Branding is no longer just for companies. People are increasingly ‘packaging and marketing’ themselves to find employment, whether that’s as a freelancer or for a company contract. The social branding trend is booming; there are how-to guides, blogs, articles and advice columns popping up everywhere with tips on how to perfect that brand and how to use it to connect with others.
In just a couple of weeks, I will be flying British Airways as I travel to speak at Interaction 2013, an intranet conference in London that I’m really looking forward to and would ideally like to attend while fully dressed — I’m sure the attendees would appreciate it too. So, the recent firestorm regarding British Airways and the lost baggage incident on Twitter certainly peaked my interest. Painful as it for British Airways right now, it’s a great case study of many things: customer service, crisis communications, reputation management and social media presence.
Among all the feedback employers receive from its employees, one that particularly interests me is employee perception that a company cultivates and attends to the relationship it has with its customers more so than the one it has with its employees. How many of you feel that your external brand or web site is dynamic, sexy and interactive while the internal one for employees looks like it was created in 1998? We create products and services to attract customers, but why does it seem that we lapse in putting the same effort in attracting and retaining employees?
Do you want to make your brand resonate with your employees? Most companies start by using their recognition program to reinforce and explain the desired values and behaviors. But if you want to make those values come alive—–go deeper.
The reality is that employee behavior is a big reflection of your business. It speaks volumes about the authenticity of your value proposition. If employees don’t understand or don’t believe in what your company says it stands for, why should your customers? Give your employees a reason to live the brand and your organization will thrive in the marketplace.
IBM’s goal is to promote the vision of social business by embedding it into the digital activities and everyday thinking of employees. The challenge is to inspire already technically savvy and digitally motivated employees to become ‘digital citizens’, enthuse them about the value social media can add and motivate them to start exploring the online world.