Guest post written by Mary Scheibel, principal and founder of marketing communications firm Trefoil Group.
Last week, the Alliance hosted the 2012 Top 10 Businesses of the Year awards, with manufacturer DUECO, Inc. taking top honors. In competitive industries, with numerous prospering companies in the game, you have to wonder what makes these specific companies so successful.
The answer, according to DUECO president Judie Taylor’s acceptance speech, is a strong employee brand guided by “servant leadership.” A servant leader is someone who looks to the needs of others, employing important characteristics like listening, empathy, awareness, commitment and persuasion to help solve their problems and promote personal development.
By building servant leadership into their brand, DUECO created an environment that customers recognize and appreciate. Employees are happy to go above and beyond because they believe in their company and feel as though upper management and the company reciprocate.
Years ago, there may not have been such a thing as employer branding. People went to work, did their job, clocked out, and that was the end of it. Work isn’t so black and white, but rather there are many shades of grey. Employees serve as brand ambassadors – during the work day, and often, through many networks and areas of their personal life, too.
Why should you care?
A strong brand can help you stand out above your competitors. Happy employees develop better relationships with customers and coworkers; increasing productivity. An Employer Brand Institute Global Research Survey, found only 16% of participating companies had a clear strategy for their employer brand.
So, how do you do it?
Once you’ve united your employees through supportive leadership and a strong company brand, look for the results. The happier your employees are with where they work, the happier your customers will be.