Our team is distributed, and one of our remote employees is a web developer.
He’s skilled and can (generally) tackle most challenges. However, we do have occasional problems with delayed milestones or miscommunication that’s adding to the overall cost of retaining him as a part of the team.
If he was a completely random and unknown person, we would have discussed internally a possible PIP (performance improvement plan) or renegotiating his role or salary.
However, he has been maintaining his personal brand for a while now. This carries several significant advantages that make him an extremely valuable person on the team.
As a thought leader in the industry, he invests heavily in his skills. This means working on pet projects, contributing to existing platforms, and taking responsibility for some of our internal projects.
Unlike some 9-to-5 hires who are generally disengaged after business hours, he’s spending the time and effort on improving himself week after week.
Always Up to Speed
Technology is evolving rapidly and new tools, frameworks, libraries, or applications are popping up all the time. Most of them are hyped or merely attempts for tackling a proven market solution.
But some of them may be worth exploring or testing in practice (either in a sandbox environment or in a production project). Our developer is interacting with the community, reading the latest tech sources and following strategic discussions. This allows us to be up to date with whatever’s hot right now and possible solutions worth testing or investing in early on.
Outside of his work duties, the engineer is contributing to a number of popular projects (and building extensions of his own). This supports the company’s brand as well as opens a door for other people eager to join another project without going through the standard process.
Moreover, it’s a technical challenge that teaches new skills as well.
Events and Meetups
Everyone interested in a personal brand knows that attending industry conferences, meetups or other tech and startup events is important.
Which is why it doesn’t take a lot to convince him that attending a valuable event is worth it. In fact, he’s sending some links to local events that he’s eager to join which we can support through a sponsorship or applying as speakers there.
His network is growing thanks to the neat combination of his own efforts and our combined company branding activities. This is occasionally a good thing whenever we land a warm intro to a partner or an applicant that has already been convinced in the value of our company.
It helps with company growth and hiring so it’s certainly an added perk for us.
Workshops and Community Building
He has volunteered to teach a contributing workshop at the company attended by nearly a dozen people in-house. This is combined with the inspiring energy at the office or online and a healthy competition between him and other developers in our crew.
There are other perks to maintaining a personal brand but this is certainly a good starting point. Not every human being interested in personal branding wants to bootstrap their own company or revolutionize the world with the latest hot startup. Personal branding is critical to everyone, and people who invest in that are often more valuable to an organization than those who stay in stealth mode.