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ORGANIZATIONAL BRAND AUDIT

Here is a way of translating the brand into day-to-day actions by identifying answers to the following:

  1. Organizational objectives:

    • How are objectives developed and transmitted to employees?

    • How are the objectives measured?

    • What business planning processes are used?

  2. Recruitment:

    • What messages are conveyed to potential employees?

    • What do our recruitment advertisements say about the organization?

    • How are unsuccessful applicants handled?

  3. Induction:

    • What process is used to induct employees?

    • How is the company image conveyed? Is it easy to understand and assimilate?

    • How is ongoing induction managed? Is there the opportunity to test understanding of corporate values?

  4. Performance review:

    • Are job roles clearly defined?

    • Have competencies been defined for the various roles?

    • Are line managers trained to assess?

  5. Employee development:

    • Is there a clear employee development programme?

    • Does the training function liaise with personnel/marketing?

    • Is the achievement of competency rewarded in pay or benefits?

    • Are managers trained to coach and facilitate so that they can cascade new skills through to their team?

    • Do employees understand that they are responsible for the delivery of the brand promises?

  6. Communications:

    • Do all communications reinforce the organization brand - both internal and external?

    • Are employees kept informed - clear memos, newsletters and personal letters?

    • What messages are being conveyed to our customers and stakeholders?

  7. Advertising/PR:

    • Is the best use being made of marketing budgets?

    • Is there a systematic review of last year's advertising?

    • Are the results measured?

    • Do our employees deliver the promises that we make to our customers?

  8. Marketing:

    • Is the marketing strategy regularly reviewed and measured against outcomes?

    • Who is responsible for briefing marketing on the HR/training/ personnel issues and vice versa?

  9. Premises:

    • Does the building reflect the brand?

    • How are visitors greeted and received?

    • When customers/suppliers arrive are the organization's values clearly presented?

  10. Quality monitoring:

    • What systems are in place to monitor and evaluate the success of the business?

    • If standards are set, how are they measured?

    • Is responsibility for quality delegated?

    • Does each employee feel ownership for quality measures?

Having identified answers to these questions you should be able to put together an action plan, which you can share and discuss with the rest of your colleagues in your organization. This is also something that could be used as part of a climate audit, and the results could form part of the agenda at a workshop for your senior executives.

When asked to describe the brand of the organization, there should be a common belief based on shared vision, goals, aspirations, behaviour and practice.

Everyone who is touched by your organization brand should share these common perceptions. Importantly this is not just an internal process. In the broader context of employer branding it means the way organizations position themselves externally as well as internally. This will have a particular relevance in the way organizations promote themselves in the recruitment market place or in supplier contracts.

The most fundamental part of the process is built on behaviours, based on self-esteem, confidence and pride in the organization. People must take responsibility for meeting challenges and providing innovative and creative solutions to problems. They will then rise above the mundane and gain tremendous personal and team satisfaction from providing excellent customer service.

These concepts are not fundamentally new. What is different is gaining senior-level commitment and linking all the stages together in a holistic way. By bringing all the initiatives together under an organization's 'brand concept', not only is there more coherence but there's a constant benchmark. All employees should ask the question, 'Does this action, this behaviour, this response really reflect the brand?', and in doing so they create an organizational conscience so powerful that organizational success has to follow.

A strong brand image is as relevant to an organization as it is to a product or service. The people offer behind the product has to be consistent with the brand and the commitment has to be reflected from the top of the organization to the newest recruit.

Importantly if you and your organization really want to be seen as a great organization, you need to create your own template of excellence and rigorously apply it, not just once in a while but every minute of every hour in every day.

The businesses that will succeed in the 21st century will recognize that there is a need to do things differently. Value-based leadership, emotional intelligence (EI) and intuition are no longer seen as being outside of the corporate agenda, but are to be understood as an important part of individual and organizational development.


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