Create a branded leadership culture


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Create a branded leadership culture

  2. 2. (12) HR FUTURE 11.2010 ALIGN THE CUSTOMER AND EMPLOYEE PROMISE THROUGH BRANDED LEADERSHIP. BRETT MINCHINGTON MBA AND DR DAVID KIPPEN PHD Most companies have a different strategy for each component of the brand portfolio. The marketing function is usually responsible for managing the corporate and consumer brand and human resources is usually responsible for the employer brand. There is significant value in all three functions working closely with executive and the senior leadership team to ensure the organisation capitalises and leverages the ‘sum of the capabilities of a branded leadership culture.’ DEFINING BRANDED LEADERSHIP So, what does it take to engender branded leadership? It begins with re-defining what it means to lead - and sharing that definition throughout the organisation. It’s not enough to say, “We’re empowering employees at all levels to make choices.” The workforce must understand that every choice has consequences, and by thinking through the consequences of the choices they’re making and bringing others along, they’re exercising a form of leadership. The essence of brand leadership can best be defined as “to lead is to decide.” One of the ‘stand outs’ for companies that recognise the importance of branded leadership and its link to employee engagement and customer value and ultimately business success is the hotel giant Ritz-Carlton. In a report from The Forum for People Performance Management and Measurement, Sue Stephenson, the hotel’s senior vice president of human resources, points out that even employees who have no contact with guests affect the company’s financial success. “The employee washing dishes or cleaning silver never interacts with the customers in the restaurant, but they understand their role, which is that the cleanest dishes and shiniest silver will help create a great culinary experience in the restaurant.” “Ritz-Carlton constantly reinforces to employees how they contribute to satisfying customers, and thus generating profits. Hotel management frequently holds beginning-of-shift ‘pep rallies’ at which exceptional customer service stories are shared. In addition, every employee has the green light to expend up to $2,000 to “delight a guest” who has had a customer-service issue. Strong compensation and rewards are also a large part of the Ritz-Carlton mix,” Ms Stephenson says. IMPLEMENTING A BRANDED LEADERSHIP PROGRAMME Whilst every organisation is different, every implementation plan should touch on at least the following steps: 1. Agree on brand differentiators as fundamental decision tools: < Work with your heads of operations to understand “why we do things this way around here” then work with your Chief Marketing Officer to understand why the marketplace rewards your current brand differentiators; and < If there’s any daylight at all between these perspectives, facilitate discussions about how to close the gap. INTERNATIONAL WATERS EMPLOYER BRANDING m 2. Assess the current decision- making process: < What criteria does your organisation use to define leadership? < What do you need to do to move your leadership to a more universal, inclusive definition? < Which leaders need to put their support behind this changed definition? < Work with the leadership team to align the answers to these questions with the brand-driven differentiators. 3. Define leadership simply: < Distil the product of these discussions down to a few, simple principles. Your goal should be simple enough to fit on a cocktail napkin, and memorable enough to recite after hearing it once; and < Validate with leaders. Gather their commitment to participate in a cascade-based process to explain them. 4. Managing the change process: < Transforming an organisational culture from one that is fixated on decision making authority residing only in the top ranks into a branded leadership culture involves change which needs to be managed carefully in an open and transparent environment; < Clearly define the reason and communicate the vision for change throughout the organisation; and < Communications should begin with a clearly defined vision, objectives and the benefits of a branded leadership culture. 5. Use internal communication tools: < With increasingly dispersed global workforces and the pace of change there’s is a need for internal Create a branded leadership culture Brett Minchington ( is the Chairman/CEO of Employer Brand International, a global authority, strategist and corporate advisor on employer branding. He is the author of Employer Brand Leadership – A Global Perspective.
  3. 3. HR FUTURE 11.2010 (13) communication tools to replace the traditional face-face meetings to ensure decision making does not become clog in the executive suite and employees are empowered to make decisions which support the customer promise; and < IBM use an internal social networking platform called ‘Beehive’ and found one of the main uses of the network is not for social chat on company time, but for connecting and collaborating with colleagues across different time zones which collectively results in a culture where the collective wisdom of the workforce drives innovation and decision making across all levels of the organisation. 6. Align rewards and recognition: < Traditionally companies reward leaders based on transactional measures such as sales, staffing costs and whether budgets have been achieved or exceed - so this is where leaders focus their efforts at the expense of employee engagement; < Recognising and rewarding leaders who measure high on engaging employees and tracking this to financial outcomes is a win-win for all - the company, the leader and the employee; and < Leaders tend to focus their efforts on where they know they are being measured so they often pass off employee engagement as merely “the soft stuff!” This is your and their opportunity to help the workforce join the mission of the brand. 7. Connected thinking: < Encourage collaboration between business units responsible for the corporate, consumer and employer brand strategies. Use ‘connected thinking’ to enhance understanding of the role and importance of aligning the customer promise with leadership values, behaviours and actions; and < Marketing wants to target consumers, and human resources really does the same thing - target potential employees. Communications is the function that ties it all together. Collaboration that leverages synergies will result in a brand leadership culture where the customer promise is aligned with the employee promise. Successful implementation requires strong commitment and visible sponsorship from senior leaders. But surprisingly, it’s not the uphill push you might expect. In our experience, people at most organisations show up wanting to do the right thing. They want to contribute to their organisation’s success, and the more closely they’re able to align their behaviours to brand drivers, the more engaged they become. As engagement and empowerment are so closely linked, the empowering message at the heart of decision-based, branded leadership tends to be warmly embraced at every level. (HRf) Dr David Kippen PhD is President and CEO of Evviva Brands ( and a globally-recognised leader in brand strategy.
