From the moment a new employee starts their job, they begin on a journey. The ultimate destination for every employee is that they become a brand-driven employee. During the process, there are three A’s to remember.
First an employee must be immersed in the positive practices and processes that make your company what it is. If your brand has problems at the employee level, this is where you need to snuff it out. Hopefully your company has a good reputation as a great place to work. Otherwise, your hiring process, orientation, and first couple of weeks on the job are the first intimate encounters they have with your company.
What they hear during this time is paramount. As CEO, YOU are the number one brand champion. As you’ve heard, it starts at the top. Talking about the brand everyday with new and seasoned employees makes them aware of just how important a strong brand is.
If well-coached, an employee will transition from an employee who is just aware of the brand’s promise to one that begins to absorb what’s really going on around them. They begin to understand the business objectives. They start to “walk the walk” and “talk the talk”. If your business is practicing good processes, your employees will absorb them. If your processes are bad, they absorb those too.
A brand ambassador is one that has heard the brand (aware), one that has seen and understands the brand (absorb), and has finally started to live the brand (ambassador).
This is the point when an employee falls in love with the company. They begin to tell everyone they meet about it. They try to get their friends and family to work there. They brag about the great fun they have, how successful the business is, and they try to promote the business “as the only possible choice.” Just like in love, they become passionate about doing a great job for the business, the customers and their co-workers.
Zappos is known for its brand and workplace culture which begins during the interview process. Before candidates are hired, current employees determine if they will be a good fit for the company. Interviewees are quickly made aware of the company’s brand. Once hired by Zappos, new hires spend their first four weeks working in the call centre. This gives them an opportunity to absorb business practices and the company’s customer service centered culture. Because of their meticulous hiring and new employee infiltration process, Zappos builds a workplace filled with like-minded, motivated, and enthusiastic brand ambassadors.
Begin to think about how you foster and shape your staff at each phase, and you’ll develop an army of brand-driven employees resulting in a thriving business!