Every once in a while I find myself getting defensive about internal marketing.
Some business folks, who begrudgingly acknowledge internal marketing’s premise (“take care of employees so they’ll take care of customers'”) chide me as they envision creating a cadre of plastic, smiling automatons going about their business happily serving customers.
But I am not advocating internal marketing as a “Stepford wives” approach.
I am advocating that employees be considered upfront, not an after-thought in business strategy and operations. The best organizations proactively consider employee needs and concerns when developing new programs or improving existing ones. Those who get it:
- communicate the rationale behind management initiatives
- get employee input on anticipated customer response to operational changes
- provide whatever new or remedial staff training might be needed, etc.
What I’m talking about is effectively communicating with your employees: involve them, listen to them, and gain their buy-in in the process. In other words, respect your employees by considering how they’ll be impacted by your business decisions.
This will get you genuine smiles, not plastic ones.