Employee Branding: What it is and why it matters
You may not realize it, but your employees’ voices have a lot of power.
You have the ability to cultivate an environment that highlights your employees’ voices, and here’s how you can make that happen:
By creating a safe environment that exudes open, good communication, your employees will feel at ease speaking their minds and contributing to the ideas of your company.
When you prioritize regular, healthy communication with your employees you can build trust and healthy work relationships that can positively impact your organization beyond what you ever thought possible.
Don’t you enjoy being a part of something great? Well, so do your employees! If you are interested in inspiring your employees to adopt your excitement, then remember to include them in talks about your company’s vision, goals, and values. As a result, you will create ambassadors who will willingly increase brand awareness for your organization. Your employees will potentially market your business or organization faster and more effectively than paid advertising! How could you resist? Now let’s take a closer look at exactly what employee branding is and then figure out where you can start with your employee branding strategy.
What exactly is employee branding?
Have you ever heard the term “employee branding?” It’s a concept that refers to how employees represent a company or organization. Just as a company strives to create a positive image in the minds of consumers, it’s important for employers to worry about the image their employees are projecting. Great employee branding can help attract talented workers and inspire customer loyalty. Let’s take a look at some tips for creating a strong brand identity among your workforce.
Employee branding strategy: Where to start?
Your branding strategy depends on how you treat your team and what they have to say about your company.
Successful companies understand that the best way to find the right talent is by creating a clear picture of themselves. Making sure your employees have a clear understanding of who your brand is, what it does, and how it aims to achieve goals can help them feel confident when speaking about the company. New hires especially will have questions about these things, which is why it’s so important to have a strong brand identity.
Brand training is an effective way to ensure that your employees understand, remember and apply your branding to every customer interaction. Brand training is necessary to make sure that your employees deliver consistent customer experiences every time.
Teach your employees about your brand. The quality of your employees plays a massive role in the success of your business. Your employees are an extension of your brand. They can help build it – destroy it. Teaching your employees about your brand can help them show expertise, passion, and professionalism when interacting with prospects and customers. Your employees won’t make consistent decisions that support your image if they don’t know your company’s brand. Lessons in brand training should be specific and thorough, covering both how and why you want to brand customers’ interactions with your company.
Training should cover the tone, words, and actions to help you achieve the desired brand experience for all of your customers.
Brand training should be ongoing and reinforced regularly by managers. Employees familiar with your branding will be able to deliver a positive customer experience consistently and effectively.
These ten questions will help your employees understand your company’s goals, values, and how they relate to your target audience:
- What is the purpose of our company
- What do we want to accomplish?
- How will we measure success?
- How do our products or services fulfill that goal?
- Who are our customers?
- What benefits do they seek from us?
- Why do they purchase from us instead of our competitors?
- How well do we understand our target audience? Do we have a clear picture of who they are and their needs?
- Do we know what motivates our audience and why they purchase from us and not another brand? What tools can be used to better assess this information, and how can this information be best communicated internally and externally (through social media, for example)?
- What is the primary benefit consumers receive from purchasing our products/services over those of our competitors’?
Be consistent with employee communication. Did you know the success of your company is heavily impacted by your internal communication? It’s true! Your communication style can affect how your employees feel about their own performance and your company’s overall direction. When it comes to your employees acting as voices for your company, internal communication can be the difference between a happy rep who is all for the company or a nonchalant rep who couldn’t care less. Measuring employee engagement can be as simple as asking: “Do you trust senior management?” or “Do you think senior management values your opinion?”
Picture this. You’ve just started a new job at a company that you’re super passionate about. At first, you’re excited about getting to know your managers and coworkers to be a part of this amazing brand. But, when you start, you find it hard to connect with leadership, other employees have a negative company view, and no one understands the company goals or values. As an employee, this makes it more difficult to go to work every day – and eventually, it makes it hard to interact with external clients enthusiastically. Soon, it starts to affect the company’s clients because they don’t want to interact with people who don’t seem to have a positive view of the company they represent.
That might seem like an extreme (and fast-moving) example, but it happens more often than people realize. The question is – how can you prevent it from happening?
As the employer, it is your job to set the stage for great communication with your team. Your excited employees are counting on you to create an environment that makes them feel welcome, heard, and appreciated. Establishing good employee communication is key because it helps build trust within your workplace.
If you have regular one-on-one meetings with other employees, this shows that you are interested in getting to know them personally. When you let employees know that they can come to you if they feel they need help or support on any issue, it tells them that you care about them as people, not just employees. A consistent work ethic that emphasizes good employee communication is a great way for employees to bond with each other as well as their manager and company.
There are many ways that you can be consistent in your employee communications, which include, but are not limited to the following:
1) Providing regular company updates. Meeting minutes, email distribution lists, and corporate intranets are all useful tools for this purpose.
2) Allocating time during meetings so that everyone has a chance to communicate their views to management. This shows your colleagues that their voices and opinions matter. Who doesn’t want to feel valued at their place of employment?
Listen to feedback from your employees. Just like consistent communication, feedback is essential to any business. It helps you improve the products and services you offer. It also helps you understand what’s working about your brand and what isn’t. Talking to your employees about how they see your company is valuable because they have a perspective that you might not necessarily have.
Where do you start when it comes to asking for feedback? The first step is deciding what exactly you want to know. Do you want to know what people think of the website? What about whether or not they understand the company goals? Think about the main question you want to ask, then start a dialogue around that.
Next, determine how to best communicate with your employees. Anonymous surveys can take pressure off of employees because they’ll feel like they can speak freely. Small focus groups or One-on-Ones can provide a more intimate and engaging setting that helps employees feel like they are connecting with you. Either way, you want people to feel comfortable giving their opinions.
Use social media. Social media can be a powerful way for you to show your company’s personality. It’s also an opportunity for you to show how your employees make the business successful.
If you’re looking for inspiration, here are some tips on how to use social media for your employee branding:
It’s no accident that of the 1,000 employees surveyed, more than half said they wouldn’t buy from a company whose social media presence they dislike. Businesses are increasingly realizing the benefits of having their employees serve as brand ambassadors on social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. An employee who has a positive, active online presence can boost your company’s visibility while serving as an expert source for information about your products, services, and corporate culture.
– Employees who have a strong network on Twitter can answer questions and solve problems for customers in real-time.
– An employee with a blog can share information with customers or prospects on topics related to your business or industry.
– A YouTube video featuring an employee can help your company build its reputation as an innovator in the market.
If you want your employees to be great brand ambassadors then first make sure they have a professional Facebook profile (e.g., one without party photos), and then get started! Here are some additional ways your employees can use social media for good:
- Create a Facebook Fan Page for your company and encourage employees to “Like” it.
- Encourage employees to create LinkedIn profiles and connect with professional contacts.
- Give employees access to your official corporate Twitter feed so they can retweet your company’s happenings.
A company’s brand should be strong on the outside and on the inside – and that’s why getting your employees behind your brand’s purpose, messaging, and mission is so important. Figuring out where to start in this process can be daunting, to say the least. Don’t worry! We’re here for you. If you need help with your employee brand strategy and implementation, reach out to us. We’ll be happy to help you figure out how to make your brand’s inner (employee) beauty shine. 🍑