We all know that every business backbone is its unique working process, but your employees are the lifeblood of your company. Yet, it’s sad to say that not many businesses provide their employees with a happy environment, which may lead to a downfall of their brand.
Branding is not an easy task. Sure, a right marketing strategy coupled with tweaks around social presence might do the trick, but your employees are a part of what makes your brand whole.
It’s not uncommon to see a displeased worker saying “The Company I’m working for is driving me nuts! I’m so overworked and underpaid!” on social networks (just lurk around Twitter and you’ll see what I mean). This may lead to:
- Your employees bad-mouthing your company (“word of mouth” is a really strong marketing/anti-marketing strategy), a major let down when you are handling a start-up business and is on the hiring process.
- Employees themselves are pulling down your brand online.
- Major decrease in productivity, resulting in less profit on where you should have racked tons of cash by now.
- A mass “exodus” or uproar against your company, which may or (may not, but is still a bad thing) catch the attention of the media. Take union strikes for example.
Those are just some problems you might encounter when you are degenerate in making your employees happy. It’s just simple math, unhappy workers = fail business = fail brand. So how will you prevent these from happening?
# 1. Know your employees’ worth
This applies especially when you are trying to build your core members on your business. Do not offer a low salary for people that are doing a lot. In the long run, a Rook is worth more than 5 Pawns. A PDF article by Sierrahealth.org discusses this further, and you can find it here. Know who to keep, and keep them happy because chances are, that he or she might close the deal on that contract you’ve been dying to get your hands on.
# 2. Provide material incentives (yes, even the small ones count)
An employee will be happy even with the tiniest material gesture such as a coffee mug or a shirt. These items will put that inception to your employee’s brains that will go like “Hey, if boss can provide this now, maybe I’ll get more when I do more.” No, it isn’t bribing, but hey it works right?
There are tons of places online where you can get bulk discounts when buying these things. Check out eBay or Amazon for cool stuff fit as your company giveaways. Or if you want something where you can put your brand on, check out Promopeddler.com for their extensive lists of products. Chances are, that branded USB rubber bracelet will be on your employee’s Instagram portfolio just for its sheer, wicked looks. Free photo branding, eh?
# 3. Provide critical feedback on matters that counts
Employees like getting criticized, even if they don’t admit it. They want their work to be reviewed, so that if mistakes are present, they can change it and continually make them better. Constructive criticisms are an awesome way to connect with your employees, showing them that you care if they screw up or did something good.
But don’t just blare on them like a fog horn, talk to them in the most humane manner as possible, since they are people, not your toaster that didn’t work this morning. Don’t just say, “It’s ok.” Or “Meh, that will do.” To them, it’s very vague and they won’t know if they are screwing up or not. Which brings us to…
# 4. Don’t let your top performers clean-up on poor ones
Again, there are no “poor performers”, just workers who misunderstand what their job is supposed to be. Talk to the misunderstood ones, and don’t let your top guns anywhere near the clean-up crew. Even if they say that they’ll do the job since they can handle it, notify them that it’s not part of their job description and it’s better to assist the ones that screwed up, rather than do the work for them.
Your brand will not benefit from this (especially if you are running a service type of business), since customers will think that you are hiring untrustworthy people to take care of stuff and just letting the good ones compensate in the future.
# 5. Know and discuss what the future holds for your employee.
This might be one of the most important things you need to get your brand a boost in quite an unorthodox way. Do employee performances recap every now and then, and see if some of them are worthy to push up to the top. Get to your social networks and let the world know that you promoted someone. It shows that your brand is happy that someone good is getting promoted, and makes your other employees think that if they want to get the same treatment, they should do more.
Sure, some really good workers might not be satisfied if you raised them but they feel that they are worth more (and you can’t provide what they are looking for), which may lead to them leaving. Don’t hang on to them though, if they really want to leave.
Here’s the branding part. That soon-to-be-former employee might talk to one future business in which his current company might not be able to provide a service to. Chances are, your company can get outsourced or referred to, if you had treated that employee right and he or she knows that you provide good services. Brand referral, offline “word of mouth” style.
There are tons of suggestions that you can do to empower your business brand via your employees. You don’t need to do team building sessions always, or give out ravishing trip to a certain country or a plasma TV to make them happy. Just maintain a steady communication and let them know that you are happy to be having them in your company. It works wonders, seriously.