In my initial post, I promised to share what’s involved in internal marketing, a concept focused on employee & customer care. Remember, if your employees don’t feel valued, neither will your customers.
The foundation of internal marketing is based on what I call the ‘3 Rs’ of gaining employee commitment:
- Respect – give people the tools to do their jobs
- Recognition – catch them do something right
- Reinforcement – continually support a customer-focused culture.
This week I’ll start a series on each of the 3 Rs & how they underscore internal marketing.
1st R: R-E-S-P-E-C-T
An organization respects its employees when it gives them the tools & info they need to do their jobs. This involves communication, training, and empowerment.
Communication – people need to know what their organization stands for & what it’s all about (= mission), what its goals & objectives area, and what’s expected of them in helping to achieve these goals; i.e., how they fit in “the big picture.”
How can people be expected to contribute to an organization if they don’t know where it’s going and what’s expected of them in helping it get there?
Unfortunately, this type of communication is overlooked — it gets mentioned a few times and is assumed to be understood. So managers need to find ways to constantly reinforce employees’ fit in the organization, including explaining how their works contributes to customer satisfaction & the bottom line. (Substitute “stakeholder satisfaction & mission fulfillment” here for nonprofits.)
Training – respect also means helping employees develop/enhance relevant job skills. This includes:
- training on how to do a specific job;
- orientation to your organization and industry (it’s surprising how often the latter is ignored);
- product knowledge training (features & benefits of your firm’s offerings);
- interpersonal communications skills + customer relations skills training (also assumed);
- and other ‘soft’ but important training like supervisory & management development.
And finally, respect means Empowerment – giving staff the latitude & authority to take care of customers (as well as other employees) without having to stop to ask permission every step of the way.
An easy way to remember Respect in this context is “explaining, training, and refraining” — explaining where employees fit in the organization & what’s expected of them … training them to do their jobs … then refraining from getting in their way.
It’s a no-brainer: employees who are properly equipped to do their jobs can better serve customers.
How does your organization demonstrate respect for employees? Feel free to share your comments in response to this post.
And stay tuned for my next post on Recognition.