I recently met with a prospect who told me about his grand plans to grow his business. I listened intently while he described his vision. Surprisingly, he never mentioned his people.

When he was done speaking, I responded by saying, “A brand is nothing more than a promise. What if your people can’t deliver on your promise?” He looked at me for a minute, and then quickly realized it was going to take more than a plan to hit his key metrics.

Are you in a similar situation — grandiose plans and no specificity regarding how you are going to achieve these numbers? If so, read on.

Hire People Who Represent Your Brand Well

First, you have to hire people who represent your brand well. For example, imagine going to a Disney park and encountering ticket takers whose personalities are similar to Droopy from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

This type of employee wouldn’t bode well for the Disney brand or any brand for that matter. Let’s say your company prides itself on providing timely service. No doubt you’ll want to hire people with a sense of urgency.

Do This Before Starting the Hiring Process

Before starting the hiring process, think about those employees who are most successful in your organization.

What traits do they have in common? Are they a self-starter? Do they take initiative? Are they enthusiastic? Once you’ve determined this, you’ll be in a much stronger position to hire people, who are similar.

Set Expectations

Are you one of the many managers I encounter who expect people to meet your expectations, although you’ve never told them what they are? If so, welcome to the club! This is not a club where you’ll want to renew your membership.

Let your employees know exactly what’s expected of them. Do this periodically, as no doubt your expectations will change based on business needs.

Provide Continuous Feedback

The only way for an employee to know how they are doing is through feedback. Make it a point to compliment employees who are doing their jobs well.

You’ll also want to point out areas where improvement is needed. Initially, you may find these sorts of exchanges difficult. However, with practice, feedback conversations will feel more natural.

Keep in mind that your company’s brand is what customers and clients recall when they think of your company. Are your employees helping or hurting your company brand?

If you have to think about this even for a minute, then I suspect there are opportunities for you to improve upon your team. Now that you know this, what steps will you take to change this?