Branding, as a term in the business world, has been utilized in regard to companies cultivating their brand awareness among consumers. However, we all have a personal brand and according to Judith Bitterli of AVG Technologies, “Ninety-two percent of youngsters under age 2 already have a digital footprint.” Having a digital footprint means that there are identifiable photos and a variety of other personal information already posted online. Business owners and managers need to take personal branding into consideration with regard to their own employees. This article will address several factors to consider in how to make your employees understand their face is their “business card”. You should implement these five factors into your company culture and foster the development of these behaviors.
1. Personal Grooming
The first step in this process is to ensure that your employees understand the value in reviewing their physical appearance. Of course, you won’t focus specifically on their appearance, but rather their professional grooming habits. If they are to be their own “business card”, they need to properly represent their company through good grooming habits. For example, your employees need to understand that they need to come to work each day with professional attire and grooming. It is important to instil in their mindset that dressing for the job they want not the job they have, will help to stabilize their professional branding.
2. Online Profiles
The second way to make your employees understand that their face is their “business card” is to show them how to review their online social media profiles. The first part of this process is to make sure that they have the most effective photo of themselves in all their online profiles. If your employees want to stabilize their professional branding, it is important to utilize a photo that shows them in a professional pose, with attention to grooming and attire. Many people remember faces, before ever recalling a name. If your employees are at a networking function or meeting with clients, most likely they will hand out their actual business cards and eventually connect with these individuals online. Their profile photos needs to be professional in nature so that people they meet in the business world can recognize them and connect their face with their name. Additionally, people who haven’t met them yet and only view their profile online, should be able to see a profile that is both professional and in line with your company branding. This branding is generally for professional networking sites like LinkedIn. However, if you’re trying to ensure that your employees face is their business card, it is important to encourage them to be professional in “posting behavior” on all of their social media profiles.
3. Customer Service
Your employees are often the “face” of your company. If you want to ensure that your employees understand that their face is their business card, then you must encourage them to be professional in all their customer service interactions. For example, when meeting with a client, they need to follow the first two steps about professional grooming and maintaining an effective online profile. When interacting with any clients, their behavior must always reflect positively back on the company name—thus ensuring continual effective branding of your business. Additionally, if your employees deal with customer service over the phone or online, they need to maintain that “face” of the business and interact in a professional manner. For example, they should speak in a calm tone and be knowledgeable in their specific job tasks so that each customer service situation can be properly handled.
4. Networking Interactions
Another way that employees need to comprehend that their face is their business card is when they are performing networking activities for the company. For example, if employees take a client out to lunch or meet at the golf course, every interaction should reflect a professional appearance, mannerisms and positive behavior. Throughout these interactions, company productivity and branding should always be at the forefront of their mindset so that every action and thought process reflects that business perspective.
5. Interoffice Relationships
Additionally, interoffice relationships are just as important as relationships cultivated with customers and clients. Any type of interoffice friction and negative behavior will cause distractions, decrease the productivity level and permeate the atmosphere of the workplace. You need to show your employees that their face is their business card even when interacting among the various departments in your company. Cultivate an attitude among your staff that enables team spirit and personal and professional development. Encourage your employees to maintain a professional appearance in the workplace and work on developing positive relationships with everyone in the company.
In order for management to continue to develop a positive company brand, they need to ensure that their employees truly understand that their face is their business card. All of their interactions—whether in or out of the office—matter and they should continually maintain a professional attitude.