There are many misconceptions about what a personal brand is, but regardless of definition it’s clear we all have one.
This is important as an individual, and as an employee. Each of us adds colour to the corporate palette.
Yet whenever there is duality of purpose, there can also be conflicting interest. This is why your brand needs a mentor. Managing a brand without one is like drawing in the dark – you never know what it will end up looking like.
As a brand mentor, I want to take time to explore this dynamic between personal and organisational brand. It’s important to look at why personal branding matters to business, and what’s in it for the individual. By uncovering the motivations, I hope to articulate a model for fruitful, collaborative brand development. Firstly, what’s in it for the business?
Why organisations must care about individual brands
- Shockingly, Forbes says around 70 per cent of employees don’t feel appreciated at work. Australia seems to fare slightly better, but there is still ample room for improvement. It’s a psychological fact that ‘feeling valued’ is a key indicator of job performance. When people feel valued they’re more likely to be engaged, so it stands to reason that a business which values employees’ personal brands will boost morale and increase productivity. And in no small measure. Gallup estimates the productivity boost can be as high as 21 per cent.
- Leaders should remember that the behavior they recognise will be repeated. Gallup notes only 19 per cent of employees in leadership positions are engaged in their jobs. This incredibly low figure is a particularly troubling sign given the influence these people have within organisations. In Australia alone these levels of disengagement are said to cost about $55 billion each year.
- One way to improve engagement is to let employees at all levels have skin in the game. They may not all have share options, but they should have individual skills, experiences and contributions acknowledged. When organisations let individuals have time in the sun to build their personal brands alongside the corporate one, the employer benefits greatly. This is why the first thing you should do after contracting a brand mentor is to roll out a personal brand mentoring program across the entire organisation.
– My name is Aaron Crowther. Follow me on Twitter @ascommstweeter