  4. 4. Certificate in Employer Brand Leadership About Employer Brand International EBI provides research, advisory and thought leadership in employer branding through strategic consulting, conferences/training, publications, research and global think-tanks. EBI’s expert services are provided through an international network of expert employer brand Senior Associates. EBI’s Global Advisory Board consists of leading corporate professionals and academics from around the world. Why choose to study the Certificate in Employer Brand Leadership? • Study for an in demand leadership skill • Case study approach to support theoretical frameworks • Real world application • Flexible study options • Supportive learning environment • Access to the world’s most extensive employer branding learning resources • Alumni support 1. Since 2007 EBI has trained thousands of managers in employer branding in more than 50 cities in 28 countries. 2. Access to an employer branding global community of 3500+ members. 3. Course is supported by world class learning resources including books, handbooks and global research reports. 4. The first course of its kind offered in partnership with educational institutions, business and the community. 5. Accredited by EBI 5 QUICK FACTS Enrol Today!
  5. 5. WELCOME FROM THE CHAIRMAN/CEO Welcome to the Certificate in Employer Brand Leadership Course – a contemporary leadership program for managers around the world. Since 2007, Employer Brand International has conducted training for thousands of managers in employer branding in more than 50 cities in 28 countries including Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, UAE, UK, and the USA. Employees are fast becoming central to the process of brand building and their behavior can either reinforce a brand’s advertised values or, if inconsistent with these values, undermine the credibility of your messages. Employer branding is a whole of business concept concerned with the attraction, engagement and retention initiatives targeted at enhancing your company’s employer brand. The contest amongst employers to attract and retain talented workers takes place in a world where changes in the political, economic, social and technological environments and concerns about a company’s environmental footprint is driving widespread change in employment patterns. Today, competition for the best employees is as fierce as competition for customers and market share. The course brings together a talented team of academics, strategists and corporate leaders to create an inspiring learning experience in the growing field of employer branding. Our emphasis is on assisting you to develop leadership, communication, problem solving and team building skills, which will enable you to better understand and deal with the complex issues of management in a changing business environment. In selecting students we look for high quality people with the potential to not only benefit but also contribute to the learning experience. Whilst practical in orientation, your learning experience will include networking with like minded professionals around the world to support a solid theoretical grounding in employer brand leadership. Organizations that can attract and retain the best minds by leveraging a unique, relevant and distinctive employer brand will have a competitive edge in the marketplace. We look forward to welcoming you and wish you the very best with your studies. Brett Minchington Chairman/CEO Employer Brand International PROGRAM STRUCTURE CORE MODULE A THE BUSINESS CASE FOR EMPLOYER BRANDING Study Unit 1: The Fundamentals Of Employer Branding (EBLFU) CORE MODULE B BEST PRACTICE IN EMPLOYER BRANDING Study Unit 2: Employer Brand Leadership Principles & Practices (EBLPP) Study Unit 3: Employer Brand Strategic Management (EBLSM) Study Unit 4: Employer Branding Mapping & Competitor Analysis (EBLCA) Study Unit 5: Employer Brand Analytics & Reporting (EBLAR) Study Unit 6: Contemporary Practices in Employer Branding & Social Media (EBLSM) Study Unit 7: Employee and Customer Experience (EBLCE) CORE MODULE C THE FUTURE FOR EMPLOYER BRANDING Study Unit 8: Employer Branding Social Responsibility (EBLSR) Study Unit 9: Future Trends in Employer Branding (EBLTD) Study Unit 10: Employer Branding Case Study Analysis (EBLCS) HOW TO APPLY Apply online at or to enquire please email Andrea at: Please direct all course enquiries to: Ms Andrea Fielding P +61 8 8443 4115 F +61 8 8443 4149 ALUMNI SUPPORT The EBI Employer Branding Global Community is an important part of the life and community of the School, as it forms an integral part of the School’s business relationships. The network is diverse, including students and graduates who work and live locally, interstate and overseas. With more than 3500 members, the EBGC supports members in various ways: •Fostering global networking opportunities •Informing the business community of latest trends in employer branding