The more I focus on external communications – what could be termed marketing communications or content marketing – the more I find myself focusing on internal communications. I believe that the internal affects the external. What is good for the internal is good for the external. What is bad is bad.
It’s those thoughts that have led to a concern with company culture, morale, and vision. Culture, morale, and vision may not typically be the auspices of a writer or editor, but I would disagree. The internal affects the external, and it doesn’t matter if the company consists of one person or five hundred.
When I think of companies with good morale, I think of places with clear direction and open communication, places like Vocus and Arment Dietrich. I’m sure the companies have their problems as all companies do, but I can tell that the employees like to work there. The companies themselves are invested in making the workplace a fun place. They applaud the successes of their employees. They make expectations clear. They champion causes that concern their employees. They understand that company morale is a day-in, day-out, minute-by-minute thing. It is not the result of one hit wonders.
For instance, some companies think that monthly meetings make for company morale. Monthly meetings may help with company morale but only if they are constructive and use open communication; that is, no code words or sideways glances between members of the upper management. Other companies think that t-shirts and polo shirts make for company morale. They don’t. They can help with company morale, but only if some morale already exists. Other companies try to build morale through company picnics and dinners. Such things are nice and can help with morale, but again, some morale already has to exist. If employees complain about having to go to a company function or worry about losing some of their weekly pay because of a function, then that function does not serve company morale. It undercuts it.
If those things don’t necessarily create company morale, what does? Open communication does. Vision, organization, and clear expectations build it. Company morale is found in celebrating each employee and giving employees the opportunity to use and hone their skills. It’s sustained by giving employees the information and resources they need to do their jobs. Company morale is not found in semi-regular meetings, t-shirts, or occasional company functions. Company morale must be an all-pervasive thing, not an afterthought. When it is, employees feel secure, and they champion their companies. They communicate with people outside the company. They market the company and its products or services without even knowing that’s what they’re doing.
Photo: Bernard Pollack (CC BY 2.0)