Employee Engagement Requires Internal Marketing

\"EmployeeMuch has been discussed about employee retention as well as recruitment. While some elements of both are truly in the hands of the employee / candidate and companies cannot impact, there is a key element that companies do control.  it is their culture. And a key ingredient to achieving the desired culture, and sometimes recapturing it, is employee engagement.  Essentially, do your employees / associates / team members, etc feel connected to your company? Do they feel valued? Appreciated? Recognized? Listened to?
While your hiring and management processes (i.e. your management team and interviewing empathy) are your personnel screeners, internal marketing helps engage your employees.

Consider the role of marketing.

Marketing is supposed to understand the needs of customers, recommend strategies and then communicate / implement appropriate messaging to create demand for your products / services.
So, in an internal marketing scenario, your marketing team should be working with your HR department and senior management team to coordinate messaging tools and collectively recommend strategies to engage employees to \”hear\” management\’s messaging and management needs to work on the messaging content.
In a recent article in CMO Magazine, Chris Leong, Schneider Electric\’s CMO, shared how she helps achieve the company\’s digital transformation:

Marketing internally to market externally

External transformation doesn’t come without internal change management, however. For Leong, marketing to internal colleagues and educating them on what marketing does and the brand proposition is as important as marketing externally to customers. As transformation lead within the organisation, functions within her remit include brand and campaign management, marketing strategy, digital customer experience, sales operations and the product launch team.

“The first challenge of transformation is ensuring executive sponsorship all the way up from the CEO. Otherwise it ain’t going to happen,” Leong says. “Secondly, we at Schneider believe [transformation] it’s going to be a hybrid between taking the team on that journey as well as bringing in new competencies from the outside. It’s going to be a combination of both.”

Additionally,

Often, the CMO’s role is to help their CEO “put a stick in the ground first and dragging everybody else along to that level”, Leong says.

“If I can align the vision and help the CEO to drag the organisation forward and putting that stake further and further out, then I can help rally the businesses to that same mission .

And in the article she covers what she feels are the top four CMO attributes.
Having led a department focused on employee motivation, internal marketing and organizational design / behavior for three years, I\’ve had experience in developing vision and mission statements, departmental positioning, performance metrics and internal marketing and communications initiatives.  Internal marketing to strengthen internal messaging and engagement strengthens your culture, helps transfer it to new hires, reduces employee turnover and results in greater customer satisfaction and corporate profitability.
With people being a company\’s most important aspect; with your employees being your company\’s face to your customers; with every person playing some type of a sales / service role to either an external or internal customer and with quality employees difficult to come by, engaging your employees is critical to your success.  Your marketing team, which is supposed to be your communications and engagement experts (at least for your customers), needs to consider the internal customers and consider how to help senior management engage internal customers.
On a scale of 1-10, how engaged are your employees with the company? With management vision? In supporting new initiatives?  Is it a communications issue.
Are you marketing internally and treating your staff as customers?

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1 thought on “Employee Engagement Requires Internal Marketing”

  1. Great article. During my time at a previous employer I led up the external communications but as we looked to rebrand and bring out the best of the culture, my role began to include the internal messaging. You really can’t have one without the other.
    The external brand is really driven by an engaged workforce. Their belief/understanding of the what the company is all about and the external messaging must align. Too often it’s an HR only initiative.

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