Is Marketing to Employees Really a Marketer's Job or HR's, For That Matter?
We celebrate everyone's birthday, and sometimes we just celebrate simply because we can.
Wherever I go, my dog goes - so there is a pet in the office from time to time. She is adorable, if I may say so myself. We are also child-friendly, so if there are school holidays, or you just feel like bringing the kids to the office, it's actually encouraged. Everyone loves it. Having said that, there haven't been any naughty kids come in to date, but in any case, there is nothing better than the innocence of a child.
The boss is always away. Yes, I am never in one office too long, so employees can really do their own thing and the only time I hear about it, is if a client complains - and for some reason, they always ring me direct. That's important because at least we get the opportunity to find out what the client is expecting and how that differs from what they may have received. We love our clients, so it's important that they are always happy.
People get paid what they are worth, sometimes a bit more because they were better negotiators up front. We give our employees more in skills than they would get elsewhere, because there is nothing that this company doesn't do in marketing and every person gets the opportunity to be across that.
Marketing Eye is globally collaborative by design. We share knowledge, creativity, ideas and experiences all the time. Due to the fact we have a flat organisational structure, employees are self-starters. Unfortunately, if they are not, they don't last - but this is always told to them upfront in their job interview.
We empower people to have a voice; their opinion matters and will always be listened to. You can even challenge any of the leaders in the organisation and there is zero repercussions for doing so. It is actually encouraged. You can challenge our clients, only if it's not an opinion but something that is backed by real experience and knowledge, and, of course, communicated in a way that acknowledges that your opinion is a different way of looking at things. Ultimately, they keep us all in a job, so the client is always right, so to speak - but they love hearing what you have to say as long as it is well thought through.
But none of this really is 'marketing to employees'. It has become an expectation, particularly with the new generation coming through. Marketing to employees is an art and many small businesses find it very hard to get this right - inculding us and we are in marketing.
The truth of the matter is that it requires expert knowledge and, when you can afford it, a Happiness Director. A full-time person who just focuses on employee happiness. We are almost there, but not quite. It's something that I have wanted since the day I started the business, but to put that budget aside when you have a high growth business and expansion plans is difficult. It's the chicken and the egg scenario. Many would say that having a Happiness Director is more important than expansion, and they would be right. They would also say that by doing so, the company would grow faster and in a more sustainable manner. They would also be right about that too.
On the other hand, the game is already in motion, and to pull it back would mean that we would not achieve our business goals in the short-term. If we do achieve these goals, there will be a few loyal employees that will be set up for life, and that is exciting.
We don't have any debt and never pay bills late. Never have, never will. Everything is self-funded. While we do all the things to celebrate with staff and only drink French champagne, we keep other things lean like our offices. As marketers, we probably should have flash offices like many of our counterparts, but our small business clients don't really care and when they come to us, they are already 90 per cent sure they want Marketing Eye without even meeting a person.
So, what does a company do about marketing internally? It's not about pretty pictures, brochures, manuals, pay (or at least they say) - it's about the individual and how they want to be marketed to, what they want to feel and how they have been brought up. If only we could ask more questions about a persons family, we would be able to always hire the right people, but of course, that is against the rules. The values and manners your family install in you are what you display in the workplace after the honeymoon is over. It's how you leave an organisation and the integrity that you hold about the brand that pays your way.
You can provide an employee with a good salary, presents all the time, positive feedback, education and more, but some will still not be happy. If any one person knew the answer to employee happiness, they would singularly be the richest person in the world. Who wouldn't want that knowledge? But everyone has their own shit. Some people have glasses half empty. Some feel entitled. Some are kind, generous and work hard. Everyone is different and we each are responsible for our own outcomes. Food for thought!