I can’t tell you how many clients have told me that what differentiates them from their competitors is the quality of their people, their processes and their technologies. So it would follow that one of their most important functions would be employee communications, especially to ensure that their people are representing the brand as accurately as possible. Yet only a handful of the folks I talk to have formal employee communications programs and budgets committed to this invaluable internal marketing component.
In a service business, employee communication is critical to delivering on the brand promise. A good example is in healthcare, where the employees are the ones who are face-to-face with patients, visitors and doctors—making or breaking the provider’s reputation.
Recently I moderated a focus group where a participant judged an entire hospital’s quality of care (and likelihood to recommend it), based on one experience with a crabby nurse. If just one person felt that way, we might dismiss it. But in this focus group, the other participants chimed in with similar experiences and attitudes. One employee can make a big difference to a brand. That’s why I believe so strongly in employee engagement and communications to build a brand from the inside out.