Companies, today are resorting to unique ways to foster their brand image. And how are they doing it? Through large hoardings? Unique tie ups? Celebrity endorsements? No. Why spend on external resources when they can look internally for help, that too for free. Meet the new brand ambassador. YOU, the employee. Here is how you can play a significant role towards building a successful employee brand.
You are making an airline ticket booking for your next trip. And what exactly influences your decision making process while choosing a certain airline company over the rest? Would you opt for an airline that gives you full advantage of baggage allowance (after all, you do intend to carry a lot of souvenirs back home for loved ones)? Does the safety rating matter (all airlines companies undergo audits and you obviously want to steer clear of an airline that has had a history of skidding on the runway, right?) Or you simply would like to have some eye candy in the form of attractive stewardesses? The above parameters depict a few ways through which companies formulate their brand perception strategies in order to ensure a definite impact on its clients / customers both current and prospective that plays a vital role in influencing their future buying decisions. However, experts point out that in today’s turbulent scenario, the best way to foster a company’s brand image is by looking internally and by allowing employees to serve as brand ambassadors for they can, in ways more than one, contribute immensely towards building a successful, living employee brand. Therefore ask yourself, are you an efficient brand mule? Here we explore your role as an employee towards ensuring a flawless employee branding exercise.
Firstly, let’s define an employee brand? The employee brand is an image of the organization presented to an organization’s customers and other relevant stakeholders by its employees. And in the employee branding process, the employee starts talking the employer brand lingo and simply put, becomes a brand ambassador for he employer. Employee branding is an indirect branding process where you as employees internalize the culture, spirit and the values of the organization and project it to the outside world through their behaviors, attitudes and actions. It is a much deeper process than employer branding. It is a measure of the value that you gain during your employment and how you project yourself to the outside world, through interactions with customers, vendors, institutions and other organizations. The advantages of this are many. Managers of such organizations are respected in the market. You are highly motivated and engaged to be associated with a strong employee brand an you aren’t among those whom quit for just monetary gains. Employees begin to behave in ways that are aligned with the organization’s desired brand message.
Here’s how employees can gain through employee branding even during tough times.
1) Prospective job seekers look forward to such organization as a model employer capable of creating champions. Would not you take pride in being associated with such a company?
2) An employee who leaves the organization and becomes successful outside, indirectly enhances the erstwhile company’s brand value – they always remain brand ambassador, a title to be proud of and
3) It also enhances your own market value.
The employee should be willing to not only enjoy the limelight of being a brand within the organization but also should be ready to shoulder equal responsibility. You should acknowledge the efforts of the employer and sustain the image. You should go beyond their usual definition of work and be willing to go an extra mile to bring sustained success to the organization.
An employee actively involved in the employee branding process is an asset to the company for he / she isn’t just an employee working for it, but someone enhancing it as well. Wouldn’t you like to be that asset?
1) It gives you more visibility, hence increased access to more opportunities as organizations don’t want to miss out on a great employee who contributes towards building the employee brand. This means that you can actually have a choice, even in this environment.
2) This also means that you will have good references from employers impressed by your employee branding strategies, which increases your chance to get a job in a competitive market.
3) You can leverage your contribution towards building the employee brand for better compensation and benefits, location, etc.
4) If an organization is retrenching an actively involved employee will not feature in that list. So, your job is much safer.