From the inside out: how internal marketing can create a happier workplace

Here’s why Internal Marketing matters. 

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Marketing. We know it can build brand awareness, engage customers, boost sales, and grow your business overall. But what about internal marketing? How you interact with employees directly correlates to how they feel about being on your company’s team, if they support your company’s goals and objectives, and if they trust you as their employer. From simply raising morale to improving customer service, internal marketing is essential — and here’s why you should make it a priority.

So, how important is it to keep employees engaged?

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According to Gallup, only 20% of employees feel engaged at work1 — and when engagement ties to job satisfaction and satisfied employees tend to work harder, you must wonder, what is happening with the other 80%. Where are businesses dropping the ball when it comes to employee engagement?

A main culprit: thinking employee buy-in falls on the sole shoulders of HR. And yes, while HR processes are in place to keep consistent communication and ensure satisfaction with benefits, when it comes to a company’s brand (whether external or internal perception), that’s a marketer’s responsibility. Consider monthly newsletters or other forms of communication to stay in touch with your team. Mass texting is also a good way to disseminate information while fostering a team feeling.

Keeping bank employees focused and satisfied with internal marketing

Design At Work created internal marketing materials such as videos, a monthly newsletter template and social media posts to help employees engage with the bank’s brand and see the benefits of working for Central Bank. These efforts were in tangent with the bank’s HR team’s initiatives to highlight what makes Central Bank different and a great place to nurture a career.

Internal marketing for Design At Work client Central Bank
Internal branding can help employees feel more connected and engaged.

Internal marketing can help you build a stronger company culture.

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Building an invested team starts with laying a strong foundation — and we believe that begins with company culture. What business wouldn’t want to increase productivity and provide a healthy work environment to create an invested team? Most see the correlation between a solid company culture and satisfied employees, and in turn, that satisfaction returns higher retention rates and performance. So how do you create a strong company culture?

Promoting your company’s vision, mission, services and values through internal marketing helps build and sustain a well-oiled workforce. While it used to be comprised of updates or alerts about new products or changes within a company, today, marketing to your team means making champions for your business (and fostering goodwill, comradery and happiness is key). Making employees feel a more seen and heard can have a huge impact on overall company culture. Instead of a person in a cubicle or working the floor, internal marketing can help create a strong emotional connection between the employee and their work.

When COVID-19 hit, Nexus Health Systems used internal marketing efforts to simultaneously thank their healthcare heroes while boosting morale to keep company culture strong.

Internal marketing for hospitals and other healthcare facilities

While the Nexus Cares campaign commenced at the height of COVID-19 in 2020, the initiative continues today ensuring employees are taken care of mentally, physically, and emotionally. Now quarterly, employees anticipate some sort of small gift or special event to recognize their effort and to show appreciation.

From specialty BBQ sauces to make summertime more enjoyable to health system-wide Astros games to company swag, Nexus knows how to connect with their team — and the results have been remarkable. From employees sharing photos and tagging #NexusCares on social media to an increase in scholarship nomination form submissions, Nexus has connected with their team on another level which in turn fosters more buy-in, boosts morale, and gives individuals a greater reason to help see their health system mission through.

Through this internal marketing campaign, a Texas hospital system made empoyees feel seen and valued.

Marketing Your Company’s Legacy to your team can nurture greater trust.

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Authenticity resonates, both with customers and your employees. From Gallup’s list of behaviors that inspire trust in their leadership research, authenticity emerged as highly important. The survey found, “Employees who trust their leaders are 61% more likely to stay with their company and not look for another job.2

Virgin CEO Richard Branson said on X (formerly Twitter), “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” This also boils down to trust, and a big part of trusting an employer has to do with company longevity.

Richard Branson on the importance of building trust with employees by treating them well.
A strong internal marketing campaign can go a long way toward fostering trust among employees.

Regardless of milestone, if your company is recognizing an anniversary or celebrating a special moment in company history, employees should be involved. From small gatherings to more elaborate celebrations, when you get your team involved you foster trust — and with that, your company can go anywhere.

Using internal marketing to celebrate a major company milestone

McCoy Rockford celebrated the power of 10 years recently, recognizing the merger of their Austin and Houston offices. To mark the milestone, they used internal marketing efforts to spread the word not only about the significance of the moment but the week-long events calendar. From a celebration breakfast to company-wide t-shirt day, McCoy Rockford created a memorable and positive experience for their team. Circling back to our first point, they engaged the team with ways for them to get involved in the celebrating and even asked employees to share on social media for clients and vendors to experience as well.

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Design At Work developed a range of materials to help this Texas-based commercial interior dealer celebrate company and employee milestones.

Internal marketing can fail — here’s why and what you can do about it.

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Whether it’s poorly executed, or not very appealing, internal marketing efforts need to be well thought out. You can’t just throw something together and hope it resonates.

At Design At Work, our team knows internal marketing needs to be inspiring and linked with what your employees care about. Once you get them on board, the possibilities are endless. Contact us if you need any help to get started on your next internal marketing campaign.

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