Employees are people. People are consumers. And consumers are used to having complex communications neatly packaged for them.
Over the last 80+ years, hundreds of companies have deployed an ever-evolving array of marketing communications weaponry to connect with us and inspire us to join them.
We’re not different people when we’re at work. Just as in our outside lives, we’re human: busy, absorbed, excitable and impressionable. While at work, we are the targets of dozens (even hundreds) of messages every day. There, as in our personal lives, it can be hard to separate what matters from what doesn’t.
Employees should be able to quickly identify what company messages are important to them and what programs they need to adopt. That means when leaders want to activate new business strategy, they must convey what they want employees to do in a way that’s real, relevant and actionable. Employees need to quickly understand what it’s all about, what the company is going to do, how soon and how fast, what’s expected of them and why they should care.
Employees need something to hove to; a battle cry, as it were. That battle cry can serve a number of purposes. What took place at Southwest Airlines is a great example. Their external brand was “A Symbol of Freedom.” The airline provides low-cost airfare and has enabled people to fly places they otherwise couldn’t afford. Southwest tied the external advertising to this message of freedom. Then, they created the internal branding idea, “At Southwest, Freedom Begins With Me.”
We should look at the Southwest case study and battle cries in general in future posts. This is a great example of making business strategy real and actionable for employees.
Simple and vibrant internal communications can excite employees’ imagination and quickly connect them to the challenges and gains of the business strategy.
Translating what needs to happen and how employees can help, from creating positioning for the internal campaign to establishing the mission, lays the foundation for creative communications that will resonate with employees quicker and for a longer period of time.