5 Reasons Brand Champions Are Your Employees

By Amanam Uko
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Hunger, thirst, security, friendship, respect and being all that you can be are just some of the things that motivate us to take action. Getting the best from employees has long been one of management's most important and challenging duties.

One of the most popular needs theories is Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow proposed that motivation is the result of a person's attempt at fulfilling five basic needs: physiological, safety, social, esteem and self-actualization. According to Maslow, these needs can create internal pressures that can influence a person's behaviour.

Lack of motivation in the workplace is a major problem for employers and managers which lead to decrease in productivity, passive behaviour and low morale. But how do you motivate the employees? The “classic” way – bonuses and salaries; is usually not enough. It has been established that putting hopes only on monetary incentives creates negative pressure and gives room for unnecessary competition.

You can only get what you give. What this means is that if you want to get the best from your employees, all you need do is to share with them the kind of impact your brand has – they have – on people and companies. I believe the following are unconventional few steps that shouldn't be waved aside in getting the best from employees. They are mostly difficult because you want to be that big boss. Read on...

1. It Begins Right From the First Day
Share with job candidates the impact they could have once they start working with you.

Success stories are a proven way to convince prospects to make a purchase. After all, they feature your customers describing how your product helped them. Same could be applied to your team right from the first day.

But many managers neglect to share those success stories with the people who made them possible, thus ignoring their No. 1 growth resource – their own employees.

Increasingly, people want to work for companies that make a difference, and the youngest generation is leading that revolution. Ensure that the ones you recruit have a fair knowledge of your success stories to share and they are willing to share in this era of social networking.

2. Say Thank You In Special Ways
Incorporate thank-you letters and/or emails as part of a culture. You could create a booklet of customer stories, and include before-and-after photos if appropriate. Or create a booklet of employees sharing what it’s like to work for a company that cares about the value it delivers, each one detailing how a customer is inspired.

Focus on detailing the benefits and results, and mention features (like comfortable working hours). If these and more are incorporated in your 'Thank You' message to let your people understand the impact of their support, they’re more likely to invest in their job and become your newest brand advocates.

3. Train and Re-train
Training presents a prime opportunity to expand the knowledge base of all employees, but many employers find the development opportunities expensive. Most employees have some weaknesses in their workplace skills. A training program allows you to strengthen those skills.

Even though they will miss out on work time while attending training sessions, which may delay the completion of projects, it provides both the company as a whole and the individual employees with benefits that make the cost and time a worthwhile investment.

You may seek for an opportunity to share real-life examples of how the brand dealt with different situations at different times to make sure everyone is on the same page and better equipped to succeed. Information is key.

4. Celebrate Your People Openly
While you have access to social media discussions, don’t underestimate the value of your employees when you tag or mention them while sharing your special moments.

Asking them for high points during their stay in the company shouldn't be overlooked so you incorporate them in posts. Go ahead and mention their names in speeches and use images of those high points on your website and also interview them for your videos.

5. Involve Everyone In Hosting Live Events
It's also interesting when you arrange an informal event for satisfied customers so everyone can meet and interact. Here, you can entice customers to come by offering them exclusive premium training or a consultation session with celebrity business influencer. And remember, this isn't an outing only for frontline people, but the entire staff.

At the event, make out time to announce a customer’s outstanding achievement or best implementation of your product or service made possible by your company. This is an opportunity to talk about employees who helped them achieve it.

In summary, these are invaluable gestures but goes beyond just being up-to-date with salary obligations. At the end of the day, every company’s success depends on its employees. If your employees are involved in your plans, they’ll want to be part of making all of it a reality. So work harder to make their ideas a success, and be eager to share those stories when necessary with the brand champions!

Business Arena is conceptualized by Amanam Uko of Austrat Consulting to help businesses look beyond the barriers that seem to overshadow growth.

The writer understands that the business arena is a turbulent one and thus strives to identify the key issues with the knowledge of key challenges a business grapple with at different stages of its life cycle and share with case studies how they can minimize those challenges. He can be reached on+234 803 855 0107 or @AmanamUko on Twitter for more discussions.