Employees are the first available resources for any company to develop a profitable brand. Why is it then that companies don’t have, in place, detailed operational brand engagement programs?
Years ago, on the first day of joining a well-known global organisation, I was pleasantly surprised at learning that I had a “buddy”. A buddy enabled me to know the internal processes, systems as well as core values of the brand, that, as an employee I was to imbibe, fit into my service deliverables and project during all interactions (internal and external). It was truly of great help, as within a couple of days I felt comfortable. I knew what was expected, what the corporate culture was and
how my role effectively aided the brand in growing itself– IE: I fitted in my personal career objectives with that of the organisation’s brand and the resulting output was that of a happy employee who gave his best output resulting in a profitable brand.
Today, companies are battling it out across various parameters to etch a identity for their brands and yet majority of national (geographically limited) companies do not have in place any internal brand engagement programs. Some of those national companies who have ventured our globally too haven’t paused and looked at this area, put in place a plan. But have ventured forth based on primarily financial based decision.
This archaic approach to “Human Resource” utilisation for brand development, leaves me asking the question– Why don’t companies make brand engagement a priority”?
The brand engagement begins right at the interview stage. The first interaction of a potential talent with the brand. Both have to impress/woo each other. The days of just a “fitting “of skills, is long past. Today, the potential employee needs to be evaluated in terms of a “cultural fit” i.e.: behaviour & attitude. Both during work hours and out of it as a lot of time is spent in social context between colleagues and with other stakeholders including clients. The importance of knowing if the potential employee fits in with the corporate values is critical in ensuring success of the role (the employee will handle) resulting in a positive outcome for the brand.
Bringing this into a Islamic value based organisation, makes the “fitment” of the employee to the corporate values even more important and critical. Existing and potential talent, whose individual value system is aligned to the organisation’s core values will be better placed through being comfortable (as the career and personal growth match is mapped) ie: a clear career direction is provided. This would lead to a positive projection of the individual’s work output as there would be a perceived value of “making a difference/contributing” which in turn would up the productivity and deliverable quality of the brand (to its clients/stakeholders).
It goes back to a basic management value of transparency. Transparency of direct communication, in terms of mutual expectations, clarity of role and deliverables and most importantly, in projection of the brand and its key message.
Needless to say, many would say that the individual’s personal life is none of their employer’s business and people should feel free to behave as they feel is right outside of the office. Today’s marketing & HR heads would say– “Such people should work somewhere else”.
Personal engagement between the brand and the employee is becoming a critical and exceedingly important fit that organisations with global outlook are more and more looking into and putting in place programs that ensure this fit.