The Internet and the explosive growth of social networks have changed the way companies do business.
They must choose among many communications channels to build their brands.
Their employees can help but are often ignored by companies who still rely on advertising to push out their products and services.
Transforming Your Business
Companies could control their brands when advertising was king. That’s old, old. Companies no longer define their brands. Consumers do by their posts to social media, word of mouth, and permission marketing, the term coined by thought leader Seth Godin.
It’s not an overstatement to say that business transformation will only be accomplished by gaining the commitment of employees at all levels to drive growth and performance. The key to ensuring success is consistency of communications to the right people at the right time with the right messages. Employees can be the conduits.
Companies are struggling to control their brand essence and key messages. Communicating positive news is more important than ever in the 24/7 news cycle and with an Internet that can circulate good – and bad – news around the globe in a matter of seconds.
Employees as Brand Advocates
But many companies are overlooking their most important brand advocates to the outside world – their own employees — because they don’t engage their employees in the process.
It is employees who are most often the primary interface between the company and its customers. But the media is an increasingly intrusive “partner” as reporters pounce on every bad piece of company news – often coming from the mouths of unhappy employees who are left out of the loop about important new company developments.
Online chat rooms and social networking sites such Twitter and Facebook provide a public platform for employees – and customers — to vent their grievances.
New technologies are transforming the way companies do business. But employees are underutilized as advocates of change. They are not being motivated to rally around the company’s mission and goals.
A Failure of Communication
• Behaviors don’t match the message, especially senior executive behaviors
• Communicating is not viewed as an important process
• Communication is blocked at many levels – up, down and across
• Complicated and lengthy approval processes prevent timely distribution of information
• Employees don’t hear things first, thus a loss of faith develops
• Too much is communicated and more important messages are lost in the clutter
• Employees are turning to external message boards and social networks for news about their own company
Companies that find their employees turning to the Internet as their primary source of information about the company they work for have lost their most vital change agents.
Is your company engaging its employees to help drive business transformation?