We all know brand image matters, right? What are some of the big brands you can think of? Amazon, Coca-Cola, Nike? You know these names because careful branding was done by each of these companies. But what about your company’s image? Does it even have a brand image? And, if so, is it known for being a positive place of employment?
Let’s face it, reputation in the business world is important. Word of mouth spreads fast. Past and current employees can have an immediate, influential effect on a company’s brand. Thanks to the ever-evolving world of technology, employees have the ability to leave reviews and comments, based on their experiences in a matter of seconds. This can be either positive or negative for your brand.
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” – Warren Buffett
Technology and the Anonymous Complainer
A survey by Zendesk found that 88 percent of consumers buying decisions were based on reviews posted online. Another survey by BPS World indicates 79 percent of job seekers check out employers online before accepting a job offer. But here is the sticky part of online reviews—many can be anonymous, and it’s hard to decipher opinion and fact. The information in the reviews is often a critique of culture, benefits offered, job stability, growth opportunities and employee morale.
Most of these opinions are subjective to the person specifically reviewing the company, so results are often skewed by the relationship they had built with the company and its employees. However, skewed or not, those researching your company will take all reviews into consideration when deciding to support the company or apply to work there. Ensuring positive reviews and a positive brand image is essential for companies to remain competitive and superior in their market.
Steps for a Positive Brand Image
First and foremost, ask questions and listen to your current employees. See what they like and what they don’t like. Make alterations as needed in a timely manner. Ensure the perks offered are competitive for your industry. If your company can’t offer benefits in an apple-to-apple comparison, create a survey for employees to communicate other perks they would like to see implemented.
Give employees clear expectations and guidelines for their role, including an up-to-date job description that outlines their specific duties. Also, provide training as needed so employees can improve their skills.
Provide regular feedback to employees who aren’t performing well. By providing feedback and coaching, you are informing the employee they are not meeting expectations or need to improve. Also, outline the steps that the company can take if an employee continues to under-perform. When employees are aware of their performance, they won’t be blindsided if they are let go due to performance.
If you have employees exiting the company, complete an exit interview with them and use their opinions as constructive feedback to build a stronger and better brand. Knowledge is power. Make your company a place people want to work.
Branding Bottom Line
By ensuring your business is a top contender as well as a great place to work, you will attract and retain loyal employees. This will lower turnover, resulting in lower recruiting and training costs, and create happy employees, which also means an increase in overall productivity for your company.
Bottom line? Now is the time to research how your company measures up compared to your competitors in the industry. Read reviews, research online and educate yourself. Ask your current employees their thoughts and opinions – create surveys to keep it anonymous. Take initiative and implement new strategies for creating a strong employment brand to recruit and retain top talent. By doing this, it will build a strong base to set up your company and your employees for future growth and opportunities to keep improving the foundation for continued success.
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