Your Brand Is About More Than Other People

We’ve already established that your agency has a brand. (Take your fingers out of your ears, it doesn’t help the situation.) Last time we talked about this, the thrust was about how others viewed your agency. How the community views the work that you do.

But honestly, branding is about way more than that. Branding is about your employees. It’s about having them understand why they’re doing what they do. It can help give them a reason besides a paycheck to take pride in their work. We all have employees that we know aren’t invested in our mission, but one has to ask: do they even know what the mission is? If they don’t buy in, is that really their fault? Or is it ours for focusing on their individual task and not linking them to the grander goal?

Each of the presenters in the session talked about this, employee satisfaction and buy-in, as a key element–a key goal–of the re-branding process. One of the presenters did an extensive employee survey and used what they learned there as a driving force for the campaign. One of the key findings was:

Staff identify with program not organization

Now think about your agency. Do you have staff that identify as members of a specific program? Or do they proudly state that they’re part of the Department? Each one of those persons isn’t doing damage, but if you’ve got a couple hundred people in your Department and they’re divided up into ten different programs, your power for advocating for change is greatly diminished. Besides which, how can you be part of something bigger if there are only a dozen people in your program?

I’m sure I don’t have to remind you that we live in a time of austerity, where every dollar is accounted for and balanced against some competing priority. Employees are your ambassadors, and if they’re only advocating for their small piece of the pie, is the rest of your Department suffering?

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Profile Photo Dannielle Blumenthal

I recall someone at Gallup Consulting once said that employees work for their supervisors, not the organization. Separately I once read that people identify with their “tribes” e.g. their small work group. How important to the branding process is it to reconcile the precise level of identification that employees have? Or can we stop at saying – people think locally, not globally.