This is a post written by Guillem Recolons, @guillemrecolons Co-founder and Consultant at  Soy Mi Marca here in Spain. I am merely going to translate it in English, as I am a firm believer that this idea has to cross borders and permeate all company´s cultures. Feel free to resend it to all those CEO´s that you consider need to open their eyes to this reality. Because, believe it or not, this is actually key for their business growth and reputation, and I know some of them are not active readers on Twitter nor LinkedIn. Enjoy!

“In less than five years, I will have already met with a dozen entrepreneurs who placed the corporation over its professionals. Little good to explain that today markets are conversations and that stakeholders, including our customers, trust us more as people than the brand or company that we work for.”

My partner Jordi Collell launched last January 30, 2015 a devastating post with the Confidence Survey Edelman 2015 conclusions, that places the government, business, media and non-governmental organizations at the border of lower confidence by citizens and consumers. The study also concludes, that people (consumers and citizens) believe in employee in regards to engagement 47 % versus 21 % for the CEO, integrity 34 % versus 31 % for the CEO, purpose with 34% against 23 % of CEO and in regards to their opinion about operations 31% versus 23 % for the CEO.

The N1 excuse that employers give to refuse to apply Employee Branding programs, is that they are afraid that their professionals leave the company and take with them the know-how and their personal branding. “We focus on the Corporate Brand, people are just passing through”. That is a recurring statement, and even if this can be true, it only shows that those companies are afraid – and don’t value their people- They are afraid to put resources after professionals who may eventually go to work for the competition. I have several answers to that:

1.– Resources are shared. The professional who chooses to act as Brand Ambassador, has had to invest precious time in understanding how and what makes his/her company unique, what sets it apart, its vision, mission and values. He/she has had to analyze the possible personal symbiosis with the brand that allow a credible and relevant speech to its customers, employees, suppliers, shareholders … Therefore, it is not just about what the employer invests in the professional, it´s a joint investment.

2.-My employee will leave one day. The professional who intends to leave the company and go to the competition, will do so sooner and with more momentum, if he/she realizes that your company does not bet on him/her. That is what you should fear as CEO or Managing Director.

3.- Intrapreneurs. Personal branding was first defined by Tom Peters in his article “The brand called You” from 1997, which highlighted the importance of each professional being like a CEO himself and an entrepreneur with voice and autonomy, as well as an ambassador of his/her own personal brand and corporate brand that he/she is working for.

4.- People talk to people. The old communication model based solely on advertising (uni -directional model) has given way to communication between equals. A company (brand) should not communicate in a bi-directional way with people. It needs its professionals, ambassadors of their brands. Companies must continue to humanize or they will seem robotic, cold, functional. The spiritual dimension of the marks is impossible without the direct involvement of people, without spiritual dimension there is no empathy, no getting to customer´s hearts.

This is changing little by little, yet we continue to find entrepreneurs who do not bet on their professionals, those who think that it´s better to invest a million dollars in TV ads than half a million in its people. The leadership model based on systematically hiding the talent of their work force, will have to get to an end. We cannot talk of a company as an entity itself, there are professionals behind the scenes, and those professionals are people”.