Guest post from Gregg Lederman:
Are you a trusted leader at work? You may be a bit caught off guard by this question, since it’s not something most managers and leaders are often asked, nor is it something managers and leaders frequently ask themselves.
Take a moment to reflect on this question. Do the people you work with trust you as a leader? If you are like most of the managers and leaders I’ve asked, you are probably unsure. This alone can pose problems in fostering an engaged workforce, because an engaged workforce depends on employees trusting their leaders.
The benefits of engaging your workforce are simple, straightforward and difficult to refute. An engaged workforce is more empowered and motivated to deliver a branded experience—an experience your company becomes known for because you are living the brand, delivering your company core values and promises. When a company does this, it leads to more loyal customers who buy more of your products or services and do so more often.
Achieving engagement among employees depends on your ability to earn their trust. Employees need to have confidence in you as a leader who will live the brand—live the values—and not simply try to hold others accountable for living it. Want to be a trusted leader? Think about this: How many times a day do you have the opportunity to remind others by initiating a conversation about the branded experience? Making it part of the conversation is a leadership skill to be learned, practiced and mastered over time. Mastering this skill is one aspect of managing the experience that enables leaders to remind the workforce every day about what is important and how each employee makes it happen.
Here are three ways for you to become great at reminding others to live the brand by behaving in ways that are consistent with your company’s core values and that lead to a desired branded experience.
1. Capture and share living-the-brand moments. Add 60 seconds to regularly scheduled team and employee meetings to share the success of someone who has demonstrated your company’s branded experience in a way that led to a positive outcome. A simple callout and round of applause can go a long way.
2. Conduct a 10-minute living-the-brand assessment every six months. Have employees complete a quick and easy semiannual assessment on how consistently others in their work area are living the brand. This touchpoint with employees is a terrific reminder. Two assessments a year will provide four reminders as long as you are thoughtful and strategic in sharing the results with the workforce.
3. Share the customer reality. Would you agree that your company would be better off if each manager spoke to one or two customers every week about the experience they have with your company? Of course you would. Then put the discipline into action and have managers reach out to customers and engage in a conversation about their experience, then share what is learned from those valuable discussions with employees. Share both the good and the bad.Managing a branded experience builds trust. If you use these three ways to remind employees, you will be positioned to earn more trust by sharing your conviction for living the brand. In addition, sparking conversations with others will create an environment of open dialogue where expectations are clearer and personal responsibility rises—an environment with more engaged employees who help create more loyal customers.
About the author:Gregg Lederman is an author, speaker, and CEO. Gregg has made it his personal mission to help companies engage their workforce to deliver a branded experience that engages customers and drives sales and profits. His work, along with the work of the team at his company, Brand Integrity, has helped many of today’s leading companies (such as Wegmans Food Markets, Chobani, AAA, Erickson Living, and Excellus) to create work environments where employees can become more motivated and committed to delivering the experience that makes them different—that makes them better than the competition. More than 60 percent of Brand Integrity’s clients are recognized as “best places to work.” http://www.gregglederman.com/.