Have you ever worked at a company where you felt as though the employees were the last to hear about anything, whether it was new branding, a new product, logo, tagline, ad campaign, etc.? It’s difficult to get on board after the fact and even more challenging to consistently represent the brand when you don’t know the story behind a change. That’s why it’s important to engage from the inside of a company out. Getting employees on the same page and giving them the knowledge they need to communicate a brand and its values to others establishes trust, which is essential in any organization.
Employee trust = higher performance
Research shows a direct correlation between trust and corporate performance. Employees who trust the company they work for and its leadership tend to stay longer and perform at a higher level. Conversely, employees who don’t trust their employer or its leaders are usually disengaged. According to Amy Lyman’s 100 Best Companies to Work For, “Companies whose employees praise the high levels of trust in their workplace are, in fact, among the highest performers, beating the average annualized returns of the S&P 500 by a factor of three.”
- Unite leadership
When a company is introducing new branding, informing employees first can go a long way toward building trust. The first step in communicating any change is to ensure leadership is united, so they will communicate a consistent message to employees. Conflicting messages weaken reduce trust levels.
- Educate and inspire
Employees are a company’s greatest brand ambassadors. How well they understand and convey a brand’s message and values directly impacts the success of that brand. When they trust in a company and are informed and engaged with its branding, vision and business strategy, that trust and engagement are conveyed to customers and others.
To engage employees with new branding, consider holding focused workshops for those who work in similar roles. Leadership or marketing/branding partners can deliver these workshops and make the connection between what an employee does and what the company’s branding means to their specific role.
- Employ internal marketing
Internal marketing is another way to inspire and educate employees on new branding. A microsite that’s accessible only to internal employees can include information about the new branding, such as the story behind a new logo, why a tagline was chosen, the company’s “elevator speech” or revealing a new advertising campaign. Other internal marketing tools are brand books, company videos and signage that reinforces the brand.
- Start the conversation
Internal social media is a highly effective platform for interacting with employees. People increasingly prefer online communication, so this strategy meets them where they’re connecting with others. A closed Facebook group, available only to those who are invited, creates internal two-way conversation about a company’s branding, advertising, strategy, etc. Leadership can answer questions and respond to comments from employees and post the latest information. Employees will be energized and feel more a part of their company, its branding and where it’s headed in the future.
When employees understand the strategy and goals of a company, they will work toward representing their company in a consistent way. This alignment means customers also have a more consistent experience. If you think about some of the businesses you frequent on a regular basis, you can probably pick out which ones do a good job of engaging their employees. When you’re treated consistently, no matter what employee is helping you, chances are that company has aligned employees with the overall branding, strategy and goals.
Employee engagement should always be part of the investment companies make in branding and communicating their brand to customers. They are the face and voice of a brand and have a critical role in successfully communicating it. Engaging from the inside of a company out means employees have the knowledge they need to consistently represent a brand to customers, and, along with that, they have greater levels of trust in their employer and its leadership.