At first thought, the parallels between ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and modern day advertising may seem worlds apart. But, consider that they were both created to tell a story and to communicate a message to fellow humans, and the similarities should begin to emerge.
Wanting to communicate with other people is innate, it’s in our DNA. And somewhere along the journey, we learned about harnessing the power of communication to change attitudes, alter beliefs and influence behavior. We’ve seen firsthand how communication can be used to change the way people see the world and relate to others, and therefore, has the power to shape and transform culture.
Culture is shaped through communication.
And leveraging this powerful tool can help companies effectively communicate with their employees and shape their own culture.
Round and Round It Goes
Much like an unlimited yoga membership where the benefits are boundless and there are no limits to the number of downward dogs that can be done, employee communication should be a two-way street. The more you put in, the more you get out.
Opening up a dialogue and creating a rapport between HR and employees will allow companies to hear valuable feedback that they can then use to modify current strategies and improve upon. And by creating open environments where communication and knowledge are free flowing and accessible, companies have a better chance of sustaining their culture.
Know Your Audience
We see the influence of communication every single day. We see it in consumer’s purchase habits and through their relationships with the brands they (maybe, even you) become loyal to.
How do brands build such faithful followings? And how can that power be harnessed for employee and benefits communication? By leveraging communication that resonates with key audiences.
Companies like Lee Jeans and JFK Airport rebranded their identities to create communication that would successfully meet the needs of their target audiences. And by borrowing from advertising and employing smart, thoughtful communication, companies can tailor their messaging to engage their employees and shape company culture. Consider these advertising strategy techniques:
- Familiarize yourself with your current culture and messaging.
- Set communication goals to guide your plan and help keep you on track.
- Create focus groups or interview employees to gain a deeper understanding of their internal communication needs.
- From those interviews, draw strategic insights that address employees’ needs.
- Enjoy your results!
Flaunt Your Style
Insight-driven and research-based communication doesn’t need to be bland and boring. It simply means understanding the needs of the target audience and learning how they like to be communicated with.
Internally communicating with employees creatively and thoughtfully can transform company culture and can inspire employees and reinforce company values and goals. Consider branding your internal communication pieces with a design style and tone that you find resonates with employees.
Every time employees receive a piece of your branded communication, they will be familiar with the look and feel and their attention will be called to the piece, rather than getting lost in the clutter.
Keep It Steady
Just like consumers expect their favorite brands to maintain a certain aesthetic, whether it be a punchy color palette or recognizable logo, keeping consistent branding, tone and messaging throughout all elements within internal communication will garner a positive response from employees.
By creating a singular voice, you’re communicating to employees that you take them and the information you’re providing seriously. Crafting and investing time into creating a strong and consistent internal brand identity makes employees feel valued, important and loyal.
And it’s more than using a standard color palette. It’s branding your communication and creating a standard that is influenced by your company’s culture and that shapes a brand that inspires your company and employees.
To many companies, knowing how to effectively communicate to their employees and creating an internal brand can feel daunting. But by borrowing techniques long-employed by the advertising and public relations industries, companies can use these effective methods to shape their own employees’ experiences and create and sustain a positive company culture.