Employee Satisfaction 101
The photo of this police officer prompts my reflection today. He is interacting with the public and gaining the public’s good will. Although he is not apprehending suspects or investigating crime, being a loved and trusted member of the community is part of the police brand promise. The members of the public watching in the crowd are smiling and enjoying themselves and so is this officer. It is important that the public and employees of an organization are both pleased with the brand messages. While taking a business communications course I have learned much about understanding company goals and business objectives and considering those while making plans to communicate brand messages to the public. I have also learned much about communicating the same brand messages to employees. External and internal communications tactics may be different but the brand messages should be consistent.
It would stand to reason that happy employees would be more productive and thus would serve as human capital for the company. However, it is shocking at how little time and effort is devoted to strategic internal communications and branding. I have worked for the government, not-for-profit organizations and for-profit entities and the inconsistency between the external brand promise (reliable, attentive, timely, and confidential) and the internal brand reality has been astonishing in my experience.
Another critical lesson I have learned from this course is that I am not alone. I am not the only employee who cares about food in the cafeteria, health benefits, proximity of the office to my home, and other perks and creature comforts just as much as the salary. It seems that employees, especially women, are not interested in just a paycheque, but they are interested in all of the lifestyle benefits of working for one company versus another. Company culture is also very important to employees in addition to salary. The happiness of employees is heavily influenced by their fit with company culture. I have certainly experienced a change in my happiness at work with a change in company culture. I am also certain to look for cues on company culture in interviews as I search for internships and full-time work. I even noticed myself looking for clues on company culture during the Public Relations agency presentations to the class last week. Apex PR certainly seemed to have a fun, flexible, inclusive company culture that I appreciate.
I agonized over the Summerhill assignment, in which we were challenged to create an internal communications strategy for a Summerhill office relocation. Although the assignment was difficult to discern between the company goals, business objectives, communications priorities and communications objectives it was a very helpful assignment once understood. Classmate James used the analogy of a trip to Montreal as a way to discern goals, objectives, strategies and tactics. Now I have a new appreciation for internal communications strategy and internal branding. Now, before working for any company in future I will be sure to analyze their external branding and communications efforts as well as their internal ones before committing to working with them.
~ Reading Red.