We all want brand advocates don't we? How often then, do you acknowledge if your colleagues are in love with your brand or your organisation? What clues are there that your people would walk through hot coals for what your company is trying to achieve?
If we all had a closer look at how emotionally invested our people are, we might be unpleasantly surprised by the results. There are swathes of figures attributed to employee engagement that we see repeated and quoted on the internet all of the time. So I won't bore you with those here. What interests me is the significant amount of conversations I have had with potential clients recently about doing something about it.
I'm increasingly seeing senior leadership teams in organisations becoming more accountable for their role in building engagement. I recall a recent conversation with a brand new client who simply asked me "What have we done to deserve this situation?"
Now let's just reassure you that I don't make a habit of talking about private client conversations in a public forum, but I have got permission to share this one because the client has been on such an incredible journey.
With some deeper investigation and through immersing ourselves in the clients' business, we found two main contributing factors:
The company values were not demonstrated by the leadership team - they had a strong set of corporate values that they expected employees to embrace however in many cases the behaviours exhibited by the senior leadership team were at odds against those values
Leaders were measured by employee survey results but not given any development or support to understand what could make a real difference. In reality, leaders felt insecure in their roles and felt a poor score would put their role at risk. As a consequence, they were passing that anxiety on to employees and they were displaying some quite contradictory behaviours.
We had an 'honesty and truth' session with the team to share our findings and you could see the level of discomfort in the room. At the end of the session, the MD turned to me and said "we deserve this, we've created this". That moment of realisation is all it takes to start the change.
Acceler8 will soon be starting work with this client to re-ignite the fire in the leadership team so that the values are demonstrated from the top down. We are doing some work to establish exactly what those values should be and we are involving as many of the colleagues as possible. We are providing an induction solution for new starters and will also design an experience to re-engage colleagues with the values and the mission. We are also working on the design of their annual conference that takes a 'roadshow' style around the UK.
The buzz around the clients office when we visit now is tremendous
The senior leaders are falling in love with their brand but most importantly they are re-igniting their own passion for their people.
This is going to be a gorgeous case study - I already know the results are going to be off the scale. It starts with senior leadership and you'll always get the culture you deserve.
What are you going to do to make sure you demonstrate and role model the values in your organisation and get your people head over heels in love with your brand?
Let's declare this the summer of love, it's a perfect time to start.
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