It’s sometimes tempting to think that you can buy your way to creating a great brand. But there’s a limit. Sure you can hire a branding agency like Resound to help you organize your values, personality traits, and brand story, and create a website and a logo and visual and verbal guidelines. But if you don’t really care about people, then there’s a limit to what we can do.
If you want friends be friendly. If you want people on the outside to love your brand, then love your employees.
But what if you wanted to start your “rebrand” before you even hire the agency? What if you began branding before any official brand work even began? What if you decided to be the brand you want everyone to think you are?
Humans were made for connection. And we exchange value by showing other people love. And not the Valentine’s Day kind of love. There are many different definitions of love, one of which being a selfless concern for others. This is the kind of love that, when you show it to people around you, doesn’t just anchor the brand you work for, but it also anchors your own soul.
What I’m not saying: I’m not saying they you need to lie to people or tell them things that aren’t true about themselves to make them feel good. Honesty and love are two sides of the same coin. Just like there’s selfish “love” — “I want something from you, therefore I love you” — there’s also a love that has priorities, is practical (doesn’t make promises it can’t keep and avoids hypocrisy) and does good for others, desiring everyone’s good whenever possible.
How to Serve Your Employees
Tell them you appreciate them.
- In the morning on Monday, list the employees who report to you.
- For each, think of 2-3 they did last week that you can appreciate. Don’t be afraid to lower your standards to find something. You don’t need to start with the big things.
- That day or the next day, tell them about that small thing they did that you appreciated and tell them the positive effect it has on everybody.
Bonus. Make sure to accept their compliments back to you, graciously, without deflecting. Let them feel that their compliments really make a difference to you. People need that reciprocity, and it builds trust.
Remember that when you’re doing these things, you’re telling this to them in a way that also lets them know that things are good. And when people think things are good, they’re more likely to receive criticism well and serve customers well. The chip on their shoulder gets smaller until it’s gone.
This works for the right employees.
Results of Treating Employees Well
Start doing this and within six months watch the difference. You’re going to find out that your employees have a better relationship with you. They bring problems up faster so that you can deal with them before they become a catastrophe.
Because you care about them so much, it’s impossible for them not to care about you.
But then watch your customers. After a certain amount of time, your customers are going to start sharing what a great and consistent experience they have with you.
It’s amazing how your treatment of other people spills out into the lives of others. You might even see marriages improving among your employees. You may see dads and moms becoming better parents because of what’s going on at your company. And I’m not saying that you won’t have to pay people as much, but let’s just say the value of working for you increases significantly. Word gets around.
If you care about people or want to care about them more, follow this workflow, or create one of your own. You’ll find that your relationships are better, problems arise sooner and your interactions with customers become more natural and easy.
And if you want more of the thinking that inspired this post, check out our new book coming out this fall. You can sign up for the email list and you can hear the studio session where we discuss the topics in the book. Find out more here.