This was a rare request – a team lead approached me to share ideas on building an ‘internal brand and image’ for his team. The team responsible for the critical human resources management, performance and employee practices was in the midst of a churn and this manager had come on board to steady the ship.
On one hand the manager was struggling with the nomenclature of the team – his team was known by its acronym and was synonymous with only one element of the employee life cycle, much against his thinking. That had implications on morale in the team and also on their self-belief.
While branding teams internally may not be a viable option for the internal communicator to encourage, it does help to share appropriate channels and opportunities for showcasing the team’s goals, progress and members.
Here are some pointers which I shared with the team – you may find them useful in your context but in a different setting.
a) The team can begin with self-introspection – as to what their purpose is and where they plan to be. An informal audit on ‘perception’ vs ‘expectation’ will set up a benchmark to work on.
b) Start by sharing their team’s plans and agenda, key milestones and measures as well as outcomes
c) Being a regular reporting of progress – either monthly or quarterly to update stakeholders
d) Leverage the internal portal or intranet to share thought leadership articles – those related to industry trends, plans of the team among others.
e) Be seen as the ‘subject matter expert’ in their domain – conduct sessions for employees over and above their responsibilities, reach out and support teams who need intervention.
f) Share best practices/case studies from the team’s work – solutions that got others to succeed
g) Showcase employees and work from the team that showcase their strengths at senior management forums
h) Publish content from team events, off sites on the team’s page ( if this is viable)
i) Peer review any process changes so that the word gets around
j) Include the team’s policy and organization wide change communication as content within the regular company updates
k) The team’s leader can contribute blog posting and create self-help modules on thought leadership, trends, updates (informal tone, with examples from everyday life)
l) Encourage consistent messaging to that stakeholders begin viewing them as ‘one’ team and there a common agenda to work towards
While all this might help to improve flow of communication, it is important for internal teams to get relevant ‘buy-in’ and ‘share-of-mind’ internally among key management for greater visibility.