Recently I had to travel to another town for a speaking engagement. Aboard that flight I made an insightful encounter that stirred up what am about to share with you. During our journey a man walked up to me and asked to sit next to me and the reason he gave for coming over was he noticed I had in my possession a product of the company where he was recently retained as financial director. This he said made him proud, happy and sad at the same time and he asked the question why can’t our staff consume our product the way you do?
Just a few years ago, branding was synonymous with building a company or product’s identity or image. The scope of branding has now expanded to encompass the branding of an individual as well. However, while personal branding is now a reality, most organizations derive comfort out of keeping their employees anonymous in the marketplace. The question they is would building their people as brands not impact their retention? Anyone employed by your business, down to the receptionist, may be promoting himself through blogging, social media and other tactics. The consequences for your business can be varied, but it’s important to consider what your employees’ personal branding will mean to you before you need to address it.
From an employee’s point of view, personal branding is a set of strategies that make it possible for an individual to establish his expertise (and even to improve it), as well as to demonstrate the quality of his work. From an employer’s point of view, it may seem like personal branding can be useful when deciding who to hire.
There is immense value in supporting employee efforts at developing workplace identity and visibility. Encouraging personal development and growth among employees can lead to a happier, more invested workforce. Happy employees are more productive, better bonded with their teams and deeply connected with their organization. A strong personal brand is rooted in authenticity. An organization that encourages authentic leaders is one that is progressive and successful.
When personal brands are strong, the business benefits. When your employees attend conferences and networking events for example, they not only develop their own skills, they also provide exposure to the organization that they represent. This further helps customer outreach. – Susan Hodgkinson, Principal-The Personal Brand Company.
So how can an organisation build its brand through its employees? A few easy tips are as follows:
1) Drive awareness of the organization’s brand values across all levels.You can implement a yearly eLearning course about your brand.
2) Train your employees to create brand impact online. A well crafted Linkedin profile and confident online communication will reflect positively on the caliber of the organization through the caliber of its people.
3) Encourage skill development, especially communication skills.Create a mentorship/training program that allows people to grow with your company while learning more about the brand from upper-level managers.
4) Use the organization’s social media and the company website to give visibility to your deserving people.
5) Organise regular off-site team bonding activities that enforce your brand and allow employees to utilize the products and services you
6) Open a two-way conversation for brand improvement by allowing employees to regularly voice their suggestions and concerns about the company and its internal processes.
Brand is a sum total of how an organization is perceived and an organization is a sum total of its people. The success of an organization is essentially a sum-total of the contribution of its employees.
Does this resonate with you? We will like to hear from you.
We are certified facilitators of Building Your Breakthrough Leadership Brand workshop,(Property of The Personal Brand Company). Attendees at this workshop analyse their leadership impact – how they “show up” to other people at work—and how they add value to their organization. They take a hard look at where they are as leaders, where they’d like to go and how they will get there.