I met a young lady at a party not to long ago who works for a brand the public really likes. Of course I was curious to find out more about this brand from an insider.
The first question was, “How is it working for brand X? They have such a great brand.”
Her response, “It is a great brand but they don’t treat their employees that well.”
Are They Really a Great Brand?
By today’s standards, they are not a great brand.
I define brand as being intentional about how you want to be known.
I’m sure the geniuses at the company came up with a brand strategy and are very clear on how they want to be known by the public.
The thing is, nowadays when a brand strategy is being created it has to include, “how do we treat our people?” or you can suffer from brand confusion when one of your employees goes out there and says, “It’s a great brand but not a great company to work for.”
What Can You Do
- Survey: Implement an organization health survey if one isn’t already in place and take it seriously. It’s a great opportunity to see if your employees understand what your brand is all about and what morale is like.
- Information: Take the data you gathered from the survey and now start to look for patterns. What’s working well? Where are there opportunities for improvement?
- Interview: If you see a negative trend, you may want to set up a few interviews with some of your employees (I would suggest you use a third party or at least make sure the interviews are conducted by someone outside of the management chain — I’ve had success with the latter).
- Create a Plan: What are you going to do with all that information? Pick something to improve on and create a plan around it. Please don’t do this in a bubble; include the people who will be impacted by this. A room of single men working on the maternity policy probably won’t work as well as a group that includes a few moms of young kids–I’m Just sayin’.
- Take Action: Have a task force focused on making the change.
- Report Back: Sharing can be a unique way to use the platform your employee advocates have built. Imagine them being involved in various task forces and sharing their results across the company and externally as appropriate.
You don’t have to do any of the things I suggested above but remember, “You can’t be awesome to the public / customer but crappy to your employees.” [Tweet This]
By all means you may be a great business, but I know great brands and you sir / madame are no great brand if you don’t take care of your people.
Mike Ambassador Bruny