Surely you have already heard of the term “employer branding”, a company’s reputation and popularity from a potential employer’s perspective. It describes the values that the company gives to its employees… But what about “employee branding”? Does it sound familiar? Learn all the benefits you can achieve by building a strong employee branding.
What is Employee Branding?
Employee branding is part of the new trends that are emerging in the business world. It consists of influencing your employees to become brand ambassadors (voluntarily, of course). It is a process where employees internalize the philosophy of the brand and feel motivated to project it to other clients and other stakeholders. Both HR and Marketing areas will have to work together to build a strong employee branding.
Companies have always taken care of their image, this is nothing new. But in an increasingly digital and interconnected world, brands are aware of the power of “word of mouth” and how employees’ social media can boost the company’s reputation.
The online reputation of a company is a highly valued intangible asset. This is important both for its products and services, as well as for its ways of working and as a socially and environmentally responsible organization. Communication is key to promote all the good things about a company. But any kind of communication is no longer enough. With the rise of social networks, there is a new factor that must be considered: what we communicate must be credible.
The communication of an organization acquires greater credibility if it comes from its own clients and employees, rather than if it comes from itself, or even from experts. Curiously, company employees are trusted twice as much on social media as the CEOs and other senior staff. That is why good companies dedicate efforts so that their employees are comfortable in their work. That means a better work environment, higher productivity, and also encouraging employees to become your best brand ambassadors.
It is not about asking them to share content or say nice things when they are asked, it goes much further. Is It is the satisfaction of their daily life, is them being happy with who and where they work, knowing their values, purpose and finding meaning to what they do.
How to build a strong employee branding
Like any process, generating a genuine and true change in employees takes time. But with these 3 best practices, you will be on the right path to turn your employees into valuable brand ambassadors:
- Genuinely care about your employees:
Showing concern for the employees and ensuring their wellbeing. It is important to boost their potential and support their personal and professional growth. This way, they will enjoy their work experience and they will feel cared for.
Make sure you celebrate their achievements and demonstrate appreciation.
Having reward and recognition programs can help improve employee’s loyalty and commitment to your brand.
Do things that set you apart. Being creative with corporate gifts can go a long way. It doesn’t have to be costly; it just has to show that you’ve thought about making your employees’ personal or professional lives a little better.
- Lead by example:
The CEOs and managers must educate the entire team on mission and values, leading by example. Senior leaders need to show inspiration, commitment and communicate a sense of vision. Companies with the highest rates of employee engagement tend to have a charismatic CEO who can inspire their workforce with an engaging vision.
It is also good to consider employee branding during recruiting. If we incorporate talents that already have attributes aligned to our brand, we save ourselves a big step.
Listening to new ideas, accepting criticism, and being transparent are also paramount. Your employees may well be your consumers too, and as they say, the customer is always right.
- Build Brand Awareness:
By applying many of the principles of consumer advertising to internal communications, leaders can guide employees to a better understanding of the brand vision. If we get employees to “live” the vision in their day-to-day activities, customers are much more likely to experience the company in a way that is consistent with what you have promised.
Help employees make a powerful emotional connection to the products and services you sell. When people care about and believe in the brand, they are motivated to work harder and their loyalty to the company increases.
The executives, the marketing team, the commercial team, and human resources positions are the first ones you should worry about within an Employee Branding strategy. However, the more employees you have loving your brand, the more ambassadors you will generate.
What are the advantages of having internal brand ambassadors?
Better positioning and digital reputation.
The more followers you gain, the higher level of commitment you can obtain from them.
Improves the bond between company and worker.
Employees will develop their feeling of belonging to the company and their identification with your messages so that they are more credible and do not give the feeling of being “thoroughly prepared”, as if it were an advertisement.
Increased work motivation.
A motivated employee will commit more deeply to you, both in the quality of their work and in their proactivity in the Employee Branding initiative.
Credibility and brand equity
Through a program of brand ambassadors, you will give your company an innovative image, at the same time that you will bring your professional stamp to many people. You will be able to humanize the brand, gaining confidence at the same time.
Creating brand ambassadors is not the only benefit you will get by having strong employee branding. Your Employer Branding will be positively affected too. The story of your brand makes much more sense to potential employees when it comes from the current employees. You will also have a great advantage in terms of lead generation. Your employees will be generating more and higher-quality leads through their network and community.
Some examples that show you have a strong employee branding are:
- Employees spread corporate content with their community.
- Staff participates in brand events, both online and offline.
- They feel proud to be part of the company.
- They make positive comments about the brand and they recommend it.
Employees are a pivotal part of any business. And quite simply, without them, businesses wouldn’t be able to function. It is the employee’s business just as much as the employers, so it is only right for them to play a part and get involved.
We are beginning to see more well-known brands implementing this strategy and using their employees as a face of the brand, rather than just working their magic behind the scenes.
What employees think of the brand or the business they work for tells a lot. And employees help to drive brand awareness, so empowering them through a plan to build strong employee branding is a key way to achieve great results.
So, next time you are seeking to increase productivity and results, consider the power of your employees and come together to boost your very own culture.
Lead by example, work together, and invest in your employees.