“The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.”– Socrates
A reputation is something you build. Which means that all companies have choice about how they want to be seen, and that’s pretty empowering.
When your team sits down and talks about the kind of company you really want to “be,” what thoughts bounce around the room? What images and feelings do you hope to convey through your name and your brand? Trustworthiness, intelligence, innovation, leadership, friendliness, simplicity …the great part is that we get to choose.
But no one said it was going to be easy. Building a brand and a reputation takes a lot of time, commitment, and energy. We can develop the best products ever. We can focus on strategy and marketing communications. We can prioritize customer service and client feedback. We can dive into social media and SEO. But in the midst of this whirlwind, let’s not forget the heart of our organization – our employees. Because who they think we are, really does mean a lot.
How we treat our team members has a dramatic impact on the way the marketplace perceives us, and how we perceive ourselves. A recent paper published in the International Journal of Asian Social Science states, “Employees are the true endorsers and ambassadors of the company brand.”
As organizations, our top priority should be to help our team members feel like…well, part of the team. In order to gain their trust and support, we must foster a culture of engagement and empowerment. According to an examiner.com article: “There is a strong correlation between an engaged and empowered workplace and overall company performance. This type of company is a desirable and stable environment that attracts top talent and devoted customers and is able to withstand economic pressures and competitive demands.”
Employee Empowerment is a philosophy that means more than decent wages and paid vacation (those should be a given!). It runs deeper than benefits and compensation because it impacts how our employees feel about their work environment, and it provides internal motivation to get up every morning and start the workday with bright eyes and a positive outlook.
When we offer our team members the latitude to take ownership and risks, we are helping them to develop a sense of pride, a feeling of community, and a deeper commitment to our mission. Empowered employees are happier employees, which in turn leads to better customer service and happier clients. It’s a corporate culture that gives organizations a head start on the pathway to becoming who they want to “be.”
And what about profits? A research article entitled, “Corporate Responsibility and Corporate Reputation: Two Separate Concepts or Two Sides of the Same Coin?” has insight on the financial benefits of an engaged and empowered workforce:
“Reputation with employees is seen to have an impact on reputation with customers and communities…businesses that deliver value and service to customers and are honest and fair to employees should be perceived as being responsible. If we believe past research, these activities should also bring profit.”
At XLerant we believe that empowerment is one of the greatest gifts we can give to our employees – and one of the best ways to build a highly respected reputation and a loveable, profitable brand.
To find out more about the benefits of an engaged and empowered workforce, take a look at our eBook on Employee Engagement as a Business Strategy.
XLerant, Inc. helps organizations move towards a more employee-centric, empowered workplace with BudgetPak, a cloud-based budgeting solution. BudgetPak’s user-centered design and built-in intelligence pave the way for engagement and empowerment by giving employees the tools for flexible and reliable budgeting, forecasting, and reporting. This user-friendly solution does more than make the process easier – it provides a platform for communication of the organization’s annual objectives and ensures managers are building their budgets against those objectives.