Personal brands and their value in the company

I just got done reading an excellent article on Forbes.com – Personal Brands Raise New Talent Development Questions For HR, by Rawn Shah. I think companies should have some level of performance evaluation based on personal brands only if the company asked the employees to become company or technology community advocates. IBM is very clear in its direction to technical employees and encourages employees to be social, blog, write articles and grow the IBM community organically. As the Yellowverse has seen, there are more than a handful of IBMer’s who blog about their work or the technologies they support. As the article points out, HR departments should start considering the value of the personal brands to the company and even offer some level of award for the personal brand effort – determining the value of that effort is the difficult part.

I do think this is a slippery slope since every personal blog is just that, it’s the persons views, not their company (usually). I am sure there are some people who actually get paid to blog and I am also sure everything they write is probably closely monitored if its in the name of the company. Maybe getting a community award or something is the way to go, if you start getting kick-backs from your company to blog you may change your material and ultimately lose your readership. Keeping your blog “YOU” is probably what made it interesting in the first place – it’s not a commercial, its from a person. This is a tough call, I know for a fact many of the blogs in the Lotus community add tons of value. I am not saying mine is a great blog by no means, but I do see many of the so called “green posts” constantly referenced from Google searches – meaning someone most likely got something out of that post many months after it was posted through an online search.

What do you think? Should people get financial, non-financial, or community awards if they have a “hit” blog that is tightly or loosely based on the companies products?

2 thoughts on “Personal brands and their value in the company

  1. Employers have always benefited from the personal brands developed by the employees. Think of salespeople hired because of their personal network. Ultimately they must compensate the employees for this benefit or the market will (e.g. another company which recognizes the benefits offers the employee a job at a higher rate of pay).

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  2. John’s exactly correct. If you *don’t* reward employees’ personal branding, your competition will.

    However the reward could be different from cash. It might be a faster track to promotion, for example.

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