Doug Battista, the Human Resources President of North America Field Operations for Jenny Craig, a Nestlé brand, has watched the push for businesses to find a “brand” with interest. In his many years of work in human resources, Doug Battista has found that image is everything for many employees. Just as businesses are urged to work on branding, he urges his staff to do the same.
Doug Battista emphasizes the importance of “personal branding.” It can be applied to every facet of a person’s life, but it is especially important in an office environment, where decisions about promotions and raises are often made based on an overall snapshot of a person.
What is a personal brand? Doug Battista explains it by illustrating what a business’s brand is to a consumer. When you think of Nestlé, you likely think of chocolate. Why? Because many of us have seen Nestlé’s chocolate products advertised over the years. Chocolate-lovers have an immediate positive response when the word Nestlé is mentioned, and this is because of this carefully crafted ‘brand.’
How does this relate to a personal brand? If you currently work in an office, you likely know how overall image impacts a person’s opportunity for advancement. As Doug Battista puts it, you likely have ideas about your co-workers. There’s the guy who sleeps at his desk, the guy who eats a smelly lunch, and the woman who wears flipflops with her suits in the summertime.
Doug Battista has noticed employees mark themselves early on in their time with a company. Being able to meet deadlines and be dependable will often make or break an employee, but those are basic work responsibilities. True branding relates to your unique talents, Doug Battista describes. The things you’re known for, like an ability to work under tight deadlines or your trustworthiness as a source of knowledge on a certain topic, will make all the difference when someone is thinking of promotions or layoffs, Doug Battista cautions.
Doug Battista advises employees to study the company’s mission statement and live it every day. Part of this, Doug Battista has found, is having a passion for what you do. If you don’t believe in your company, it will show and your employers will have an overall feeling of dissent when they think of you.
How do you know if your attempt at personal branding is working? Doug Battista recommends requesting feedback from co-workers and superiors. This is the best way to get an idea of your personal brand so you can make improvements as necessary, concludes Doug Battista.