Whether big or small, expanding across countries or staying centralized in one area, every company is a brand with a unique image. Companies work hard to polish this brand image for the public in order to sell products, gain clients, or whatever the main goals of the company may be. What many companies overlook, however, is that the employees are an integral part of the brand image.
Keeping Employees Happy
Employees are a valued and trusted source of information about a company. Employees that are happy working for a company are automatically going to promote the brand as a positive entity that is trustworthy and reliable. When companies fail to keep their employees happy, they miss out on this critical and free form of promotion.
Getting Employees to “Buy In” To the Brand
The face of consumerism has made some revolutionary changes over the past few years, with customers wanting to feel like they are not just buying products or services, but supporting a set of values or an idea. Every company has a story and that story is often at the heart of the company’s brand image. When employees stand behind the company’s values and back story, the brand becomes that much stronger and more attractive to customers and clients.
HR’s Role in Company Branding
Human resources is essential in establishing a relationship between the employees and the company. It is human resources professionals that interview employees to determine the company culture and employee contentment, advocate on the part of employees to change policies that may be fostering disengagement, and help to keep communication alive between employees and upper management. Human Resources professionals play a major part in getting employees to buy in to a brand and helping companies to determine and take the steps necessary to foster that engagement.
Taking It to the Streets
After companies have their employees on board with the brand, feeling good about the relationship, that harmonious relationship and the values behind it must be somehow displayed to the outside world. Employees will do their own promoting to friends and family and will be more enthusiastic when dealing directly with customers, but technology can help to create a ripple effect that shows the company’s virtues to a much larger audience. By introducing employees on the company website or social media as “the heart of our company” and recognizing the employee’s strengths for all to see, the company is showing loyalty to employees while drawing customers’ attention.
Best Practices for Branding from the Inside Out
When working to get employees on board with the company brand, there are certain practices that may be helpful:
- Individualizing communications so that every employee can relate
- Avoiding conflicting messages
- Making sure that each employee understands the company mission
- Involving the staff in brainstorming to promote the brand
- Keeping a high-energy, positive attitude when talking about the company
- Reinforcing brand strengths in every interaction
- Identifying employees that are not engaged and addressing reasons for discontent