Build Your Brand Step By Step

 -  8/16/11

Today an employer’s brand can be built or torn down with even a single tweet by a disgruntled employee. Managers, take the following steps to build or reinvigorate your brand so employees will be more inclined to tout your company as a good place to work.

In today’s technologically savvy world, and given the infiltration of social media, an employer’s brand can be built or torn down with even a single tweet gone awry. Building a positive brand is crucial for employers who seek to effectively recruit and retain the best employees, and forward-thinking companies strive to brand themselves as a good place to work in the minds of employees, potential job candidates, clients, customers and the business media.

A company’s brand reflects far more than just a pay and benefits package. It is a promise that delivers career advancement, learning opportunities and personal respect. This brand shines when there’s adequate focus on talent manager-employee relationship and among teams. An organization promoting itself as a “best place to work” when it’s anything but will soon discover that reality trumps image.

If you think you can create a positive brand with lofty mission or values statements, think again. A positive brand is grown one relationship at a time. Engagement between talent managers and employees is not a communication objective — it comes from understanding and satisfying workplace needs, creating a passion for excellence among people who want their organization to succeed because they feel emotionally connected to it.

Create trust and communication. Employees care about more than career development and compensation. They are more likely to exit because of a bad manager than a bad company. They want good relationships with peers, and to be respected and treated as individuals with unique needs and aspirations. Employees are more likely to improve their performance when they are engaged with their jobs, co-workers and managers. Trust is the foundation for such an employment relationship, and managers can build trust in their interpersonal relationships through open communication, collaboration and prioritizing the needs of others as they reflect diverse styles and expectations.

Clear expectations are also essential to communication and trust, and expectations must be a two-way street. Supervisors should not just tell employees what is expected of them; instead, they need to initiate dialogue about how employees see their roles in a particular project, how they would do it differently or what they would suggest to meet a difficult commitment to a customer. Where there is such dialogue, a manager’s behavior must be authentic to engage trust. If he or she emphasizes that diligence and detailed planning are essential to getting the job done, but in reality operates using whim and indecision, no one will be fooled. The gap between words and actions will erode trust in the manager, and thus erode the employer brand.

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