Of course, marketing is monumental for any company to successfully build, maintain, and grow their brand to outsiders. But what about maintaining company culture and fostering employee delight?
What Is Internal Marketing?
According to basically any marketing textbook, internal marketing is the act of treating your employees as if they’re customers; play off their needs to build engagement.
Why Does it Matter?
Your people should love where they work. Here’s a simple equation: an employee’s work output is directly proportional to the amount that they enjoy their job.
Here’s an interesting note about the workforce: two-thirds of Millennials express a desire to leave their organization by 2020 (courtesy of Deloitte).
So, how do we get Millennials (or anyone, really) to remain loyal? Just like we do with our customers, we engage them. Curious as to what that entails? Read on.
The Power of Engagement
Engagement is a foundational technique for employee retention (and therefore, overall success). Some of the most game-changing companies (Google, Zappos, and Southwest to name a few), put their own employees as a top priority, if not THE top priority.
All of these companies work to ensure their employees are happy. Both Google and Zappos give free meals and nap rooms. (There’s no time to get into all of Google’s benefits, so feel free to research on your own.) Southwest provides free flights to its employees and hires based on their emotional aptitude, choosing those that have the potential of perpetrating the company culture.
What’s the outcome? All of these companies attract and retain the best talent, and they remain at the top of the American market for their respective industries.
“I think when people say they dread going into work on Monday morning, it’s because they know they are leaving a piece of themselves at home. Why not see what happens when you challenge your employees to bring all of their talents to their job and reward them not for doing it just like everyone else, but for pushing the envelope, being adventurous, creative, and open-minded, and trying new things?”
Now you’ve heard the proof, and you understand its importance. The next step is implementing the engagement techniques. The process is different for everyone, but here’s some suggestions that will get the gears turning:
Ask your employees what they want, and do that (within reason).
Maybe your office could use some reorganization, a Keurig, or even some new colorful file folders. You’ll never know unless you ask, and as long as it works within the budget and makes sense with your brand, it’s worth the money. If it boosts employee morale, it can only be helpful for overall productivity.
Focus on benefits more than pay.
Today’s consumer market has shifted from collecting things to collecting experiences. Therefore, vacation time might be more important than extra pay. If that’s the case, work in a way for employees to work digitally, if possible, or just allow them some extra time off.
Give your employees freedom.
Allowing your employees to have some decisions in the way things are done around the office can’t hurt too much. These people have to spend five days a week working there, we might as well try to make it all little fun for them, right?
Engage in the Right Way
Turning your office into a game room for your employees may not be financially wise, and as great as it would be to have a “ping pong and Pac-Man anytime” policy, that’s not always feasible.
The point isn’t to load up on games and toys to please your employees, but rather to foster a community where your workers feel welcome to innovate, create, and are motivated to improve the process. It also will increase their satisfaction with their job, which will help with retainment.
If you don’t like where you work, you have two options: make it better or leave. You should make it an environment where good workers will want to work and stay.
Don’t Think You Can Engage?
First off, you can. Engagement can vary from a change as huge as an office renovation to something as small as casual Fridays. Oftentimes, it’s the seemingly smallest culture boosts that have the biggest positive impact on your employees.
Dr. Rodger Duncan, author of Change-Friendly Leadership, said, “You can rent a man’s back and hands, but you must earn his head and heart.”
Engaging the heads, hearts, and hopes of your employees ingrains them in your business. They become a brand champion for consumers and a motivator for their peers. That is the launch pad for a powerful brand.