I was recently involved in research to answer the question, “What attracts Top Talent?” In conjunction with outside agencies, our research sought insight from more than 7,000 people, collected through various methods across the U.S.
The three core expectations that ALL Top Talent expect from a company are Culture, the Basics and the Brand.
Culture is the obvious one. The stronger and more vibrant your culture, the greater your chances of attracting Top Talent. Therefore, the best leaders understand and own their responsibility to Create Culture.
There is another category of conditions we’ve collectively labeled as the basics, and our role as leaders is to Deliver the Basics. These include fair compensation, a safe environment, an understanding by talent of what is expected of them, and other conditions.
After leaders embrace their role as the cultural architects for their organizations, and ensure the basics for every employee, they then must always Build the Brand.
When leaders Build the Brand, they position their organizations as places where not only customers want to do business but also where Top Talent want to work.
How do you build a brand? There are many ways. Let’s start with three:
Next, make sure everyone lives out the organizational values. Values are the beliefs that drive our behaviors. Leaders not only set the values, they must enforce them. Although values in action are another key lever for building an enduring great brand, values in theory alone can destroy a brand.
Finally, encourage everyone to hold others accountable when standards are violated. Leaders do have to enforce the values and model the way where excellence is concerned. However, leaders alone cannot build a great brand. Everyone’s daily behaviors are the brand – not just the hopes, dreams, and aspirations of leadership. Therefore, a culture of accountability, a place where everyone is a champion for the brand, is essential.
There are few things as powerful as a good name. Remind your people often to represent well the ideals and values of your brand and your reputation will grow in the eyes of your customers and your community. In an organization striving to become a Talent Magnet, everyone is responsible to Build the Brand.
About Mark Miller
Mark Miller is the best-selling author of seven books, an in-demand speaker and the Vice President of High-Performance Leadership at Chick-fil-A. His latest book, Talent Magnet: How to Attract and Keep the Best People, Mark unveils the three critical aspects of a true talent magnet, and explores the deeper meaning of each in a clever and entertaining business fable.