Your company’s best promoters are literally surrounding you every single day. Your employees have the potential to be your greatest marketers and champions. But you have to put them in a position to do so.
Your employees are more than willing to communicate a specific message on your behalf. Whether that message is positive or negative depends on what you’ve prepared them to deliver.
What kinds of messages are your employees sending?
How do your employees describe your company? If someone asked your staff members where they work or what they do, what answers are likely to be given? A job title? A location? A vague industry description?
Effective messaging has to be built around what makes your company special and unique in the marketplace. It has to be focused not on describing what your company does, but rather on the difference you make for your clients and communities when you do it. A great message is built around a core purpose from which the employee can draw some level of passion and pride when speaking on your behalf.
Are your employees flying high?
Think about Southwest Airlines. In describing what they do, it would be fair to say that they are a transportation company, moving people from point A to point B.
But no. Southwest sees itself as being in the customer service business. For any particular passenger, they may be serving the need to reunite with a family member, close a deal, or escape to a favorite vacation spot. Instead of focusing simply on delivering people from one place to another, Southwest reminds their employees that what they are really delivering is a customer service experience “with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and company spirit.”
If you’ve ever flown Southwest Airlines, you’ve likely experienced this first hand. You may have also run into airlines who believe they are in the business of delivering the most miserable 3 or 4 hours of your week. And many of them are succeeding at getting that core message across.
The ho-hum message
The worst message your employees can deliver on your behalf is a message of indifference. Nobody wants to do business with a company (especially a service organization) who is staffed with indifferent employees.
Think of it this way: If you received a message of indifference on a first date, would you be interested in agreeing to a second one?
The importance of company culture cannot be ignored. If you want to inspire your internal messengers to tell your story to the world, you have to create one that’s worth telling. And listening to.
Create a company brand and message that demonstrate what makes your organization great, and do it in a way that makes your team proud to be associated with it. But you can’t just invent a fantastic message story. You have to believe in it. You have to demonstrate it. You have to live it.
Once you get this right, your employees will be more than happy to jump on board. And you’ll have some of the best brand messengers on the planet.
At Raffa Financial Services, we help clients identify organizational challenges, create big picture strategies, and put customized solutions in place. From tailored benefit programs to custom retirement plans to risk management services, we’ve got you covered.
Photo by Cathy Yeulet