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Most of the time, businesses wrongfully perceive the concept of creating a “Personal Brand at Work” to be self-serving for the employee and not having any form of positive outcome for the business.
But the reality is there is no downside to having employees who are positively representing themselves to the world around them. When the words “personal brand” are brought up, characteristics such as self-awareness, willingness to improve themselves, and presenting themselves in a fun and professional light are what should come to mind. These are the foundation for a stellar online reputation. Additionally, personal branding means knowing what people are saying about a person or business, being diligent and conscientious, and helping to paint an accurate picture online. None of these qualities should be forgotten for businesses who want to remain profitable.
In fact, developing and maintaining a strong, personal brand can be an incredible asset for an institution. Employees with strong personal brands tend to share their current happenings and stories through their online identities which can in turn increase the number of customers a business has. This is partly due to the rise of social media, and the thin line between people’s “personal” and “professional” lives becoming increasingly blurry online. Sometimes this may become a problem if employees aren’t aware that their information, what they post, like, retweet, and favorite can show up anywhere. A simple Google search of someone’s name can turn up a multitude of useful information. Although this may be a bit frightening for businesses regarding their employees, it is worth noting that if employees are working to improve their personal brand online, the positives that represent them online will be equally as prevalent as the negatives. Through personal brands of companies’ team members, businesses are becoming successful in not only representing their company in an online space, but in moving forward in online engagement. Some professionals go beyond simply “spreading the word” about their employer by actively blogging, tweeting, and engaging audiences online to strengthen both their own and their institution’s brand.
Believe it or not, there are other important reasons why companies should invest in and encourage their employees’ personal branding efforts. Here are three key benefits that businesses should consider.
A simple phrase that sums up the idea of personal branding is this: “Whenever someone has contact with you, your personal brand is either strengthened or weakened.” If an employee takes that concept seriously, and has been encouraged by managers to improve his or her personal brand, the personal brand improves. By monitoring what is said and posted online, an otherwise toxic company can blossom into a healthier one simply because a positive online image is a key motivator for visitors. A good way to increase an organization’s positive reputation is to align it with someone who already has a positive reputation. The brands or an employee and their employer strengthen and lend credibility to one another.
Improved Employee Satisfaction and Retention
As an employee becomes clear on his or her personal brand, personal and professional values become clearer as well.1 In this clarity, the employee may ask if they’re happy where they are, if they like this job role, or if the company mission meshes with their personal values. The employee has to know “who they are and who they want to be” in order to perform in management and leadership roles, as well as their job, effectively.1 So what if there’s a fantastic employee who doesn’t like a specific job or boss? It would be better to know that information rather than lose the employee to the competition. Empowering employees to focus on personal branding can help foster open dialogue and communication with supervisors.1 Knowing the answers to these questions benefits companies because it improves the odds of having employees “truly happy to be there,” thus improving the odds that a business’ staff will consist of highly satisfied and talented employees.
Improved Reach and Visibility
When team members of a business focus on their personal brand, it allows the organization to reach more targeted audiences with increased credibility. Maintaining a personal brand alongside the institution allows employees to engage other audiences. Most businesses have a very diverse team. With this in mind, if every employee is using his or her personal brand through social media to promote jobs and the organization, the reach of the organization will skyrocket. Along with an increase in the number of people employees could reach using their personal profiles, imagine how much more trustworthy the information will seem coming from a known friend instead of a business. Word of mouth marketing is powerful, and positive messages to the inner circles in which professionals are personally involved allows the organization to reach a targeted group with more built-in credibility.
The concept of creating a “Personal Brand at Work” for employees has many clear benefits for businesses. Just remember, if a company encourages its team members to improve their personal brand, it can lead to improved reputation, improved employee satisfaction and retention, and improved reach and visibility.