24/06/2011

By Alexia Leachman, Personal Branding Coach at Blossoming Brands

Some employers worry that if their staff are free to develop and build their personal brands, then they’re creating expensive talent that will want to leave and seek better things elsewhere. Well, this may in part be true, but only if as an employer, you’re not looking after and developing your staff.

Your staff are the lifeblood of your business. Many important external interactions with your business happen via your staff. When someone calls your company, the person that answers the phone is, for that crucial moment, the voice of the company. Your retail staff or sales team are not only the face of the company but are also in the position of determining whether people buy from your company or not. The people in your business provide the talent that differentiates you from your competition. Having staff who are engaged and happy can make all the difference at every level in business.

So how does personal branding work in a corporate environment? And do personal branding and corporate branding work well together?

Well, let’s just revisit what makes a great personal brand. Some of the ingredients of a strong personal brand are; knowing who you are and what you’re about, including what makes you great and what you’re aiming for. These last two are particularly relevant for business. Once a person knows their strengths and areas of expertise, they know how they can shine, and shining makes them happy. As a business if you can tap into their strengths and help them to work towards their personal goals, you’re creating the potential for a happy and engaged employee.

The weak link in helping your employees to discover who they are and hence build their brand, is that they find out that their values are not in line with the company values. This has the potential to arouse inner conflict in the employee and possible dissatisfaction. But this also creates the opportunity for an open conversation with the employee so that you can both work towards finding a way that works for both. This may ultimately lead to the employee leaving for something more appropriate for them. While this may not seem fair, it does mean that the employee will be happier elsewhere and the employer can avoid having a disgruntled employee affecting the company brand.

Encouraging and allowing staff to be free to be themselves means that they are more likely to be authentic, and this in turn helps them to foster trust in their working relationships. It’s hard to build trust when you’re being fake. Great working relationships are what underpin a good business. So if your staff have strong personal brands, it can only enhance the employer brand and therefore the success of the business.

Follow me on Twitter: @AlexiaL or visit my site: www.blossomingbrands.com

Watch the video below featuring Alexia Leachman of Blooming Brands discussing my building a strong personal brand is important.

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