Look Inside Your Brand’s Culture for the Secret Weapon
One of my clients that I do some online work for asked me to remove the email links to the pictures and name of some of their employee teams that are displayed on several of their site pages. She explained that the CEO was concerned that the email links made it an easy target for recruiters to communicate with his teams. (Forget about the convenience it provides the client, or prospect to inquire about their services, right?)
Hmmmm, this got me thinking.
How many employees have you lost to headhunters, recruiters, or you competitors over the years? As the economy improves and the job opportunities grow, this might be a concern for your business. Rather than blame the above mentioned perpetrators, I invite you to take a close look at your own business brand culture.
Ask these questions:
- Have we created a culture of collaboration?
- Do we have a culture of TRUST and RESPECT….REALLY?
- Does our employee team understand what they contribute to the success of the brand?
- Do we encourage autonomy?
- Do we equip our employees to create mastery in their area of expertise?
- Are we re-affirming their purpose in working for our brand?
A recent study through a collaboration of minds from MIT, Carnegie Mellon, and University of Chicago revealed some startling statistics on what motivates human beings that might provide some insight into creating a culture of inclusion, accountability, purpose and trust. The finding are creatively revealed int his video: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us . (Narrated by Dan Pink, illustrated by RSA).
Fact is, money is a motivator (if employees believe they are not paid enough) and they are responsible for doing ‘rudimentary’ level (simple, straight forward tasks). However, employees who are responsible for more complicated roles, having to do conceptual and creative thinking in their jobs do NOT respond to money motivators.
In brief, the study talks about the three curious key factors that lead to better performance and satisfaction in the workplace.
1) Autonomy = our desire to be self-directed (make our own choices/decisions)
2) Mastery = having the tools, time, and support to enable mastery (self-directed) of a skill they want to develop
3) Purpose = understanding the overall transcendent purpose and goals of the brand, as well as the role they play in the success of the brand’s purpose.
- Examples: Founder of Skype says their “goal/purpose is to be disruptive, but in the cause of making the world a better place.”
- Example: Steve Jobs, “I want to put a ‘DING’ in the universe.”
“So what does this have to do with my Brand, you ask?” Remember, your brand IS your business and it starts deep inside the organization, with its promise, its PEOPLE, its ‘WHY.’ Becoming more purpose-driven, vs. profit-driven could be the secret to sustainability, loyalty, and growth. Without conscious thought to these elements, the internal infrastructure, the heart and soul of the organization, cannot sustain itself with consistency.
When the ‘profit’ motive is viewed as more important than the ‘purpose’ motive within an organization, then we loose ground in the performance and satisfaction levels of our employees. This is when they become highly volatile in their decision to be loyal to the brand they work for or not. We all want employees who are fiercely loyal to us and show actions and behaviors that manage and protect the brand they work for, right? If this is not internally happening within your brand’s culture, there is some work to do. There is some attention that needs to happen regarding what the brand messages out to the customer, and how it actually is creating the environment for its own employees.
If a headhunter or competitor wants one or more of your employees, they will find ways to get their attention (whether they have access to their emails online or not). The point I am making is that it is our jobs as business owners & brand managers to;
- get the right people on the bus (first and foremost)
- nurture their talents by equipping them to leverage their expertise
- give them the room to grow independently of micromanagement
- build a high level of trust and respect within the organization
- create a recognizable ‘internal brand culture’ that is consistent, distinctive and engaging while being true to the purpose of the brand
What’s makes up your culture’s Brand DNA? Is it worth a look?