The big focus on internal marketing is critical to your brand
Employees are absolutely critical to the success of any organisation. You cannot be successful if you are not surrounded by capable people who believe in your brand and are ambassadors of your values. There are companies that invest heavily in their employees and many reap the benefits, while some still get a few slaps in the face and they stand back wondering why. The truth is that no-one knows why, but from that big hard slap, you will learn a lesson or two, namely what not to hire next time.
There are many truths that people fail to accept:
- Leadership is everything, but leadership alone doesn't own company culture - people do.
- One bad egg, does what you can expect... ruins the pot. Therefore, while you may have the best culture in place and everyone may be happy, one bad egg can spoil it through manipulation, ego and gossip - and all of a sudden, without warning you are left to fix up the mess.
- Mental health mostly can be managed in a workplace, but things like multiple personality disorder, lying behaviour, narcissistic personality types and a few other disorders can not be managed if they are not medicated or seeking help. No matter how good you are as a leader or manager - your hands are tied with this one and any action you take may just have you end up in court for discrimination. As we know, these things exist in people and at a job interview, you don't know who the person is behind the facade.
- Many bad managers can be coached into being incredible leaders - so don't discount potential.
- Loyalty is loyalty. If employees are not loyal to your brand, then they have to go.
- Gossip destroys every business. It's not healthy.
Focusing internally affects more than happiness:
- Employees that are communicated with frequently are often the happiest. People like to know what is going on. If you have a communications department, then this is their role to ensure that all employees are communicated with frequently.
- Happiness is not over-rated - it essential.
- Being flexible with employees and giving them room to have a life, will make them more productive.
- A no overtime policy should be essential to any business manual. Of course, if an issue arises, everyone should stay back, but a regular requirement for employees to work overtime is not good for the company, brand or person.
- If you realise people dreams and sometimes it might not just be with your company, it could be with other companies or owning their own business, they will reward you in ways you never imagined.
- Be clear in any organisation as to what bullying is, harassment and intimidation. If people are experiencing this, then that is not good for your brand. However, be aware that people don't use this loosely and if they are informed that something isn't up to standard, that it is not "bullying" or "harassment". There is a huge disconnect on these terms. Also employees use these terms to scare managers because of way too much publicity on these terms. Set really clear definitions within your company because if an employee isn't performing, then they are not performing. If someone has a tone of voice that is not acceptable by another, as long as they are not raising their voices, then this is not intimidation.
- Ensure the career path of your team is defined including salary expectations.
- Never worry when someone leaves - as it is time for them to move on and that is ok. In a company like ours, after one to two years, marketers think they know everything (they don't), so they are ready to move on. Mostly they are disappointed as they end up with jobs where they are micro-managed or that is only focused on one area of marketing - but it's their journey and not yours.
I have rule of never trying to keep anyone that wants to leave, but regardless of whether they are leaving, we keep focusing on their development. It's part of the brand that goes out into the greater market place.