Many employees have contact with customers either through formal customer touch points as part of their roles and responsibilities or via social media or any number of other informal settings. The attitudes and behaviors of employees are at the core of any brand in the modern world. Our goal must be to empower every employee to become a brand guardian/ambassador.
This process has to start during recruitment it is the responsibility of marketing to make HR aware of the brand image and values of the organization. Then the task is to recruit individuals with the experience, skills and values that will enable them to be successful within the organization.
Six key steps to making it happen.
- Make internal brand management as important as external brand management.
- Human Resources and Marketing must collaborate to communicate internal brand messages.
- Explicitly acknowledge that all employees are brand ambassadors and guardians of the brand reputation.
- Internal and external brand messaging must be in harmony, there can be no contradictions.
- Recognize and reward the desired behaviors through the company compensation plan.
- When employees leave ensure they move to alumnus status and continue to feel connected to the brand.
It takes time for communication to soak in and for behaviors to change so be patient, this is a marathon not a sprint. The rewards are tangible and lasting.
(First posted on LinkedIn January 25, 2015 by adriangstewart)