Your Brand and Your People
Staff who read brand statements to customers from a list generated by the marketing department are never going to set anyone on fire. They might even drive them away. So just how do you get across your company values?
Ask Your People What They Think
After all, if you don’t get across your values internally how can you expect anyone outside your organisation to believe it? It needs real thought and effort otherwise customers will see it’s a scam.
The only way to do this is to engage and motivate your staff using the brand values. The brand should represent “how things are done round here”, and as such can be a huge differentiator in the marketplace.
Your People ARE Your Brand
Find out what your staff are passionate about. If their eyes don’t light up when they tell you, how can they be passionate about what they do for you?
Values are your guiding principles for running your business, so it makes sense to recruit people using these. Think about your recruitment adverts and employment process. If you’re clear about your expectations of your people you’ll have a better chance of recruiting and retaining them. Good candidates will have their corporate responses well rehearsed for an interview but it’s only when you cut through this that you get to see the person behind the suit. And, it’s only then that you’ll see if they’re a good fit.
More and more often marketing and HR are joining forces to create a plan that helps build a better, stronger business. Therefore, brand values have to be expressed in an employee’s working day and in the way they present the company. An example of this would be what your people say in phone conversations and how this translates into the customer’s perception of your organisation.
How To Get Buy-In
Communicating your values can be enjoyable, stimulating and fun but it’s essential to think about what your staff events say about your brand.
At the heart of most successful companies, and their value statements, is the need to work collaboratively with colleagues. Furthermore, it’s important to think about their interests and what engages them.
Ramming company statements down employee’s throats is clearly not conducive but still goes on. Rather, their needs to be a focus on employees experiencing the brand for themselves. Give employees the opportunity to share ideas and contribute to your ongoing development. You might find that informal discussions are just as powerful as formal suggestion schemes or forums.
Remember, it’s just as important to listen to staff as it is to customers. And, in doing this a real team spirit will evolve and your brand values get full buy-in.
Dos and Dont’s
Do think about promoting values in engaging and motivating ways, not as management speak
Do remember that most employees know exactly which values aren’t translating into reality, so give them space to feedback and offer solutions
Do remember the most effective values are organically arrived at by everyone in the company
Don’t forget that brands must be built from “the inside out” when customer contact staff are outsourced
Don’t forget that, no matter how much you spend on brand advertising, one bad experience with an employee can undo everything
Don’t fail to get senior staff out and about consistently communicating values informally
Don’t let your brand champions go unrecognised, reward those who live it!
If some of this resonates with you, you’re thinking of revisiting or reigniting your brand and want it to pack more than a punch for your business get in touch