5 Fundamental Truths About Brand and Employee Engagement

May 25, 2012

Companies with the most loyal customers also tend to have the most brand-engaged employees; employees that live the brand promise. Your employees have the unique ability to foster deep brand engagements with not only customers, but also with suppliers, business partners, and virtually all of your company’s key stakeholders. How do the world’s most successful brands turn their workforce into mighty brand ambassadors? Dolby, Microsoft, IBM, LinkedIn, Mayo Clinic, FedEx, Pfizer, 3M, and other leading corporations answer this question at the Extending Your Brand to Employees Conference, hosted by The Conference Board in New York City on June 19 and 20. This vital and lively conference never fails to produce a wealth of employee brand engagement strategies and practical advice to drive success by creating the right corporate culture.

This year’s conference is sure to bring fresh insights and innovations in brand engagement to create a deep bond with employees across all functions and business units. Practical action plans help to overcome the biggest barriers to effective brand engagement: the lack of training programs, senior leadership support, funding, and technology engagement. The most profitable companies in the world have created engaged employees to carry their brand by acknowledging these fundamental truths:

All for one, and one for all
Employees, customers, business partners, and all key stakeholders must be aligned around your brand promise in the same way. Attach a higher purpose to your brand and make your employees a part of it. People want to be a part of a common purpose and they want to make a difference in the world.

Exploit the collective wisdom of employees
Most companies still operate using the command-and-control model that came about during the Industrial Revolution. That model no longer works well in a knowledge-based environment, which requires collaboration to drive innovation and success. When people create together, they can achieve things that would be impossible on their own.

Show pride in your brand
The biggest drivers of a bad customer experience include employees who are rude, lack knowledge, and are too slow in resolving issues. When you tie behaviors together with the brand, the effort employees make isn’t extra—it’s the fabric that keeps the team together.

Business results are linked to employee brand engagement
Employee satisfaction connects to the bottom line. There is a direct correlation between employees who are highly engaged in the brand promise and customers who are loyal to the brand. Highly engaged employees also have a stake in creating ways to generate revenue and decrease costs.

Social media boosts both engagement and recruiting
Companies that are still ignoring social media run a tremendous risk. Don’t avoid social media for fear of bad reviews or because you are a business-to-business organization, because online reviews are a fact of life in today’s business environment. Involvement in social media allows you to use reviews, good and bad, to your advantage. Moreover, today’s talent uses social media to search for their dream jobs. Companies now need to transform their recruiting model to include social media, since that is where potential recruits spend their time.

This year’s conference will focus on keynote topics such as:
• Charlie Piscitello, SVP and Chief People Officer at Petco on building and reinforcing company culture and core values with employees on a regular basis
• IBM VPs Mary Barton and Kevin Bishop on creating and maintaining workforce behaviors that support positive brand experiences
• Karen Galambos of FedEx and Kristen Wierick from Cargill weigh in on creating deep brand engagement with employees across business units and functions
• Pfizer VP Elizabeth Golden on engaging employees in a new brand during an acquisition
• Charlie Piscitello of Petco Inc on techniques for developing a one-company culture
• Steve Cadigan, VP of Talent at LinkedIn, on how the world’s largest professional network creates and conveys its corporate identity to more than 2,400 employees
• Harbrinder Kang of Cisco on realizing the value of collaboration within your company and driving profitability
• Pioneer Hi-Bred VP Jeff Austin on unlocking business opportunities and driving success with the right corporate culture

Attendees will hear from executives such as Paul Westbrook, recently a Senior Vice President with Ritz-Carlton, about how creating a culture of engaged employees can create customers for life. In the attached video clip, Mr. Westbrook discusses how Ritz-Carlton employees embody the company’s brand values and the importance of creating a strong internal culture: http://bit.ly/J8126O

More details on the conference can be found at http://bit.ly/ugKZnC