Travel Bulletin - - TRAVEL MANAGEMENT - By Ju­dith O’neill

While most ex­ec­u­tives recog­nise the power of per­sonal brand­ing, many em­ploy­ees and man­agers do not. Sim­ply put, em­ployee brand­ing is the im­age pro­jected by em­ploy­ees through their be­hav­iours, at­ti­tudes and ac­tions. It is an in­di­rect brand­ing ef­fect in which the com­mu­ni­ca­tion of com­pany em­ploy­ees serves to char­ac­terise their com­pany’s em­ployer brand. The term also refers to the ef­fects that em­ploy­ees have on the im­age of their em­ployer and the com­pany brand by pub­licly voic­ing their opin­ion on their place of work. This im­age is im­pacted by em­ployee at­ti­tudes and en­gage­ment to­wards the em­ployer brand im­age pro­moted through the cul­ture of the or­gan­i­sa­tion. Im­por­tantly, em­ployee brand­ing can in­flu­ence the per­cep­tion of the em­ploy­ment ex­pe­ri­ence of­fered to cur­rent and fu­ture em­ploy­ees. I re­cently had a con­ver­sa­tion with the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of a large cor­po­rate travel agency who was taken aback with two in­ter­views with two male con­sul­tants. Both were quite clear that they would ne­go­ti­ate their new salary, and that what she was of­fer­ing was too low. They had good track records and were aware of their brand value. Con­fi­dence and cul­ture are the ma­jor de­ter­mi­nants of how far peo­ple will go with their per­sonal brand. How­ever, there are those who feel gen­uinely un­com­fort­able sin­gling them­selves out for spe­cial at­ten­tion. It can be an up­hill strug­gle to con­vince them that, in a global world, per­sonal vis­i­bil­ity is im­por­tant for their ca­reers. This par­tic­u­larly ap­plies to women who are of­ten re­luc­tant to push their brand value and ask for higher salaries. By avoid­ing ne­go­ti­a­tion, women sac­ri­fice more than money. They also sac­ri­fice vis­i­bil­ity, train­ing, and ca­reer growth. Re­search shows that men are much more likely than women to ne­go­ti­ate for pay and pro­mo­tions. There are also gen­der dis­par­i­ties in ne­go­ti­a­tion which can lead or­gan­i­sa­tions to un­der­utilise the skills of most tal­ented women. This all leads to low morale, high turnover and ad­di­tional costs. So why the change, and why is it more im­por­tant than ever to de­velop your own brand? I like John Borghetti’s ad­vice to grad­u­ates of the TIME pro­gram: “Be the best you can in what­ever job you do and you’ll take peo­ple with you.” Em­ploy­ees can gain a com­pet­i­tive edge by es­tab­lish­ing a per­sonal brand that al­lows them to dif­fer­en­ti­ate them­selves from the com­pe­ti­tion. Their au­di­ence may be their cur­rent em­ployer or the hir­ing man­agers of de­sired com­pa­nies, but the goal is to stand out through de­liv­ery and re­li­a­bil­ity, and in do­ing so, em­ploy­ees will land their dream job. There are a num­ber of fun­da­men­tal el­e­ments to per­sonal brand­ing:


be­hav­ior. – Val­ues, goals, iden­tity and


– Cog­ni­tive, busi­ness, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and tech­ni­cal skills that en­able em­ploy­ees to per­form their job re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

The Dif­fer­en­tia­tor

– Of­fer­ing a unique value propo­si­tion or ben­e­fit such as a rep­u­ta­tion for al­ways de­liv­er­ing the best re­sults; hon­esty, loy­alty, in­tegrity and re­li­a­bil­ity. Per­sonal brand­ing is an on­go­ing de­vel­op­ment that ex­ists through­out an en­tire life­cy­cle, and as em­ploy­ees’ ex­pe­ri­ence, com­pe­ten­cies, phys­i­cal and emo­tional at­tributes grow, so too will their brand. Again re­fer­ring to John Borghetti who was re­cently de­scribed by the Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald as hav­ing a “strong de­sire to suc­ceed in what­ever he does”, hav­ing a brand which com­bines a mix­ture of the el­e­ments out­lined above has a pos­i­tive ef­fect on peo­ple around you. The “John Borghetti” brand is per­sonal and ef­fec­tive. Es­tab­lish yours and be­come a pow­er­ful role model. Ju­dith O’neill is a man­age­ment con­sul­tant, busi­ness and ex­ec­u­tive coach, and has pro­vided busi­ness so­lu­tions to travel busi­nesses and com­pa­nies for the past 20 years.

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