Company Brand Matters to Gen Y Personal Brands

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A big warning to all employers out there. Do you want to retain your top Gen Y talent? Do you want to maintain a steady pipeline of talent for your corporate succession garden? Then listen up - I offer below a recommendation on just a couple of the items that will keep us fully focused.

You Must REALIZE: Corporate brand is just as important to a Gen Y employee as their own personal brand.

Yes I said it. And you know what, it’s only because we care. Who wants to represent a company that claims to be ultra-passionate about their product or service only to tank when it comes to their online brand or social presence? Yuck! Like it or not – this is the world we live in – we are defined by our dotcom real estate more than we are defined by tangible real estate. We  when we look for longevity, we look for a place to call home and a great brand to be an advocate for.

Think About It. Would you be embarrassed to represent a brand that constantly relies upon annoyance tactics to gain customers? Would you be embarrassed to represent a brand that fails to “get with the program” and provides very little opportunity or open mind to think about how their brand is perceived? I would. For example: I would be embarrassed to represent a high-tech brand that can’t even get it right on their online domain. It’s like representing a monkey at a board meeting. These things, albeit “commercial” do matter.

A Gen Y employee wants to feel vested in their roles. If Gen Y employees are to stay with an organization for very long they will look to have a grip on the following:

Work-Life Balance: Now I know this may be foreign to some of you employers out there. Most of you may even be rolling your eyes as you read this, but with the advent of technology and the efficiencies it provides for workers to connect outside “the way things have always been done” you must keep an open mind. You never know, what could manifest from it. Generation Y employees HATE wasting time and like to find ways to do things easier and even more ways to “scale” repetitive tasks. Be flexible in work schedules. Don’t expect your employee to come in early and leave late. If you hire them, trust them. In the end what matters is the bottom line right? It’s not about how it gets done, it’s about the quality of the work that results from the diversified efforts. We purge time micromanagement out the door it tried to come into. When casual “workaholicalism” takes place – what’s the point of a regular 9-5 box? We get it done, efficiently, faster all while taking pride in what we bring to the table.

Programs To Sink Teeth Into: Talk about getting more bang for your buck, we’re always looking for projects to work on. Chances are, a handful of the Gen Y talent you have in your organization are involved in more than one project and are happy to lend their generalized expertise to ideation processes and discussion topics that cultivate forward-thinking ideas. This helps them feel vested in the corporate brand and in turn creates loyalty and synergy between their own brand and yours. There are great rotational programs out there that you can easily scale down and customize to your company’s liking. Here’s one I would recommend modeling from.

Care About Your External Brand. Working for an organization that has bad online hygiene is like dating someone who doesn’t care for showers or brushing their teeth. In the world we live in these days, a website is much more effective than your typical dusty Rolodex.  Take a  look at your website, your Facebook posts, your Twitter feeds, (if you have one), does it target the proper audience? Does it provide a compelling dialogue for client engagement? Does it tell your company story? Does it represent a world-class organization? Or does it scream “rebrand me!” with every click? Gen Y employees care about who they advocate for and who they attach their personal brand to. If we endorse a product or like a post, it’s because it embodies what we want to represent with our own personal brand.  So, how clean are the bedrooms in your real estate?

In summary, if we are going to re-tweet or be expected to interact with our corporate brand on social networks, it should represent a brand that is worth re-tweeting to our own network. Nothing useless or embarrassing that will leave us wondering why we are even associated with each other. (This applies to Facebook, Linkedin and other social media outlets.) Think about it, it’s a lot like taking your parents to hang out with your friends – in one way or another, metaphorically of course.

3 Responses to “Company Brand Matters to Gen Y Personal Brands”
  1. RIta Mason says:

    Hi AJ,

    This is a pretty poignant post. I like how you break down just one aspect of what appeals to us and our brands. Sometimes companies just don’t understand that cognizance is important to how they are marketing to the Gen Y population.

    Thanks for the post it was very enjoyable.

    – Rita M.

  2. nate says:

    i definitely believe it is about the quality of work being done, but i also think that it also matter at least a little bit on how it gets done because if that person is lying, cheating, and/or stealing to get the job done quicker, i wouldn’t want someone like that representing my company. someone like that would be bad for you because when you’re not there, they are your face representing your company and all the things you believe in, and if they’re screwing people over, your clients will think that this is how the whole company does business which will ultimately leave you with nothing.

    i do agree with the rest of the post about giving ample room for our employees to work and create, thus creating this BRAND that you want to be. good post!

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