It takes time, energy, it can be a drag if not done properly, and it often gets overlooked. The only way to fulfill your brand promise is through training.
On-boarding: Just do it.
There are a lot of things that you cannot control when it comes to brand perception, but you can start with the core of your company. As a marketer, I am not sure if there’s anything more reassuring than knowing that your entire staff has a thorough understanding of who your company is and why they all show up to work every day.
I am all about companies being flexible and allowing plenty of space for innovation and constant evolution. However, if a proper on-boarding process is not put in place to inform new hires of who your company is, what your company does, how your company does it, and (most importantly) WHY your company shows up to work every day- you will quickly lose grasp of your mission and brand promise.
Every. Single. Employee. Right away.
Whether it’s the CEO or the janitor- every single person that is employed by your company needs to be informed of why your company is in existence. This information needs to be delivered on the first day, within the first hour of newbies walking through the front door. Do not let a new team member do ANYTHING until they understand why your company exists.
One of the first things I like to do is ask new hires to explain to me, in their own words, what our company does. I do this because I want to see what kind of message our team is putting out there, and how accurately outsiders are articulating the “what” of our company. This is usually a pretty accurate way to gauge how your brand is being perceived outside of your company walls, adjust accordingly!
Don’t create a cult.
Leave plenty of room for innovation. I remember my very first week at Bristlecone, the company was very young, I asked our CEO if I would be participating in any sort of training. He replied, “Training is for cults.” HA! I agree. Training has often gotten so boring and stale within many organizations, it creates an air tight box that doesn’t leave much space or permission to color outside of the lines. Can’t. Breate. Help. Do not do this. Create an on-boarding process that educates newcomers with a solid foundation of who, what, how and WHY… and be sure to leave plenty of space and support for innovation and evolution.
Always tune in.
Your marketing team should be very closely tied to every department in your company, not to micromanage or control in any way, shape or form- but to simply ensure that marketing messages and brand promises are aligning with work that is being developed and is upcoming in the pipeline. If something internally changes, go with it and adjust your messaging accordingly.
On-boarding will evolve, encourage it!
Nurture innovation and evolution, and adjust your on-boarding to address the current state of the who, what, how and WHY.
Employees are the heartbeat of your brand, your marketing efforts are empty without them. Happy on-boarding.