Alignment is the secret ingredient for a successful internal communications strategy

Hester Gras

Alignment should be your mantra in everything you do as an internal communications professional. Orchestrating alignment between your different target groups, communicating a consistent storyline to point every head in the same direction – these are also the keys to effective employer branding. As such, employer branding is not only an important topic for internal communications, but also for Human Resources and Marketing.

Welcome to the second installment of our special series on employer branding: ten blogs where we walk you through all you need to know about employer branding.

One for all, all for one!

In the first installment, “What you need to know about Employer Branding”, we mentioned the importance of alignment. All communication channels (internal and external) should carry your organization’s brand values. Employees should receive a clear and consistent message about your organization, including with the same logo, font and writing style, regardless of the phase in which they find themselves along their employee journey. So it’s one for all, all for one!

The benefits of alignment

Creating and nurturing alignment in your communications to your target groups and important stakeholders will not only contribute to your employer brand, but will also have some very positive spin-offs, such as efficiency, clarity, recognition, more employee ambassadors.

Efficiency: You will be able to work more efficiently, since workload will be spread between different departments; Internal Communications, HR and Marketing. Your main challenge will be in securing clear agreements concerning the content and form of your communications.

Clarity: Joint agreement on the starting point will give you clarity moving forward, and go a long way to ensuring that you won’t need to revisit or revise down the road. If your message is simple, then repetition will more easily embed your core messages in the minds of your target groups.

Recognition: Repeating the symbols, core message and brand values again and again in various media and channels will trigger recognition in your target groups. If your messaging is crafted well and is consistent with the reality of the experience the target group has with the brand, then recognition may eventually be converted to supportive behaviour in line with your organization’s strategic goals.

Employee ambassadors: There are no better ambassadors than employees who spread the word about brand values in an authentic way: telling positive stories about their own experiences.

An Internal Communication managers’ role

Once the different departments have agreed to an employer brand strategy, you need to translate it into concrete tasks. Time to look at the main activities for an Internal Communication manager. These are not new activities or roles, but when aligned with other departments, you will reach another dimension.

The main activities will be:

1. Inform: Translate the employer brand strategy into a story that will inform and inspire your employees on the brand values of your organization.
2. Involve: Create some situations where you can ask some employees for help, involve them in the process. Make sure you do something with their input. It will contribute to the employer brand.
3. Position: Think about how you bring a message. Your purpose is to embed the message into the minds of your employees and influence their supportive behavior for the whole organization. How does the message resonate in their daily lives? Will he or she find the message appealing?
4. Activate: Make sure your internal communications convey the employer brand story, every time. How will the story come to life? Let your employees know how they contribute to the organizations’ success. HR will play a prominent role here, as they can activate employees with personal development programs or other development agreements.
5. Motivate: This may seem obvious, but every message you send should drive motivation. For instance, let employees know how they could contribute on a small scale with practical tips or by celebrating the organization’s successes.
6. Facilitate: Make sure employees have the right tools so they can contribute to the employer brand. For instance, create dialogue with your employees or make sure they have access to organizational news, anytime and anywhere.

We hope we were able to show some ways in which alignment works for an employer brand. Keen on finding out more on this topic? Don’t hesitate to give us a call!

The next installment of our employer branding special will address KPI’s you should pursue. Make sure you don’t miss out!

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