Your staff can be strong ambassadors for your brand. But first they need to feel engaged and understand the brand. They also need to feel connected to the brand. As a business owner, how do you achieve this? What practical initiatives should you introduce to motivate staff to turn your brand aspirations into reality?

It would be a great lapse in judgement to expect your employees to report several hours a day, do routine work and deal with different kinds of people without eventually getting disinterested and lost. A demotivated employee will not be a strong ambassador for your brand. As their boss, it falls on you to motivate them so that they enjoy their work and working environment – this in turn will motivate them to turn your brand aspirations into a reality.

Do not try to improve employee engagement with the end goal of employee advocacy. There are plenty of good reasons that employers want their people to be engaged and all of them make good business sense, however, there are different ways to do it. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said it well: “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”

At one level people have an incredible capacity to do amazing work, but only if it's what they enjoy doing. At another level, there is a compounding effect as teams can spur themselves on to greater heights. People who love being in your business tend to stay longer. They get to know the ins and outs, how to get things done, who the experts are and who can be relied on. It's hard to overstate the value of that knowledge when things wobble.

Below are practical initiatives that you should introduce to motivate your employees to turn your brand aspirations into reality:

  1. Think about employee engagement as a win-win way to help build a great place to work and deliver extraordinary value for your
  2. Do not pretend – people have built in defence mechanisms to protect them from liars and cheats. If they think you're either, then you're in
  3. Be clear that you want your business to reflect the things you deeply believe in and not a list of bland values created by a working At some point, you will have to make painful decisions and if you're in charge, you'll make those decision based on the things you believe in and not the bland list. It’s always the hardest decisions that test the organisation’s values and all eyes will be on you. It's so much easier to do the right thing when your business values are based on your deeply held beliefs.
Lay out your stall clearly to your people, your potential recruits, your clients and your potential clients. Let everyone know that you're building a business based on the things you believe in. They won't be universally attractive, but that doesn't matter. There will be clients and people who will be drawn to your vision; they’ll see how it can become a part of their world and they'll be engaged. You won't have to ask them to be ambassador.

By Peter Brookes-Smith, Group Managing Director at bespoke software specialists, Objectivity