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Would Your Employees Wear Your T-Shirt?

[caption id="attachment_4675" align="aligncenter" width="638"]Google Photo courtesy of Google.com[/caption]

 

Sharlyn Lauby, a prominent HR consultant and creator of HR Bartender, recently wrote a blog post about loving to still wear a t-shirt from a past employer. She went on to hypothesize that “there’s more to employees wearing logo apparel than [creating] a cool design. Employees need to actually be proud of the organization.”

Companies know employee retention and engagement matter: the 2014 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends report shows 78% of businesses rank engagement and retention as urgent or important to their success. Employee pride is a big component of engagement and retention, but it isn’t discussed as frequently as topics such as training or recognition.

Employees should be proud of the people they work with, the work they do, and the company’s mission… and companies should care if their employees don’t feel this way. Here are a few ways it could make a big difference:

 

Proud employees wear and share the brand.

When someone loves where they work, they are more likely to wear the hats, backpacks, or yes, even t-shirts their company gives them. Wherever they go wearing this apparel, they bring the brand with them, whether it’s to the grocery store or on their commute home. They become walking billboards, increasing brand visibility and reach.

Proud employees are also more likely to share the love online. They will share company updates, post photos with co-workers, and talk about how much they love the company… free advertising!

 

Proud employees bring in business.

When a prospect asks your employees what they do, their answer will vary based on their enthusiasm for their work and the company. An unhappy employee may describe the company and their role in a sentence, accompanied by a shrug and a sigh.

A proud employee will likely launch into what the company does, why it’s great, and why they love to work there. These employees will want to talk in detail about the company and why prospects should work with them. How they talk about your company will be different: they will likely be passionate and animated, showing with their body language and their words how much they care.

…which answer do you want prospects to hear?

 

Proud employees refer top talent.

Proud, happy employees talk incessantly about their work with family, friends, and their network. Everybody they meet knows where they work, and they know how much the employee loves it. These employees will try to actively recruit their talented friends to join the company because they’re committed and want only the best talent to join.

 

Proud employees stay.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national employee quit rate has steadily increased since the Recession: today the quit rate is 1.9%. Companies face a candidate-driven market, so they need to be conscious of what they’re doing to encourage employees to stay.

 

Are your employees wearing your company t-shirt? If not… it’s time to start paying attention.

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