The value of internal marketing: Keep great employees by selling your company culture from within

Last updated on July 1st, 2019 at 02:06 pm

It’s harder than ever to find good, qualified people.

That’s why “internal marketing” – that is, promoting your company to your employees – is so important.

Despite what we may think, the reason people quit one job to take another often has little to do with pay. Research has shown that job satisfaction is a function of just three things:

  1. Respect from peers and superiors
  2. Cooperation from coworkers
  3. Compensation AND OTHER REWARDS

Internal marketing is a way to promote your company to your company. Ultimately, the goal is to have your employees feel good about where they work. Research shows that happy employees are more productive.

Here are five internal marketing tools you can use to improve communication, build a sense of spirit in the workplace, and make your employees feel better about their jobs, and their employer.

  1. The company newsletter
    Some companies produce a newsletter designed to foster good relations with customers and prospects. And that’s good. Newsletters are an ideal way to keep in touch with the market, to keep your company’s name top-of-mind.
    But an internal newsletter just for employees is a good idea, too. It lets everyone in the company know what’s going on. It includes employees’ birthdays, anniversaries, favorite recipes and even postcards from their vacations. A newsletter promotes goodwill, too. It leads to better communication among departments. And people love it.
  2. Buy lunch
    Once a week, hire a caterer to bring in lunches. Offer good, wholesome food free of charge to all employees. It’s not as expensive as you might think, and this simple idea has a number of benefits. It shortens lunch hours by reducing travel time, it shows respect for your employees, and it encourages mingling and sharing of information, ideas, problems and solutions. 
  3. Sponsor a sports team
    How about a company bowling, softball or basketball team? It’s a great idea that helps foster a sense of fellowship among coworkers. It has an added benefit, too. It puts your company name out into the community (emblazoned on the team uniforms) and builds awareness for your firm among an important group of people: potential future employees.
  4. Hold a photo contest
    Everybody has a camera these days. And every company uses photos in its brochures, website and advertisements. Rather than pay for stock photos, why not use your employees’ snapshots?
    At Abbott Laboratories, Karen Grishaber, former manager of brand communications, once put out a call to its 65,000 employees worldwide. “We expected maybe 50 or so photos we could use,” Grishaber said. “We received nearly 4,000 photographs. It was a chore to categorize them – people, places, objects and the like – but now we have them indexed and can look them up quickly to pick the ones we want to use in our brochures and online communications…I’ve heard from Abbott people all over the world. They loved the contest.” 
  5. Scholarship
    One way to assure lasting loyalty is to offer a college scholarship to the children of employees. To qualify, students submit their grades and write an essay. The parent of the winner is notified and the student is given the award as he or she sets off for college in the fall.
    The parent is grateful to the employer, and is unlikely to consider leaving for another job while the student is receiving a scholarship. An added benefit: the student becomes an advocate for your company, and may even become a loyal employee in the future.

It’s a competitive market, and employers must be willing to pay competitive salaries. 

But companies that build a sense of pride in the workplace through internal marketing efforts will fare better when it comes to retaining their talent.

Those that don’t will continue to lose employees to offers of marginally higher pay and the hot new benefit of the day.

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