Friday, August 26, 2022

Branding and Communication

Branding and Communication

Branding and Communication

In the I-HR newsletter, moderator Beth N. Carvin asked if the idea of ​​branding could be used effectively to improve productivity and retention. This is an expanded version of my answer to her question:

Yes, I think you can use the idea of ​​branding as a tool to improve employee productivity and retention.

Let's approach it from the perspective of a manager who communicates with his subordinates. If the manager sets out to build a positive reputation over time and with a series of messages, then we could say that he is embarking on a branding exercise. It is an attempt to create the trust and goodwill necessary for messages to be accepted and acted upon.

Marketers who brand products do essentially the same thing: they send out a series of messages designed to build a positive reputation over time.

And, when messages to employees enjoy trust and goodwill, then the manager can use communication to increase productivity and retention.

For example, when publishing employee newsletters for my corporate clients, I have always emphasized the need to provide articles and information of value to the readers (the employees). By doing so, employees come to see your company's newsletter as a useful resource and not management propaganda. That, in turn, opens the door to asking employees to do or not do certain things (safety measures, for example), and getting a positive response from them.

In a sense, referring to this process of building trust and goodwill as a brand could just be a semantic exercise. However, I think that when we name a process, we make it easier to understand and follow. And that may be the real value of referring to the brand in the context of employee communication.

Let's also look at this topic in a broader sense, because it's important to remember the different roles of communication in productivity and retention. Three generic types of communication figure in our thinking: instructional, contextual, and motivational.

Instructional communication provides information that helps others do their jobs more efficiently. Contextual communication provides a bigger picture, which should help recipients do their jobs more effectively. And motivational communication shows recipients the benefits of responding as requested.

To build trust and goodwill, educational communication must be accurate, timely, and functional. The people who receive our messages must be able to act on them and know that they can do so with confidence.

Contextual communication must be relevant and useful. You must place the task or problem at hand in a framework that helps others understand how specific tasks or problems fit into the strategic flow.

And motivational communication should focus on them, not you. You must show them the importance of their contributions.

In short, think of branding as the process of building trust and goodwill, a process that makes it possible to increase productivity and retention through communication.