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TalentCulture | September 3, 2014

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Focus on Your Employees, Key to Workplace Culture Success

William Powell
William Powell
by
May 20, 2011

As an organization, your perceived workplace culture is a part of your brand. There are plenty of posts out there that discuss how your brand is more than just your logo. It is an overall perception and the emotional connection people make with who you are as an organization on a holistic level. Taking the complete package that we have come to understand as a brand is that which we market to our target audience. Marketing 101, right?

I would suggest that many organizations are dropping the ball  in marketing organizational culture to a specific market segment. This particular segment is so critical to the success of your company. It’s your employees. If you’re not leveraging the brilliance of your marketing department to reach out to your own people, you are leaving tons of money and talent on the table. Internal marketing is absolutely essential to be a major player in business…especially in the 21st century.

How do you communicate your workplace culture to your employees? Is it in their employee handbook, hanging on prominent walls in frames and the “mandatory” screensaver from HQ? How would you view your marketing department if their top notch marketing campaign only consisted of a blurb in your product/service user instructions, a refrigerator magnet and an invite to follow on Twitter? Pretty lame, huh?

So why does it seem good enough for your potentially best evangelists, your employees? Imagine a campaign that is collaboratively developed with input from the C-Suite, HR and Marketing on how to market to your employees. If it makes it easier, replace the word “employee” with “customer/client”. What would you do to market your culture effectively to them?

Why do your customers buy from you? You most likely meet a need in their life and they emotionally connect with your brand in some way or another. You’re employees need the same opportunity to create a connection in order to be the best they can possibly be. Without this, they will not offer their discretionary effort; which is where your bottom line profit realizes the most difference.

There isn’t a process or management tool that can demand a discretionary effort from any employee. It is only given by choice as a gift to the organization when they feel valued and connected. Values is a great place to start with your engagement marketing campaign. People connect so quickly with those. If you show people you plan to give them the freedom to the job you hired them to do without the “adult babysitting”, you will come out ahead as well.

See what your brainstorming brings to the surface when the C-Suite, HR and Marketing get together? It will be different for each company based on the vision and mission. It has to reach your target market, the employees, exactly where they are…not where you think they should be. Don’t demand them to come where you are. Go to them and walk with them as you travel to that place.

What can you do to market your workplace culture better to your employees?

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  • Edward Colozzi

    Thanks William for a very insightful post that puts the burden back on the chef’s shoulders! (where it always was)

    Imagine this gourmet chef (aka CEO) who has this fabulous high end dining establishment. She/he is very successful and enjoys a full house, with about eighty per cent repeat customers, and has had a grand vision over the past two years to expand this “successful” business. How could it ever fail! The food is great, people wait in line for an hour to have lunch and dinner, profits are way up, and all indications are, full steam ahead! Investors have been successfully courted for a year, the funds are in the bank, the new sites have been identified, leases signed, and the roll out is planned in six months.

    Over the years, quietly simmering on the back burner beneath the radar, there has been occurring a diminishing emotional connection between this “successful” chef and the employees, some of the veteran servers, and especially the most talented back of the house kitchen staff, finally resulting in a real erosion, even a fracture for some, of their very souls.

    People need and yearn for relationships, trusting relationships that nourish them daily. If employees are finding real meaning in their work, especially the actual work tasks, that’s important.

    If they also have the essence of your post carefully mixed into the culture of their work place, that’s powerful! It leaves a lasting taste, and a desire for sticking around for the next course!

    Trusting relationships foster authentic emotional connections that result in discretionary effort.

    It really is all about VALUES. Does our chef value the “successful” business with its fabulous brand, and the grand vision to expand?

    Or does our chef value the human capital that is truly the main course served daily in that successful business; a human capital far richer in taste and providing the real nourishment to what makes the soup du jour, ah, so superb!

    Below is something that might be useful to you and your readers.

    DOVE: A VALUES-BASED CAREER RECIPE FOR SUCCESS AND SATISFACTION (click on DOVE at this link) http://bit.ly/ksysCi

    Thanks again William

  • http://www.TheLeadershipAdvisor.com William Powell

    Thanks for the story Edward. Many companies underestimate the power and impact of values. I appreciate your contribution!

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