Twenty years ago, branding was still new and organisations were reluctant to spend any money on it. Today, every organisation has a budget for its brand. Everyone is clear that the brand of a business is critical to its success.
So how can you use your employees to become brand advocates and help improve the reputation of your business? It’s simple: work on your culture.
Culture is what brand used to be twenty years ago. Organisations are becoming increasingly aware that budgets for culture are more than discretionary spending, and that culture is a real enabler of success. Having in place the culture you need to deliver on your ambition is what every leaders should be working on.
Employees will become your brand advocates when you start walking your talk.
What does this mean? In simple terms, you must implement the culture that you need and that employees will thrive in. You must stop describing the culture you want, but start behaving in alignment with it. This will create trust in your employees because they will see that the talk and the walk of the business are aligned.
Here are a few usefuls steps to follow:
- Clarify the values and the behaviours that will drive your organisation to success.
- Immediately start role modelling them.
- Work with your leaders to support them in becoming role models of the culture. This involves making them aware of their shadow and helping them to self-correct.
- Communicate the espoused values and expected behaviours to your employees.
- Ensure your systems and processes do not contradict the values or push people to behave differently. If they do, you need to change them.
- Check the symbols you send about what is valued, especially in meetings and in how time and money are spend. If the symbols send the wrong messages, change them.
- Keep walking your talk.
Employees who are satisfied with the culture of their organisation will be more productive and positive, and will become your best brand advocates.