Internal brand engagement refers to the way employees and other stakeholders interact with your company and its values, ethics and mission. Their connection with the company can be positive or negative, depending on how effectively it embodies, demonstrates and communicates its purpose.
If you are clear and consistent with your internal brand strategy, employees can fully engage with it and live those values both at work and outside of the office. Effective internal brand engagement drives you towards creating the ethos that you desire in your business.
Why is internal branding important?
A recent survey revealed that 92% of employees would consider leaving their current employment if offered a role somewhere with an excellent corporate reputation. This statistic alone makes it easy to see why your internal brand is key.
Apart from figures, there are also intrinsic benefits to a coherent internal branding strategy. Here are the most important ones:
Employees are motivated to deliver peak performance in all areas of their work, which in turn provides an improved customer experience.
They are less likely to think negatively at work. Rather than dwelling on or passing on problems, workers who feel an affinity with the organisation are more dedicated to finding solutions. They believe in the business and want the best for it and its clients.
Effective internal branding brings all employees together to celebrate and live the same values, making for a cohesive company culture where everyone agrees on how the organisation should work.
An engaged workforce that believes in what the business stands for will advocate externally for your organisation and its products.
How to increase internal brand engagement
Define your internal culture
Before anyone can buy into your ethos, you need to create a bold story for your organisation. Think about what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it.
This informs your mission and vision, which feed into the internal culture you want to foster. Without a clear definition of where you are headed, employees will struggle to dedicate themselves wholeheartedly to the project.
There is no doubt that getting the right organisational culture is important. Studies show that those businesses with a healthy and defined set of values are 1.5 times more likely to enjoy revenue growth of 15 per cent or more over three years and 2.5 times more likely to experience significant stock growth during the same period.
A powerful and engaging internal culture encourages trust and appreciation of colleagues, values high performance and encourages collaboration, communication and innovation.
Keep the narrative simple
Your brand story has to resonate with your employees. Don’t overcomplicate it because that makes it vague and less impactful. Give your workforce something that they can easily understand and rally behind.
Weave emotion into it and give your employees a reason to feel passionate about the narrative around your business.
Align internal and external marketing
In the words of Christabel Singh of upGrad KnowledgeHut:
We are what we communicate. We communicate what we are.
Singh found in her work that many employees are uninspired because they are not sure where their company is heading or what its priorities are. The organisation may well sell itself to customers through external brand engagement, but internally the message is confused or unclear.
Internal and external messaging must align if you are to excite and motivate your employees as much as your marketing seeks to excite your customers. This is the only way that your staff will be able to provide the level of service and care that you promote externally.
Only when you prove to employees the integrity of your message can they properly sell it and believe in it. And this matters because, in the customer journey, they will meet employees in different areas of the business who must show that they understand and live the same values.
To quote Singh again:
If an employee in sales, customer service, accounts receivable or anywhere else in the organisation does not represent the brand, it’s a sign to coworkers and customers that the company itself does not entirely believe in its own message.
Leverage your digital workplace
The digital workplace is the combination of all of your internal communication channels and plays a key role in creating your internal brand. It is a tool that all employees use and is therefore perfect for communicating the messages that define your ethos.
You can share information quickly and easily with the help of the digital workplace, increasing brand awareness and promoting your culture at the same time. It is also the place to encourage feedback and discussion in order to help workers feel part of the decision-making and inform them about the company culture.
Organise live and hybrid events
A more human way of engaging employees directly is to organise company-wide events. A town hall meeting, for example, is the perfect opportunity to gather all the workforce together, instil the company culture and add a human touch to your internal communications.
These are traditionally in-person events, but in order to include your employees working remotely or flexibly, try a hybrid or fully virtual approach. With a hybrid event, you host the event in a particular location, and some attendees are in person. Others access the proceedings on a live stream and interact with the hosts using virtual tools. It’s important that both the online and the in-person audience enjoy the same experience at a hybrid event.
With Company Webcast’s corporate streaming solution, you can produce professional and interactive events that allow remote attendees to ask questions, vote on polls and respond to surveys. This engagement opportunity helps make them feel fully involved and valued as you speak to the collective and reinforce your mission and internal brand.
Another advantage of a hybrid or online event is that employees can catch up on demand if they cannot attend in person or watch the stream as it goes out. This increases e.
Encourage employee input
Valuing the opinions of your employees is a simple way to bring them on board with your mission. As well as being an engagement exercise, it makes business sense in the fact that they are on the ground, seeing how the company serves its customers, receiving first-hand reviews from those clients and working within the systems. They can often better see the issues than executives. Therefore, their solutions are invaluable for improving your processes.
When employees feel that their input counts and has a tangible impact on the way the company runs, they are better bonded to the organisation and its culture.
A you encourage engagement. Ask questions, and you will spark a discussion.
Run regular feedback sessions, send out surveys, and invite employees to management meetings. All of these improve workforce engagement and buy-in, boosting innovation and creativity across your organisation.
Once they buy in, they become your strongest advocates. They talk to friends and family, they make informed recommendations to customers, and they pitch it just right because they become experts at shouting about the great work that you do.
Examples of internal brand engagement
Dutch health and nutrition firm DSM employs 16,000 workers across the world. For the company, keeping all employees up-to-date is a priority, increasing transparency and trust in the brand from the workforce.
The company decided to use webinars for this purpose and opted to work with Company Webcast. The client’s spokesperson said:
“It is an effective way to reach a large group of employees and to inform them, to engage them, or to look for interaction with this group on an issue that is important for DSM.”
What are the challenges of internal brand engagement?
One of the main challenges of internal brand engagement is being able to communicate with your employees regularly and in a human manner. This is where webcasting comes in. You can talk to your employees whether they are in the room or in remotely. It brings executives and employees together.
What are the objectives of internal brand engagement?
Internal brand engagement aims to encourage employees to buy into the company’s vision and advocate for it. It provides an emotional connection for workers that creates engaged employees.
How does internal branding lead to brand success?
Internal branding engages workers who are motivated to give 100% to the company, thus improving the customer experience. They are also more likely to offer solutions to issues or improvements to systems, and they will tell their family and friends about your brand in glowing terms as true brand ambassadors.
Internal brand engagement is important for any company. Your employees are a valuable resource — they shape how your customers experience your brand and how many others envisage your brand, thanks to their advocacy. You need a clear, simple vision, a culture of trust and appreciation and to be able to communicate your company mission clearly and effectively. Webinars for internal communications are the answer to this, and Company Webcast is the leading name for professional, high-quality webinars that engage your employees. Request a demo today to start interacting with your workforce.