Organisational Brand Impact Through Employee Branding
The success of an organization is essentially a sum-total of the contribution of its employees. Can an organization therefore overlook the significance of building its brand through its people?
'Your personal brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room" states Jeff Bezos and this realization is really the fuel that propels all strategic career builders to place a huge premium on the value of their personal brand. Extrapolate this to the organization and you get the simple formula: Reputation + Credibility of Employees = Organizational Brand Impact.
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. "Would building our people as brands not impact their retention?" is a question I get asked very frequently.
My experience in coaching a cross-section of organizations has clearly illustrated that 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, they not only develop their own skills, they also provide exposure and recall to the organization that they represent. This further helps customer outreach. While the CEO and leadership team, the sales and business development teams and the customer service personnel are the obvious candidates for personal brand building, the brand impact of the teams interfacing with internal stakeholders cannot be marginalized. The organization's brand gets built at every moment of truth.
I recently coached the leadership team of a pharma company on the tactics of enhancing their brand, reputation and credibility as leaders. The results over a period of time were stunning - from a situation of high attrition, low motivation and negativity, the team demonstrated measurable success parameters of brand loyalty and employee satisfaction. An HR firm trained its recruiters on how to stand out in a saturated market through strategic personal branding, with outstanding results. The examples are many and highly encouraging. A word of caution here however, is to be cognizant about the blurring of lines between personal branding and ego. Guy Kawasaki nailed it when he said "When you have this kind of perspective that you've arrived, that you have established a brand....that's a really slippery slope toward egomania."
So how can an organizational brand be built through its people? A few easy tips are as follows:
" Drive awareness of the organization's brand values across all levels.
" 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.
" Encourage skill development, especially communication skills.
" Use the organization's social media and the company website to give visibility to your deserving people.
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. Can an organization therefore overlook the significance of building its brand through its people?
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.