employee relations can turn to pick up sticks

Any company large or small or government entity, non-profit or educational institution requires investment in employee relations as a front line strategy for brand implementation. Boy that’s a lot of jargon, what do I mean? Train your employees to “buy in” to showcasing the brand in everything they do.

Too often I’ve seen the business owner, the educational department or the non-profit fail to connect to staffs, who in turn, don’t consistently or effectively share the message of the organization. It’s not enough for the owner to go through extensive brand training or the leadership to determine a new direction for the company, if they aren’t in turn getting employees up to speed on the plan. This isn’t talking about transparency in operations; while I think that’s commendable, not the point. If you decide as a company that you are going to provide a service and do an ad campaign, you’d better be able to make it true down to every employee. Some examples:

Several years ago Harrah’s casino once did an ad campaign for its properties trying to copy Disneyland by suggesting they had the “happiest employees”. Without even knowing the number of employees whether in the dozens or in the hundreds, I know this campaign failed. Disneyland works diligently with significant investment in employee training and empowerment to make Disneyland the happiest PLACE. And you know, they don’t hit that mark every time. No way could Harrah’s guarantee EVERY employee was happy; you can’t control people. Some people are never going to be happy; you certainly can’t pay them to be. Life happens. And when you make a promise like that, someone just wants to prove it wrong. So they can.

A local sandwich company is promoting “freaky fast” delivery. Can’t live up to that. Even if they went to the effort of having cars on hand at the shop, an extraordinary number of deliverers available, and a limited radius from the sandwich making location, they can’t do freaky fast. Cars break down. Traffic happens. Construction happens. You know where this goes, can’t be done. And what empowerment would it take for employees to commit to making “freaky fast” happen? That could be a lawsuit if an employee takes risks and at a minimum gets a traffic citation and hopefully doesn’t seriously damage  other vehicles or people trying to fulfill the campaign promise.

Your employees can’t treat the brand as if the business were a pack of pick up sticks.


One thought on “employee relations can turn to pick up sticks

  1. One thing that can always knock you for a loop is losing a big account. This, for sure, is a matter for immediate, concentrated attention. But before you make this call, think. You may get only one chance to turn things around. You must be sure you 1) understand the customer’s complaint and reason for canceling and 2) be prepared to address these points in deft detail. You must be as clear as you can be with why this key customer is quitting. What has she said before that’ll give you a clue? People usually don’t cancel without warning; there are omens. What were they? And what have you done and can you do to answer these concerns and make things better? Remember, the goal is keeping this person happy and the account where it belongs: with you. And this is going to take thought and constructive action.-

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