Employee motivation and engagement tips addressed at CVSN

When talking branding, it’s easy to get caught up on your logo; your company’s colors; your tagline or even a value proposition you promote to your customers.

Those are definitely aspects of a brand, and tangible ones at that, but according to Gregg Lederman, your brand is more than just the image and words you use to present yourself.

In a presentation on brand integrity Tuesday at the CVSN Aftermarket Distribution Summit in Newport, R.I., Lederman says your brand also is defined by how your company functions. How it is perceived by your customers and your employees.

The integrity and reality of your brand is “a journey with a very clear destination,” Lederman says. “You know [your brand] has reached your destination when you are who you say you are.”

Lederman uses the brand spectrum to classify how close a business is to its brand integrity. He says the spectrum is fluid, but has three benchmarks in regards to brand integrity: you have it; you promote it; and you live it.

He says every business should aspire to fall at or close the third benchmark.

But doing so isn’t easy.

Living with brand integrity requires a commitment from your team. It requires engagement, and Lederman says that’s not always easy to get.

And most importantly, he says it is earned from the top down.

According to statistics Lederman cited Tuesday, only 35 percent of managers in today’s workforce are actively engaged in their business. More than half (51 percent) aren’t engaged and 14 percent are actively disengaged.

To attack that problem, Lederman says business leaders have to lead the way. He says displaying a willingness to adapt and improve, while also actively motivating and encouraging employees, is the best way to improve engagement in a business.

“Motivation is intrinsic,” he says. “It is the manager’s job to create an environment” that allows employees to be properly motivated.

And he says that isn’t done by throwing money around. Lederman says the three factors employees crave most for motivation are respect, relevance and relationship.

“Money is the most expensive way to motivate people; and the most expensive way to sustain it,” he says.

On Tuesday, Lederman advised CVSN attendees to create positive business habits and use strategic recognition to motivate employees. Lederman defines the latter concept as the idea of “thanking someone so others can learn from it.” By publicly applauding an employee for completing an action, particularly one that supports your brand’s integrity, you can motivate your employees and move your business closer to being ‘who you say you are.’

Lederman says studies show 78 percent of employees would work harder if they felt they were better recognized.

“The key to success is progress, not perfection,” he says.

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