In my last post—‘Employees make the Brand’—I had written about how important an employee is for an organisation to project the brand personality and image. Further to that and as an internal communications and employee engagement program, a few areas that can be taken into consideration are:
- Create a mission statement and a set of core values. Having a clear and tangible mission is the cornerstone of a great company. Communicate the same with the staff. Ensure they understand the values that the brand needs to project and why.
- Consider what are important to your employees (and their families). Non work related but common social causes such as fitness sessions (at a local gym) for the family; community youth education; adult education etc are potential areas through which an organisation can develop a strong and engaging relationship with its employee.
- Institute regular events that build trust and dedication. In addition to the monthly bowling meets and karaoke nights, staff meetings to fill people in on company plans and financials are important. For e.g. sharing the quarterly financial results, along with achievements, scenario analysis and plans for the next quarter with staff, leads to the employees feeling as part of the decision-making process. As a result, a sense of ownership and willingness to do better due to seeing the benefits they will reap, comes in.
- Make a fuss over each new employee. Institute an orientation program (it doesn’t have to last more than a couple of days to a week), and introduce new employees to everyone in the company. For e.g. assigning a “buddy” for the first week, to take the new employee around as well as take the new employee for lunch, or introduce to other colleagues during the coffee break and be a ‘buddy’ to the new employee ( on the first week at work, there’s a lot as the newcomer we want to know but don’t know where or who to go to).
- Follow up. After the orientation program, check in and get a sense of how new employees are doing in their jobs and what they would change if they could. (A new employee can give a very honest and refreshing perspective on how the brand is seen based on his/her first week at work).
And a few areas that should not be taken for granted, when initiating an internal communication or engagement program:
- Don’t think it’s all about the benefits. Though they are important, benefits can’t replace constant communication and treating employees well.
- Don’t think employees don’t care about meeting the CEO. They do, and they appreciate getting to know top management and learning about the company.
- Don’t forget the small stuff. Make sure to learn to pronounce employees’ names correctly, celebrate small victories, and include employees in the decision-making process.
These, small areas, often are overlooked. But if used, properly, are very strong motivators and binders in terms of developing a relationship of the brand with the employee, leading to the employee projecting/communicating positive brand values and image to the stakeholders.