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When employees live the brand

Blair McPherson - former Director, Author and Blogger
Your employees are your organisations best ambassadors. Even more so if they live in the community they serve. They can promote the organisation as a good employer and the organisation as a good place to work. They influence how the organisation is viewed by the wider community.
People talk about work. At a social event people say how’s work, introduced to a new person people ask what you do for a living and where you work. At home and in the pub you talk about what’s happening at work, your family and friends know what you think about the organisation you work for and how well you get on with your boss.
At an extended family get together just over a year ago I heard my son talking very positively about his new job to his younger cousin. He said his induction program had made him feel very welcome. He reported plenty of contact with line manager early on, and lots of development opportunities, he had only been there a few months but had already attended a couple of courses and his manager had booked him in for some more. The induction program explained the organisation reward and performance scheme from which he had already benefited both in terms of recognition from is line manager in the form of two “ well done “ emails and a one off bonuses for him and his work partner for exceeding targets. He already felt his line manager knew him as a person not just an employee. I was not surprised to learn that his cousin had subsequently followed up a recruitment add in the local paper for a different job in a different location but with the same organisation.
Clearly if those who work for an organisation speak well of the management culture then this will be good for recruitment.
I worked in a large local authority and a big issue was the image and reputation of the organisation. Budgets were being cut and services withdrawn causing a lot of negative comment in the local media. The organisation didn’t have a marketing department but it did have a communication team. This team aimed to make sure local people knew which services the organisation provided and supported, one way of doing this was to make sure the organisation’s logo was prominently displayed where we were involved.
This may seem obvious but hundreds of small, medium sized and several large voluntary organisations ran very local services that relied heavily on funding from the organisation. A fact that was in danger of going unrecognised.  Branding  made sure local people knew of are involvement.
The culture of an organisation not only determines how employees are treated but how customers are treated. An organisation that aims to be open and transparent in its dealings with employees will also aim to listen and respond to customers/ service users, avoid being defensive and make a reality of those slogans ,” to protect and serve”. In other words Living the Brand is just another way of saying owning the Culture of the organisation.

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