By David Haddad, Guest Post
At our firm, we’re sometimes so busy doing PR for our clients that we forget to do it for ourselves. But it’s a huge mistake to ignore your internal perceptions and brand. Here are a few tips to make the most of the assets you already have.
Make sure your employees have ownership of the brand
Make sure that everyone in your organization is proud to “wear the uniform” and happy to tell people where they work. Communication is vital. Keep your employees well informed all the time and you will have a happier, more confident team supporting you.
Internal PR is massively important in making your employees feel secure and appreciated, and also boosts their confidence in dealing with the public. I know it costs money to take your front-line sales staff off the job for a training day, but it pays its dividends when your sales force can talk with confidence and knowledge about a new product launch or company rebranding.
Employee feedback programs — let’s talk face to face
Employee feedback programs can provide you with detailed insights into what is really going on in your workforce, and they can throw up brilliant money saving or money making ideas along the way. But they have to be handled carefully.
If you implement an employee feedback program, then you have to monitor it closely. You have to pay attention to what your employees tell you and you have to give them feedback on their insights. This sort of initiative cannot function as a one-way street. If people feel that their ideas and opinions are simply vanishing into a black hole, they will stop using the scheme.
A well regulated employee feedback program functions as internal PR by giving employees another lever of ownership of the company. When people feel that their opinions are important, they feel more important.
Company honesty — following through on company promises
If you’re going to talk the talk, then you have to walk the walk. Internal PR actions, like the employee feedback program, only work to their best ability when the company follows through.
If Jeff, a program manager, tells you that nobody is taking the time to check the quality of the work being delivered, and you don’t follow up on his comments, then the internal PR result is worse than not instituting the program in the first place. In the future, Jeff will now grumble to his workmates instead of his management team and an opportunity for change will be lost.
Employee rewards — give credit where credit is due
You should consider gearing rewards toward results, as well. Rewarding people for great ideas is a good way to encourage a better flow of ideas through your business. An “Employee of the Month” award with a photo in the office hallway is fine as far as it goes. An accompanying voucher for dinner, a hotel stay or a day at a theme park is better. Give people something tangible.
If someone comes up with an idea that makes a serious monetary difference to your business, the reward should be greater. If you would reward a partner or board member for great work, then you should also reward people in your support structure who make a real difference. Do your research carefully. If you receive a number of similar ideas, it could be good practice to spread the rewards equally.
Internal PR is sometimes undervalued and underused, but a good internal PR plan can make huge differences to company morale, behavior and profitability.
About the Author: David Haddad is the founder of Publiseek. Publiseek helps you tell better stories by connecting you with the right people, organizations, & brands.