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Casual 101

I asked, you answered and I LISTENED! How to nail casual is one of the TOP questions I get from clients and friends. Casual CAN be a tricky little bugger, but fret not my loves. The key to this entire process is to understand that YOU have a style, YES YOU! You must wear only what you love, and you have to be sure you're being authentic. Don't just get dressed to get it over with, or to match your pieces. This is your chance to show the world your personality, WITHOUT WORDS! Work it, earn it, own it girrrrrrl!

Cracking the Code to Creating a Powerful Brand

What does your brand say about you?  Do you even have a brand?  Yep, you sure do.  So, then does your brand communicate the message you want it to convey to clients, colleagues and friends?  If not, you may consider what needs to be changed. 

Below are the five most important factors in creating a successful brand for success, and empowerment.  What’s stopping you? 

 

1.    Communication

Rated as the number one skill by employers; organizations that learn effective communication are nearly five times as likely to retain the best employees.

 

Communication is the most desired skill by employers, even above hard skills such as computer programs and on-the-job knowledge. Many employees lack practical knowledge such as the necessary critical communicate skills when interacting with customers and colleagues. These soft skills are rarely learned from a textbook, and are lacking in today’s young workforce. Learning, assertive, professional, yet friendly communication will prove to be your secret weapon when dealing with challenging situations. 

 

2.    Attitude

Studies show that 46% of new-hires fail within the first 18 months, and of those new hires 89% fail for reasons associated with attitude.

Attitude can make or break the culture or environment of your company. Attitude even affects the client experience. Your success, and the success of the company depends tremendously on the attitude of its employees. A great attitude starts with confidence. Are you happy with your job/position? Can you envision a long-term career at your company to grow and progress? Are you being challenged and recognized for your hard work? If no, why? 

 

3.    Engagement

70% of employees are not engaged at work. This impacts the team, clients and the company. 

Are you glued to your cell phone? Think your client, coworker and boss doesn’t notice? They do. When you’re not engaged with your client and/or team members, it could result in the loss of a client, sale, or other important relationships. Place great value on engagement and body language when you are in meetings, which are critical to your success. 

 

4.    Authenticity

Mistrust comes from a disconnect between what you say and what you do. Nearly 9 out of 10 people will reward a brand for its authenticity. You are your brand. 

It’s important to not only actually be authentic, but to show that you’re authentic. How? Be Reliable, respectful and real. While you are challenged on a daily basis to push your limits, you may be tempted to “mold” yourself into what you believe you need to be. Incorporate your sense of humor, style, charisma, and personality into what you are doing. You will go much further when you are authentic, as you will draw people in when you are genuine. 

 

5.    (Physical) Appearance

People can’t see intelligence from across the room, but they can see confidence. Confidence is the most important quality you can embody to be successful.

When you walk into a room, no one can see your capabilities, skillset, sense of humor or all around charm, all they have to go off is appearance. Your appearance is very important in gaining respect of those around you. Whether we like it or not, we are judged by our appearance, so why not show your best self, and use that as an opportunity to show your personality. This is what rounds out your brand. You want people to notice what it is you represent, so dress the part. 

 

Bore & Snore or Exciting & Empowering: Top 10 Most Valuable Company Attributes for Employees

How your employees feel about your company culture is directly correlated with their own set of values.  Yes, you read that correctly, I said the word feel!  While we may not care much about feelings in the workplace, it might be time you start to understand that’s a critical piece of gaining employee loyalty. 

 

Employees want to be a part of something greater than themselves, which allows them to FEEL (there it is again) good about the contribution they are making in this world.  Think it doesn’t matter?  Think again.  Read below the Top 10 most valuable Company Attributes based on employee feedback.

1.     Appreciation and recognition for a job well done.  Tell them when they have done a good job. We all need a little pat on the back to keep our motivation high...consider making this a critical part of your culture.

2.     Respect: Inclusion and fairness.  People thrive in an environment that makes them feel like they matter, and it’s a safe place to be where they can thrive the most.

3.     Having a voice.  Employees (especially today) want to be heard.  Are you listening?

4.     Growth opportunities. If there isn’t room for them to grow they will go to your competition for growth opportunities. 

5.     Job flexibility. working from home, flex schedule, etc. More and more companies are offering flexibility for their employees.  If you aren't currently offering this, it may be a good time to consider it as an option.  Start small and work your way up to a comfortable level. 

6.     Clear goals and expectations.  Setting clear expectations from the onset will serve you and your employees very well.  Further, this sets the stage for them to do the same with clients.  Open communication with defined goals and expectations will ensure employees have a better opportunity to succeed. 

7.     Supportive and connected leadership. Cultures are built from the top down.  If senior leadership is not supportive or connected, your company culture will suffer.  Connecting with your team, no matter their role, builds a genuine relationship around trust, which leads to loyalty and camaraderie.  Underestimating this piece of the culture pie will kill your culture. 

8.     Responsibilities (aka trust).  Employees want to know you trust them.  Show them how, by empowering them.  Even if it means starting with small tasks/projects, and working your way up the trust ladder.  This helps both parties build a solid foundation, and opens the door for opportunities of improvement along the way.  See above (clear goals and expectations) as your guide. 

9.     Culture and Values. Culture, culture, culture.  Company values should flow naturally into the company culture.  If it doesn't, realign. 

10.  Compensation and Benefits.  Offering fair, and marketable benefits and compensation are part of your total compensation package, which should align with your company values, mission and competitive edge.  If you need help understanding where you need to be, hire a total compensation consultant, a benefits broker or someone who has the expertise to help you refine your strategy. 

 

After reading this information, what's important to YOUR employees? Is there anything out of alignment here?  You can play the business guessing game, or hire a coach.  It’s your choice, but taking action now, might just save you tons of dough in the long-run, don’t you think?