If you are like most business leaders around the world, you probably want to improve your employee engagement — for good reason. The Gallup organization estimates that actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. $450 billion to $550 billion in lost productivity per year. It’s clear employee engagement should be a priority for you, but in addition to asking how to engage employees, you should also ask what to engage employees with. I’ve found that great brands intentionally and specifically engage their employees with their brands. Employee brand engagement is the critical link between employees and customers.
Employee brand engagement involves:
- ensuring your employees know what your brand stands for, the values and attributes that differentiate it, who your brand’s core customers are, and the unique benefit your brand provides to them
- using your brand’s purpose and values to inspire and unite employees — connecting them to an idea or mission that is more substantive and influential than their job or the actual products or services offered
- giving them the information, instruction, and tools they need to make on-brand decisions and to nurture, interpret, and reinforce your brand in everything they do
- helping employees understand their roles in designing, managing, and/or delivering customer experiences that inspire customer engagement and loyalty
- closing the gap between how employees and customers are engaged
- recruiting, motivating, and retaining employees based on alignment with core brand values
- linking employee engagement metrics to overall company performance and brand metrics
Of course it’s important for employees to generally be excited about and satisfied by their work and to feel emotionally engaged to their companies, but that’s no longer enough. If you want to cultivate employee relationships that outlast leadership changes and volatility in the business and positively impact customer relationships, you need employee brand engagement.
The Human Capital Institute, The Conference Board, Engage Business Media, and many technology solutions and service providers stage events and conferences that focus on employee engagement. I’ve been invited to speak at several of these because of my emphasis on employee brand engagement. Check out this excerpt from a talk I recently gave on the topic, including a simple assessment question to determine the existing strength of employee brand engagement within your organization, as well as an introduction to some of the ways you can achieve it.
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