A quarter of a century ago, Tom Peters helped bring the term “personal branding” into our vocabulary, long before the prevalence of social media, vast globalization, the infusion of Millennials and Gen Z into labor and the new WFA (work from anywhere). model. Some of the original tools of personal branding are now museum pieces, but the importance of discovering, expressing and extending your personal brand has never been more vital, not only for individual professional success. , but also for organizations looking to inspire, engage and retain their talent. Here’s how the world of personal branding is changing:
Today’s workforce demands transparency, authenticity, individuality and recognition
Millennials and Gen Z employees want to be recognized for their unique skills and talents. The personal brands of your company’s leaders and employees have a major impact on the organization’s ability to hire, engage and retain top talent. In fact, for millennials looking to join your company, your organization’s brand and the brand of its leaders are equally important (in terms of recruiting) for the job being offered. In the hiring process, leaders and other team members are searched on Google. In the war for the best talents, it is essential that the brand of the company and the brands of your employees stand out from the competition to attract the best.
Your employees are now part of the company brand
Personal branding is no longer just for senior executives or sales managers; it’s for all employees at all levels and in all functions. According to Nielsen, only 33% of shoppers trust the brand while 90% of customers trust product or service recommendations from people they know. Your employees can have a major impact on the success of the business, far beyond their official job description. The face of the brand, although managed by the CMO, is no longer centrally controlled. Each employee has a role to play in expressing and enhancing the company’s brand. This new approach, called applied personal branding, begins by helping employees discover and build their brands, then teaches them how to apply their personal brand to the company mission in an authentic way. Consider these statistics:
- Employees have on average 10 times more social connections than a brand.
- Branded posts reached 561% more when shared by employees compared to the same posts shared through official brand social channels.
- Branded messages are re-shared 24 times more frequently when distributed by employees compared to on-brand.
When employees can learn about their brand and understand their role in building the company’s brand, and more importantly, when they are empowered to do so, they can impact the success of the company well. beyond their assigned role. As a bonus, they stay engaged even outside of their function and division, and they are more aware of what is happening in the organization at a higher level.
WFA reinforces the need for personal branding
The new post-Covid hybrid working model, Work From Anywhere, means remote working will be an important part of the working environment. This presents new challenges to be visible and demonstrate its value to key stakeholders. Out of sight, out of mind means it’s now essential to take deliberate daily steps to stay ahead, wherever you are. Brand development should be high on your to-do list.
Digital branding precedes real branding
Even for companies with robust intranets, employees use Google and LinkedIn to learn more about their colleagues and leaders. Employees who work remotely cannot share their brand in the coffee shop or at the water cooler. Therefore, the digital version of remote employee brands must be authentic, compelling, and magnetic for teams to build trust and fully engage. We learned this lesson when social media first emerged. Branding has moved online. As identified by Mitch Joel in the book Ctrl Alt Del, people are learning about businesses and individuals online before they even engage in person (if they engage in person…it’s no longer essential). The implications of this Digital First phenomenon are vast for talent development initiatives.
Personal branding has evolved tremendously over the past quarter century, with the most significant changes occurring after the onset of the pandemic. It’s time to review your branding and personal branding action plan to make sure you’re relevant in this new environment.
William Arruda is keynote speaker, co-founder of CareerBlast.TV and creator of 360Reach personal brand survey that lets you get the real scoop on your professional reputation from those who know you.