At the risk of piling on, and because many of the business owners and executives I am in contact with say that their top issue is finding and retaining team members, I want to share several concepts that speak to solutions to this problem.
I have concluded that most organizations have imbalanced marketing. Their “internal” marketing, used to attract and retain team members, is not nearly as strong and impactful as their “external” marketing, used to attract and retain customers. I’ve seen some organizations that have no internal marketing. There are several components, many of which are applicable to both “internal” and “external” marketing that are important:
Mission/Vision/Culture (M/V/C) Statements – A primary part of both internal and external marketing, your M/V/C answers the “Why should I be your customer?” and “Why should I be your employee?” questions. Your M/V/C must genuinely communicate the value your organization delivers to your market, team, and community. Your M/V/C has the added benefit of getting your team aligned and pulling in the same direction. As the following illustrates, your company will oscillate in place when your team is not aligned.
However, when your team is aligned and pulling in the same direction, the company moves forward.
- Another important componant of your internal marketing is having career paths within the organization. This will make your company more attractive to potential new team members and will go a long way toward improving team retention. Many studies have shown that given paying competitive salaries, employees value many intangalbe aspects of your total package, career advancement being one.
- A prerecquisite to having career paths is to have 1 year and 3 to 5 year plans which clearly communicate the organizations path to delivering more value to its marketplace. Such plans convey your confidence in the value you deliver both externally and internally. As Brad Sugars, the Founder and Chairman of ActionCOACH said during one of our annual conferences,
“If you are good at what you do, and your company delivers value to your market and community; you have a moral obligation to deliver that value to as many as you can.”
- Another important piece of the internal package is your work environment; is it friendly and collaborative? In office, remote or hybrid? Outdoor or indoor? To mention a few.
- Additionally, all this messaging, planning and benefit packages, both internal and external must be genuine, congruent, consistent, and consistently communicated.
If you would like to discuss any of the concepts in this blog, please contact me.