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How Branding and Employee Engagement Relate

Company branding and engagement are connected, so writing an employee value proposition (which basically says who you are and why people should work for you) is an important step towards engaging your workforce. Your company should communicate your brand internally and externally.

So, what does branding have to do with employee engagement? Well, a few things:

  • Identifying and communicating your brand is vital to ensuring that you hire the types of people who can succeed and be engaged at your firm.

  • Generation Y, soon to be the largest segment of the workforce (if it isn't already), is all about branding. That attitude informs what they wear, where they shop, what device they play, and what company, or brand, they work for. Understanding and crystallizing your brand will position you to find, retain, and engage this key workforce group.

  • Building and branding a culture that is unique to your firm will enable you to leverage social media to engage customers, employees, future employees, and other key stakeholders with your brand.

    In the past, companies sought out good employees. These days, thanks to the emergence of social media, the tables have turned. If you want your firm to win the “war for talent,” you’ll need to make sure employees (and customers) are able to seek you out.

Although every company is unique in some way, most companies fail to identify their unique characteristics. Part of developing your EVP is pinpointing what makes your firm unique. One way to do this is to poll employees via surveys, exit interviews, and stay interviews.

As you uncover what makes your firm unique, try to link your EVP to your firm’s vision and purpose. If your EVP appears to be disconnected from your vision and purpose, you have a problem. Either you haven’t captured the right characteristics or, well, you have the wrong vision and purpose.

Figuring out the connection between your EVP and your firm's vision and purpose is important to establishing a line of sight to connect and engage your employees to your brand.

Sometimes, merely identifying your uniqueness is not enough. Successful firms proactively create uniqueness. In the early days of Southwest Airlines, founder Herb Kelleher created an EVP that was fun, and built his hiring and branding efforts around it. Even today, you will continue to see remnants of Herb’s EVP on Southwest Airlines promotional materials, including the following passage:

Fun-LUVing Attitude: Don’t take yourself too seriously, maintain perspective (balance), celebrate successes, enjoy your work, and be a passionate team player.
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