QUIPS #2: Brand Ambassadors
exaqueo recently introduced QUIPS: QUIck Problem Solving. These are quick ways to begin to address and solve common talent challenges. You may not have the resources to hire a consultant or tackle the challenge holistically. But you can take some steps on your own. In our first QUIPS we talked about quick ways to address the candidate experience problem. Now, in QUIPS #2, we’re tackling brand ambassadors. Everyone knows they’re good for business, but you can’t just pick and choose who plays that role for your company. Here’s what you can do:
QUIPS #2: brand ambassadors can be golden for both your consumer and your employer brands. But you can’t always choose your brand ambassadors. In essence, anyone who talks about or represents your company can be an ambassador or detractor. Just because someone likes buying your product or working for your company doesn’t mean they ‘ll talk about it in a way consistent with your brand or even share actual truths. But they can be valuable. Here are four quick things you can do now to ensure you’re thinking about brand ambassadors in a value-driven way:
1) Find out if your employees actually understand the company: Do you know what your company does? In all business units? How about your customers? Your growth plan? Product and service innovations? If you don’t know all of these things, your employees definitely don’t. Find out what they do know about the business and how they communicate it to friends, family and peers in the space.
2) Create opportunities to understand: Once you have a solid sense of what employees know and how they communicate you can find the gaps and fill them with education. Create sessions for employees to learn about new business units. Make earnings calls a team event. Task employees with researching roles, jobs, and parts of the business totally unfamiliar to them and report back to the group. The more they understand the better they can advocate and evangelize.
3) Make sure you have a good employer brand foundation: Your employer brand isn’t your latest recruitment ad, or the headline on your careers site. It’s the value proposition of the experience stakeholders have with you as an employer. So it has to be an honest and realistic assessment. If you’re struggling with your employer brand–don’t start with brand ambassadors. Start with ensuring that foundation is right. Here’s a 45-second primer.
4) Align, align, align: every communication is an opportunity to align your brand message (assuming your foundation is spot-on–see #3). And that’s where that brandline and other communication tools and channels come in. Use a clear, relevant position to express the brand and then ensure it’s aligned with your master and consumer brands. Then ensure it’s aligned across your candidate and employee-facing channels. More consistency of message that supports the brand foundation means your brand ambassadors will sharing a consistent message.