Are You Exposed on Glassdoor? Why Integrating Internal and External Communications Matters More Than Ever
Last year marked a year of significant change for me: In September, I closed on my first home (the events of which could spark another blog post that would leave jaws dropping), and conveniently, two months later, I was laid off from my job as an agency director after six and a half years with the company. I have always valued the importance of networking, so dusting off my contacts wasn’t too difficult for me.
In 2012, I began actively interviewing, and noticed that a lot had changed over the past six years since I last transitioned from one job to the next. There were now very separate HR interviews and hiring manager discussions, the interview process seemed longer, and the questions have definitely been more company specific. It was no longer about where I saw myself in five years, so much as it was about outlining specific, concrete examples of how I could bring results-specific value to companies I was talking to.
Additionally, I had more resources at my fingertips: From Facebook to LinkedIn to Twitter to more content substantial websites, I now had a better sense of what companies were doing and how they were doing it – which have made my ability to go in armed with concrete suggestions somewhat less intimidating. All of this was important to me, but none of which were as important as a site called Glassdoor.com. I’m not writing this post singing praises of all aspects of this site (it has its flaws); however, what it provides are thoughts and feelings about a company’s culture – something you won’t get no matter how many interviews you might have with company executives or human resources.
As I began to type in company names into the site search function of Glassdoor, I realized more and more the importance of the integration of internal and external communications. Whereas the two used to work in silos, more and more, perhaps as technology zooms past, the two are becoming tethered and more important – not just from a recruiting standpoint, but also from a customer/client retention standpoint. And in a time when hearing company executives frequently say they don’t need to worry about broken internal organizations or inconsistent internal messages, you can therefore understand why it’s no surprise to see many organizations suffering when it comes to customer/client retention.
I believe a company’s corporate brand is like the foundation of a house, and like a house, you can’t build an organization without a brand. And if you subscribe to that analogy, then think of internal communications as the electrical wiring and plumbing of a house: These are the functions that make a house appealing to all who enter and are exposed to it. And I don’t think there’s a person out there who would dream of building a house – large, small, or somewhere in between – without a foundation, electricity, and plumbing.
If you’re still with me on that analogy, think of the electrical wiring and plumbing of a house and how vital it is to ensuring that all who come into a home have the same experience. Think of what happens when – like electricity or plumbing – internal communications is inconsistent, “broken,” or mismanaged: Eventually, those who see your organization from the outside (whether it’s clients or customers) eventually see it and feel it. And going back to the house analogy, it won’t matter how many coats of paint you use or new furniture you buy or how you decorate your home (all of which, I would consider the external communications or an organization).
Organizations need to better understand the importance of internal communications and internal brand building – everything from the culture that’s created, the messages that are built, and the way in which employees experience these important factors. If you think you can get away with an organization that’s internally flawed or blatantly broken, you’re sorely mistaken because sooner or later, your customers will pick up on this, all of the rearranging of the furniture in the world won’t be able to camouflage it, and they will gradually decide to move to a house that works.
Nancy Bistritz is a seventeen-year communications professional with diverse skills in public relations (both corporate and agency), marketing (both internal and external, as well as interactive/digital), and editorial (former managing editor, editor-in-chief, and founding editor). Her goals include: raising brand awareness (extensive experience with rebranding exercises) through smart, focused, and accountable communications efforts, and working in tandem with sales organizations to produce results.
Published: May 30, 2012 By: