Educating employees on brand values is a key feature in most organisations’ induction process; however, some brands assume that by communicating the values, people will automatically embrace them. Many organisations lack the tools and techniques needed to stimulate genuine value engagement. For internal communication processes to be effective, they need to be more symbiotic and interactive rather than simply pushing out content. In order for the brand values to remain relevant they also need to be publicly reinforced across the organisation.
Whilst most staff want to enjoy their work, for many individuals their primary motivation is the wage packet that they receive at the end of the month. If they enjoy the company of their colleagues and provided that they feel they are being treated fairly, they are not necessarily getting in the way of the brand, but they are not consciously living it either.
The damage to a firm’s reputation that this ambivalence causes might not be immediately apparent, but ensuring that individuals embrace the mission, beliefs and ethos of an organisation can pay massive dividends. The irony is that unlike the executive and management populations, many front line staff struggle to engage with a brand, yet it is these employees who are often the first and only point of contact for customers.
So what will enable people to better embrace the brand values? Well, recruiting to those values is crucial in ensuring the talent acquisition process yields the most appropriate candidates in the first place. Then, by using multiple touchpoints, creative and interactive content, and by encouraging employee-to-employee interaction from the start, you can start to demonstrate how the brand values play out in different situations, and people can begin to personalise what they mean to them.
The key is of course ensuring that your internal communications are consistent, relevant and engaging. Some internal comms can feel like sandpaper – dry and abrasive, and ultimately unappealing. For people to truly connect with your brand values, you need to be more creative in your approach, and think about how you could use traditional ‘to consumer’ levels of communication to really engage.
Of course, the quality of the day-to-day interactions within the organisation is what determines the overall culture of the organisation, and if the brand value communications are effective, these should not only feed into but dictate that culture. The proof is in the pudding.
Get it right and you’ll see that maintaining brand engagement from a grassroots level right up to the boardroom not only gives people a unique reason to come to work each day, it creates, in each of them, a priceless brand ambassador.
Director of Engagement, Maverick