Are your employee’s appearance and image aligned to your corporate and association brand?
In this article, I want to talk about the importance of image management in achieving your vision and goals as a company or business. Truth is, regardless of the product or service you offer, your employees remain to be the most influential representation of your brand. If your employees look and behave in a certain way, especially in front of your customers, directly or indirectly it already communicates who you are as a company. Their appearance, behavior and communication definitely will affect your corporate branding, vision and goals.
Corporate branding is one of the most important characteristics of any business. Having a powerful and established brand gives you significant edge among your competitors. Your corporate branding is your assurance to your customers and tells them what they can expect from the products and services you provide. For your corporate branding to be effective, it must have these key components:
- Clarity of Purpose – This helps your customers to clearly identify and understand what your business is all about and who you are as a company.
- Consistency in Message – Establishing your corporate branding must be a consistent communication of your company vision and goals in all ways and platforms.
- Personal Connection – Building your corporate branding with an emotional connection or personal relationship with customers can win their loyalty.
- Visibility – It is important that your corporate branding is reflected in everything that your customers see—from logo, promotional materials, to the people who work for your business.
- Authenticity – Your corporate brand must be authentic and unique to your company values and principles because it is what will prove your authority and expertise in your niche industry.
When people come for a job interview, most employers would take image and appearance as “make or break” criteria in choosing their next hire. This is according to a survey done by National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). This observation can also be seen when customers interact with your employees. Customers or potential clients would assess if they can trust what your corporate branding say through the visual representation reflected by your employees. And if your employees themselves do not embrace your corporate branding and is not reflected in their appearance or image, it can be a disadvantage to your business.
This is the reason why it is imperative that companies invest in image management training for their employees’ development. All corporate branding strategy is futile if the actual people who work for you fall short in communicating what your brand truly stands for. Human Resources Management must take into consideration how their employees dress up, carry themselves or interact with others when they are within the office premises or outside representing the company, because they carry the brand of the company.
Not only does image and appearance affect your employees’ representation outside, but it also influences their success at work. How they wear their clothes and hair, their personal hygiene, their body language, their etiquette, are all important factors to make an employee effective in his job, and impact his relations with his co-workers and service to your customers.
Your employees must be properly trained in image management and must be familiar with the components of appearance for them to better carry themselves at work and successfully represent your corporate brand, and these are:
- Consistency and Congruency
- Capsule Coordination Core Wardrobe
- Dressing Principles to Balance Proportions and Style
- Wardrobe Organization
- Comfort and Fit
- Hairstyle, Makeup and Accessories
- Categories of Business Dress
- Complete Look/Grooming
When employees receive training like image management, they become more engaged at work and are more motivated to strive harder in their tasks. It boosts their self-esteem, and improves not only their work habits but it encompasses to their lives outside the office as well.
According to this Huffingtonpost article, “Engaged employees are concerned with producing quality work and believe that she or he has a stake in the organization. This sense of ownership is more valuable than stock options, and results in the best brand ambassadors any company could have. These employees may not be able to articulate marketing slogans, but they speak from their hearts about the company and its products and services.”
Also, in the survey done by Hewitt Associates with double-digit growth companies, they found out that these companies provide employee development opportunities which results in better employee performance and shows that employees are more connected to the business, the brand and its leadership.
When companies are invested in their employees’ personal and professional development, their employee engagement increases, which in turn provide significant growth to their companies. Most companies offer skills training for employee development, but what is commonly overlooked is the vital role of image management training that can enrich your employees’ overall image and your corporate brand as well.
For training and workshops on image management, seek the service of a certified image consultant. An image consultant will teach your employees how to coordinate an appearance that is excellent and appropriate for work—from creating a business wardrobe, coordinating an over-all look, to training how to be effective in communicating your corporate brand through verbal, body language and etiquette, among others. Read more on what working with an image consultant is all about.
If you want to know more on image management training and workshop for your employees, message Radiance Image Consultancy for more details.