A successful launch sets the stage for your company’s future, kickstarting momentum both internally and externally and pumping positive energy through your organization’s veins.
Often, the excitement can last for a quite a while — but what happens when the initial fire burns out?
Start-ups everywhere face this challenge. A powerful, uplifting start bodes well for the initial push out of the gate, but make no mistake, the next steps require some real intuition and hard work. The entire team must come together to form an even stronger bond, which radiates from within the company to bolster support outside of it — and that usually starts with what many call “brand champions.”
New businesses must implement a strategy to turn employees into brand champions — that is, people who not only work for but believe whole-heartedly in the mission and success of the organization. These employees often help spur word-of-mouth marketing and recruit others to try out and trust your company.
Potential brand champions usually catch your attention during the recruitment process, but even after you have brought them in, turning your top employees into true brand champions requires some insight. Here are some tips.
• First, examine your recruiting efforts. When recruiting candidates, consider only top talent and advise hiring managers to screen for individuals who share the same values and goals as the company, ensuring they have motivation and dedication from within. This helps to drive companies forward from the very start, as employees that align with the company’s vision remain on board with the overall direction of the business.
• After these quality candidates become part of the team, make it a point to connect with them regularly. Employee engagement remains a hot topic, and it’s not just a trend: Companies must take an interest in employees and engage with them to enhance dedication and motivation. These team members provide the company with its greatest asset and can provide valuable insight from a different perspective to help improve a brand’s reputation.
• Don’t allow this effort to become one-side — give your employees a voice. Consumers rely more heavily on word-of-mouth feedback from others when looking to buy a product or use a service. Make it easy for employees to spread the word about the company by giving them the necessary tools and the triggers.
To that aim, consider implementing employee-friendly social media policies while developing and providing training and guidelines to encourage employees to participate and extend their networks. Employees can also help with the recruiting process and share job openings with their connections, as these members of the team likely feel familiar with what the company looks for in new hires and can offer an on-the-job perspective.
• Consider offering your employees remote work options as a perk or benefit of working for the company. Though this may not suit every organization, offering telecommuting to employees proves the company trusts them and values their self-starter skills and motivational personality traits. Plus, in hiring only the best candidates, the risks of remote working dimimsh (especially if you screen for qualities that make telecommuting a valid option, such as drive and the ability to work independently).
Once brand champions establish themselves within a company, benefits abound. Companies earn the dedication of loyal employees who truly believe in the organization’s mission, and employees enjoy an atmosphere of teamwork and feel valued. These perks also help your maintain a healthy level of optimism and enthusiasm following a successful company launch, moving your organization one step ahead in its path to success.
Taso Du Val is founder and cheif executive of Toptal, an organization based in Palo Alto, California that connects companies with software engineers and developers from around the world. Previously, he was a member of the founding team at Art.sy and an engineer at Slide and Fotolog.