Who Makes A Company “Human”?

by Jay Deragon on 08/15/2012

All companies have humans working for them and buying from them but not all companies think or speak in human terms.

With the onset of social media the need for organizations to better relate to buyers in human terms has become the “epiphany of the moment”.  At the University of Missouri researchers have found that utilizing a personal human voice when communicating online leads to much higher user satisfaction ratings than impersonal communication.

“Perceptions of relationships with an organization seem to be significantly more favorable when the organization’s social networking page has a human presence rather than an organizational presence. Levels of trust, commitment, and satisfaction from users all appear to be positively affected by the use of the human voice in social media.”

How Do You Teach The Company To Be Human?

For decades humans have been told and taught to be a company. It seems as though when humans go to work for a company they forget what it was like to be human. Caught up in chasing arbitrary financial goals, playing internal politics, using media to create false impressions, learning to speak not as a human but using corporate speak, the human network has become dehumanized.  Now it seems the tide is reversing and corporations are now moving in reverse, learning to speak as a human.

What corporation are now learning is that people already know how to be human, it is the leader and managers who need to shed the corporate cover.  People will follow the leader if the leader is human.

As CEO, Are You Putting Your Best Face Forward? – Forbes article states: People want an emotional connection to the brands they are invested in, so it’s important for those brands to have a face — and that’s where CEO branding comes in.

CEO branding is the process of aligning your face with your corporate brand.  It requires integrating the CEO’s brand DNA into how the company is viewed publicly. In a competitive marketplace, it is a differentiating factor. Though it happens naturally, CEOs need to be forward-looking in strategizing their brand — or reactive in managing it.

Consider these survey results compiled by Burson-Marsteller, one of the world’s largest PR firms. that illustrate the importance of a CEO’s reputation to the success of the company. The results indicated that, based on a CEO’s reputation:

  1. 95% of those surveyed decided whether or not to invest in a company
  2. 93% would recommend a company as a good alliance or merger partner
  3. 88% recommend the company as a good place to work

The epiphany for corporate leaders is what the human network has known forever. The leader can’t make an organization human unless they know how to relate to humans in their terms.

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