Being on Brand

By: Lisa Marie Koebcke

This weekend I was working with my step-daughter on applying for her first job. I got a rush of nostalgia as we were talking about her options. She’s only 14, so her choices are slim. If you have kids this age, you know as well as I do that they are itching to spread their wings and fly. She thought it was going to be a quick task…fill out the application and move on. Maybe for any other kid on the planet, but not mine. As someone who takes personal branding seriously, we had some work to do to make her stand out. After several hours, we covered everything from shaking a hand to finalizing her polished resume and cover letter.

The whole process got me thinking, if you’re a business owner, in sales, or represent your company in public in any fashion you are constantly in the mode of selling yourself and putting your best foot forward. Mundane things like writing a thoughtful email or sending a thank you note kind of start to become second nature, right? Then we get these employees who just don’t seem to get it and it makes you wonder…What am I doing wrong? What is wrong with people today? Am I crazy?!

The answers: Probably nothing, too long to list, and most likely a little.

So, what’s the point? The point is you need to be up front and honest with your staff when they just don’t get it…It’s not you. In fact, it probably is them – but it is your job to lead. Here are some things you can do to make sure everyone is on brand.

1. Add the Basics to your Policy and Procedures Handbook: When we first started growing at Pulse Group, it became obvious that little things fell through the cracks. For example, not everyone understood the value of an ironed outfit. Guess what, non-wrinkled clothes is now officially a Pulse Policy. Don’t take for granted that everyone understands basic fashion etiquette. Sometimes it literally needs to be spelled it.

2. Have a Blunt Conversation: I can’t tell you how many times I have had to sit down and reset an expectation because my staff got too comfortable. We’re all human, and sometimes lines get blurred, but the trick is resetting the standard as soon as you notice it’s in jeopardy.

3. Hire A-Players: Sometimes it is easy to want to cut corners because it seems like the easy or cheap option, but remember, one bad hire usually costs more than one year of an actual salary. You want to do it right from Day 1 and vet your people properly. Hint: I never hire someone who is unemployed. A-Players are always at work.

The little things add up and your clients will notice if your team doesn’t align with the look and feel you’re trying to put out there!

Thanks for reading!