Who will help you to build a brand? Who has the potential to be your biggest supporters? And your most valuable brand assets? The answer is your employees, and even though there are many elements to consider as you build a brand, this is one that is often overlooked—to the detriment of the brand.
Your brand will benefit from having the most talented, driven, and creative people working for it. And here’s the thing: the most talented, driven, and creative people have lots of options. Treat them right and they will not only stay and thrive, they will build a brand for you and prove themselves to be your brand’s most valuable assets. Treat them in any other way, and they will take their gifts elsewhere.
Build a Brand by Keeping Employees Happy
So how, exactly, does a brand manager treat his or her employees “right”? This question is best answered with attentiveness and responsiveness to employees’ needs; however, there are some specifics you can use to get you started:
- Keep promises. You’ve heard the old saying “Do as I say, not as I do.” Well, it doesn’t work. If you want your employees to keep their commitments, interact with respect, follow through…you must do the same. Lead by example. Always keep your word. People will notice.
- Limit the workload. Often, the best employees are “gifted” with the largest workloads. This is understandable, to a point: the best employees get more done, and can be trusted. However, overworking someone who has shown you nothing but loyalty is one of the best ways to encourage resignation. Rather than indiscriminately increasing the workload, offer a promotion, a raise, or a title change first—to justify your requests.
- Support skill development. Every motivated employee craves personal betterment. And what better place to get that than within the job he or she loves? Provide this, through skills building and education, and you will reinforce the loyalty (and reciprocity) of those working to build a brand for you.
- Recognize and reward. It can be easy to assume that highly motivated people do not need recognition or rewards. They’re highly motivated, right? In truth, the harder the worker, the more recognition they crave. No one really works for the joy of working—they work so that their efforts will be acknowledged. Know each employee, as an individual. Know what each one would value most as a reward. Then get to it.
- Freedom to be creative and make mistakes. No employee should fear consequence for trying to improve a work environment, a process…or a brand, for that matter. The freedom to be creative leads to cutting-edge developments and ultimately increases the status quo in any industry. Avoid limiting the ingenuity of employees—the results of creativity (even if underwhelming at first) will build a brand.
- Build personal relationships. No workplace should ever be solely about production. Of course, it can be…but employee retention will suffer. People crave human relationships, in which others genuinely care about others, support their interests, and allow for personal expression. Build a brand with this in mind, and your employees are bound to stick around.
- Promote and hire with the current workforce in mind. No one appreciates being overlooked for a promotion, and no one likes having to work alongside a new-hire who doesn’t respect the brand. Avoid putting current, valuable employees in situations like these. Make your decisions from the viewpoint of your employees, and you’ll promote team unity, as well as individual satisfaction.
- Challenge them to grow. When you’re dealing with highly motivated, creative people, goals should be grand and the support that you offer should be limitless. The best employees crave challenges, and will rise to the occasion if they expect recognition. So, make it a priority to encourage people to step outside of their comfort zones. The benefits will increase employee morale…and build a brand.
It’s rare that good people leave careers. Instead, they leave brands with managers who don’t understand their needs for reward, challenge, personal relationships…and more. Your brand can be a magnet for the best employees. Start by treating the employees you have to all the best—and you will welcome even more of the same…highly motived, creative, goal-oriented people longing to build a brand.
Want to learn more about how to build a brand with the help of dedicated, brand-centred people…and much, much more? Then join the How to Build a Brand experts and sign up for our Online Masterclass, to KickStart your journey to brand success.