industry your business calls home, developing a brand strategy and identity your employees can rally behind will be instrumental in establishing your universal ideals and sustaining inspiration and motivation.

1. Make Employees’ Voices Heard

Beyond helping to ensure everyone stays on the same page, choosing to offer your employees an active role in your brand’s design strategisation process is a decision which can pay off immensely by further encouraging their engagement and productivity. 

When employees are invited to help define the subsequent phases in the company’s evolution, it can stimulate feelings of inclusion, loyalty and gratification. In other words, a synergistic approach will be a win-win for your business as a whole and for those who keep it running daily.

2. Encourage Collaborative Interchange

Throughout every stage of the design process, we at ettyq emphasise close collaboration with our partner brands’ teams. We believe there is enormous value to be gained by working closely alongside your employees and considering their unique perspectives and inputs.

After all, your team members know your company, its origins, its specialities and the industry in which you work better than anyone else. The critical juncture where we come in is lending our vast expertise in design strategy to help you mould your story and corresponding digital presence into their most captivating forms.

3. Synthesise Insights & Actualise Results

Combining research-derived insights on your audience and market with storytelling that magnifies product strong points will carve a clear path for your brand to make waves in its domain. 

At ettyq, this is what we do best. Along the iterative process, we will touch base with your team regularly to confirm the complete alignment of our proposals with your company’s DNA and deliver a holistic design strategy carefully curated to open new horizons for your brand.
Interested in learning more about the elevation journey your brand can experience by partnering

Interested in learning more about the elevation journey your brand can experience by partnering with ettyq? Reach out to start the conversation.

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