Published in El Pais, May 25th 2019.
People always get impressed by the amount of money companies spent on advertising. For example, Coca Cola spent almost 4 billion dollars on advertisement in 2017 which is almost 10% of their total revenue. Of course, who doesn’t know Coca Cola? A big mistake many entrepreneurs make is that image is limited to your external customers. So, what about that internal image? How important is it? A big part of the external image a company has is created by the people who work for that company. If there is no strategy to deal with the internal customers or employees, this can probably end up ruining the external image.
It is easy to ignore. After all the HR department takes care that the employees are happy. But are they really? It is a job that should be done by all the managers in a company. In a research done by Randstad USA, 59% of the respondents told they felt their company sees profits to be more important than how the people are treated. How could this impact the company’s internal and external image? Moreover, 60% considered leaving or left a job because they don’t like their boss.
So, what can be causing this? Bosses can be oblivious to the impact their management style has on the employees. They often have no clue what they are doing wrong and keep doing it until someone tells them. Who will tell their boss that they are doing something wrong? Most won’t. A low salary, insufficient information, not being taken seriously, being yelled at, and an unclear business strategy, are just a few of the things that adversely affect your internal customer’s productivity and indirectly the company image.
It startles me now even more how companies can spend so much on publicity while the internal customers are often very unhappy. Spending a little bit of that budget on the internal customers happiness has very likely a positive effect to the external image and to the productivity.
So next time you wonder why your company image is not what you want it to be, maybe you should spend some time with your employees and ask them how they are doing and what the company can do to make them happy workers.