[This article is a part of our weekly series ‘Inside Out’]
Inspired by all the Diwali love on Facebook, especially with my NRI friends getting their desi on, I wanted to write about internal branding.
What does 'NRI love' on FB have to do with internal branding? Have you noticed how many NRIs turn 'bhai-bhai' with all Indians while they live abroad? Ironically, most of them, while back in India, could never stand that neighbour with the ‘Indian mentality’.
Hypocrisy apart, that sense of patriotism is the best internal branding campaign that you will find anywhere in the world! You don’t think so? Why not?
How many of us inspire our employees enough to speak about our startup or product at the drop of a hat, especially in a team of twenty? Honestly, we don’t hear about that too often unless you’ve just raised a round of investment (or you are a core team member).
It is amazing how the prospect of a salary hike makes employees say nice things. Wait a minute! But that’s only till the appraisal meeting gets done.
The most common reaction to this is: “I don’t get it. This is supposed to be happening only with corporates. They sound so convincing about vision alignment during the job interview.”
Are you sure that you have heard that right? Is it really only about vision alignment? How are you to know if the person is going to stay aligned to your vision for the rest of their lives? The answer to that is quite simple: ask them!
Here’s my elevator pitch:
The art of listening
Begin a conversation with an employee enquiring about their work: how easy or difficult it is and offer help. You can be innovative, but listen and pay attention.
Listening is a process that has been designed with state-of-the-art technology to make your employee feel that you are in it together. At no additional cost, it can even inspire the person to look for ways to give rather than take.
What are you waiting for? Grab the offer now because if they grow, you grow!
Statuary warning: This prescription is to be followed only every one or two weeks. People with compulsive tendencies are requested to exercise restraint.
Shall we get started then? Of course not!
“It might be easy in a team of twenty but not when we scale,” is another classic response.
Now that could be the perfect scenario to find out if the HR in your company is effective. They will do the asking and listening. Besides, you could still talk to a few employees every now and then. That’s when the word gets out and your internal branding begins. Patriotism at work!
It is great to take inspiration from patriotism. But please don’t get too inspired. Be sure to ask and listen.
But, listening is just the starting point. It might be useful to act on what you learnt from all the listening.
About the author
Brindaalakshmi. K heads Marketing and Communications at Ploud.io. Having been a technology journalist in her previous avatar, she takes keen interest in technology and startups. As a writer, she writes poetry, journalistic pieces, screenplay, brand copy, fiction and anything else with a promise of an exciting challenge.