There are a great many reasons why your business has seen organic growth and gone from strength to strength while all around you, competitors have risen and fallen with very little fanfare. Amongst the most potent, however, is the power of your brand. Many businesses, large and small, place a huge amount of importance on branding. They spend good money on working collaboratively with creative designers to ensure that their values and ideals are converted seamlessly into images, slogans and branding materials. They agonize over which exact shade of blue best describes their corporate ethos. And while all of this plays a part in the complex and multifaceted creature that is branding, we must not forget the importance of a staff in embodying and maintaining the brand’s values, those ideals upon which your brand is based. Sometimes the readiness and willingness to impart this can make the difference between empowering and impeding your employees.
Taking your hands off the wheel
As enterprises become more successful, entrepreneurs spend more time on the strategic management of their enterprises and less on micromanaging their employees. While this is to be expected, even encouraged they are still expected to provide an infrastructure through which they are able to maintain standards, even if this means they’re not spending a great deal of time on the ground with their employees. Here are some searching questions that you need to ask yourself to ensure that your employees reflect the values of your brand…
How regularly are they trained?
Training is one of the surest ways in which entrepreneurs can maintain their standards and impart the knowledge and guidelines that will ensure that your customers get an experience that reflects your business’ values each and every time. Read this article on strategies for knowledge transfer as this will encompass some of the essential elements on conveying the right knowledge to develop your staff; http://stevetrautman.com/knowledge-transfer/. Training is a potentially expensive and disruptive process which is why many employers only deal with it when absolutely necessary. But if they don’t invest adequately in their employees’ training and development, the consequences will be far reaching and dire.
Are they incentivized to deliver excellence?
Of course, your employees will all roll up on their first day brimming with positivity, enthusiasm and a can-do attitude. But over time, the day to day ardure of working life can erode this excitement and enthusiasm. Every time they encounter a difficult customer, feel out of their depth or don’t feel that they are adequately supported by their line manager, their luster fades. Aside from ensuring that they have the training and support they need, you must also ensure that your incentives structure works to encourage them to strive for excellence in each and every customer interaction.
If you took the day off, would you worry?
This is the acid test for any entrepreneur. We want to train our employees, both frontline and management, to the point where you can trust that they will know what to do in any given scenario. That they will feel able and empowered to deal with any given trial in the exact same way that you would, ensuring that your business and your brand are in safe hands.
If the thought of taking the day off fills you with dread, you need to work with them on that!