"Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room." -- Jeff Bezos, Founder, Amazon
You could fill a library with everything that's been written on corporate branding, but Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, pretty well sums it up. And your brand is about much more than customers and market share. In fact, your corporate brand is a key factor in your ability to attract and keep qualified employees.
Google. Apple. Costco. Not only are these brands household names, but they also regularly grab top spots in the rankings of corporate reputations and companies that are great places to work. And while yours may be a small to medium-sized organization, the lesson is the same: your company's brand is tied to the perception of your organization as a good place to work. Indeed, your company's reputation and brand image are powerful recruitment tools--particularly when it comes to attracting desirable employees. In turn, those top employees make you more competitive in the market.
So how do you build your company's brand for success and professionalism? Start with these ten steps:
1. Develop a clear vision of how you want your company to be perceived and make sure management and employees share that vision.
2. Communicate the big picture through a mission statement, advertising, marketing materials, and the company's annual report.
3. Adhere to organized and consistent policies and procedures that will help employees understand what they are supposed to do and how to do it.
4. Pay attention to training and professional development--make sure your employees have the tools to do the job for today as well as training to meet the new challenges of tomorrow.
5. Make sure your managers act as role models who reach out and support employees to exemplify the standard of conduct you wish to uphold.
6. Adhere to procedures, starting with a structured, organized employee orientation, or onboarding. First impressions are vitally important to the long-term success of new employees.
7. Observe non-discriminatory policies in recruitment and workplace practices, and regularly reinforce your commitment to those policies verbally and in writing.
8. Promote "green" energy-saving practices, such as recycling and car-pooling.
9. Encourage volunteerism among employees in local community projects. Consider scheduling a day of volunteering where employees work together on a service project instead of reporting to the office. When possible, sponsor local charity events or youth sports teams.
10. Promote individual employee health and wellness in the workplace through wellness programs, newsletters, and healthy snacks.
Finally, remember to toot your own horn a little by sending press releases and pictures to your local media outlets showcasing your efforts. You may even want to set up social media accounts to highlight these activities. For more information on brand building, as well as how to attract, hire, and onboard new employees, visit us online at HR360.com.