Internal Branding: Are your employees plugged in?
By Cheryl E. Walters, May 7 2016 04:06PM
“Trust is the lubrication that makes it possible for organizations to work.” – Warren Bennis
A company's employer (internal-facing) brand needs to be tied with external branding efforts, yet also focused on the organization and individual. The more organizations become decentralized and experience increased market reach, the demand for a comprehensive internal communications program has grown in tandem.
“The way your employees feel is the way your customers will feel.” –Sybil F. Stershic
As the need for inter-office communication rises, progressive companies channel energies to ensure their core values and brand are “evangelized” throughout the organization. How are they doing this? By tying all of their internal communications into their core values and brand.
Internal branding and communications helps employees and stakeholders (such as sponsors/suppliers, franchise teams, external call centers, etc.) to understand the organization's mission, vision, values, and culture. It's important for any company with multiple departments or multiple locations to have an internal branded communications strategy in place. There are many valid reasons for an internal branding communications strategy, and I've listed three here:
1. Cost effectiveness
2. Consistent messaging
3. Brand Awareness | Employee engagement
1. Cost Effectiveness
Inter-office communications is an integral part of any organization. Employees need to communicate with each other both within their own department and with other departments and locations. It is much more cost effective to have consistent templates, imagery and communication tools for company-wide use than it is for each person or department to develop their own look, graphics, design and messaging. It saves time and resources to have branded tools readily available, not to mention the consistency they provide.
2. Consistent Messaging
In order for a brand to resonate both internally and externally, the entire organization must understand the mission, vision, values and culture. It is inherent to the organization’s way of doing business – from customer service, direct marketing, to the treatment of your employees and partners. Development and communication of an employer brand throughout the organization is key. A company’s employer brand needs to be tied with external branding, yet focused on the organization and individual. The employer brand has value and delivers commitment to the employees and stakeholders. Initiatives, policies and practices must also align with these values.
3. Brand Awareness | Employee Engagement
Consistent messaging helps develop employee engagement, which is the process of forming an emotional and rational attachment between an individual their employer brand. The attachment is built through visual, written and experiential messaging. Communication vehicles, (new-hire orientation packets, corporate newsletter, emails from executive leadership and on community causes, training videos, intranet, blogs, etc.) when branded together, generate greater employee awareness and brand engagement.
“Create caring and robust connections between every employee and their work, customers, leaders, managers, and the organization to achieve results that matter to everyone in this sentence.” –David Zinger
It all boils down to this: Employees are the heart of any business. When they feel a connection to the brand, are motivated and more willing to evangelize for it, there is not a more powerful advertising campaign that can compete.