The recent phenomenon of internal branding has revolutionized the entire business spectrum, and discussions about brand architecture and brand portfolio management have gripped everyone's attention. There is a heightened cognizance amongst business leaders that in order to build a positive image on the outside, they must have the right impression on the inside. As the consumer mindset has permeated workforces, hyper-personalization and ensuing improvement in word of mouth, have become the two forces to reckon with. Deepak Dobriyal, SVP of Talent Management and Corporate HR at Birlasoft, went on to say, "Probability of having a rally in the bottom line is much higher if you have cultural anchors in place, aligned strategically with core competencies of the company." Most leaders advocate a strong link that subsists between internal branding, employee engagement, and financial performance.
Endorse the Brand Collectively
The purpose must be personally endorsed by the C suite, and the values must be lived by them. Implementing the brand's purpose must be equally owned by the HR, Marketing, and operations. Marketing must take charge of developing and defining consumer insights. By managing people, processes, and products, operations must take the responsibility to ensure that customer insights are delivered across all touchpoints. "HR, on the other hand, has the onus to hire and deliver the right people after making them more employable," said Sunil Sarad, Head-L&D, Sandhar Technologies
Make Your Brand Resonate with Workforce
Enterprises with an awareness of what they stand for and why, tend to outperform those that do not. A brand, like a beacon, draws consumers and employees to represent what it stands for. Therefore, it must have a strong sense of purpose, which is indispensable to making the right decisions. Sarad, explained, "An employer brand that resonates is created by first identifying the core values and unique attributes of your business and then aligning those with the aspirations of the candidates you are looking to attract. It describes your promise to employees in return for their skills, experience, or talents."
Forcing a set of standards just because it came straight from the boardroom is counteractive to a brand's image. On the other hand, redesigning a brand's purpose and value basis the insights derived from employee surveys or inputs from employee steering groups has far greater merits. Employees will engage with much interest in something they know they have had a hand in creating. Involving staff at all levels of the company to define company values is a good starting place.
Develop A Virtuous Cycle
Organizations must deliberate their efforts to get staff engagement right. Engaged employees delivering on the brand promise will result in more satisfied customers, fuelling the positive brand image. This positive brand image will draw in more passionate employees eager to uphold the brand promise, creating an ongoing virtuous cycle.
Prabhjot Kaur, Human Resource Director at Ericsson, emphasized the importance of investing in the right technology for engaging employees effectively, "We realized that even after having best-in-class technology to cater to various HR-specific fields, we were unable to drive the best employee experience. So, we launched this global digital lighthouse as an integrated solution that cuts across the end-to-end employee life cycle. This existing platform is so well linked that we could overcome the challenge of legacy systems that were not in sync with the new tech platforms."
Align Your Human Sigma with Customer Focus
In organizational contexts where ingredients of predictable human characteristics repeatedly collide with dynamic human dimensions, wisely managing internal interactions and communications is much needed. It is not helpful to think like an economist or a rationalist; instead, employing emotions to inform human behavior can be a more powerful ally. "It is the neurolinguistic programming of the workforce as a whole that should be fine-tuned for a conscious behavioral change and cultural shift," suggested Shyamala Shukla, VP-HR, C K Birla.
Conducting interventions or transformational coaching must be considered to lower variation in the quality of interactions with customers and program the individual responses. This will eventually level the terrain of employee and customer encounters, and the workforce will become propellers of strong brand value internally and externally.
Once the internal branding process is underway, it gains momentum fast. What requires a long-term commitment is upkeep. The real challenge is to ingrain these ideas in the organization and engage people persistently to maintain the momentum that results from converting employee experience into elevated brand value. Genuine efforts are needed to make the idea relevant to every individual in the organization and every task they undertake.