The Brand Element: Creating a Brand that Reflects your Culture
Part I: Employee Benefits
Recently at Trucking Proud, we met with a potential client – a sizeable CTA member with between 300 and 400 trucks and around 600 employees. We shot a video to overhaul their recruiting platforms, interviewing employees about the culture and what it means to them to be part of the company. It was a powerful experience, not only for us, but also for the owners, because the questions we asked aren’t questions they get to hear the answers to every day. It’s a family-owned and family-run business, and employees talked about how the culture is family-oriented. They mentioned the intentional engagement of employees as human beings, people to be cared about. When they referenced safety training, they talked about it not as a compliance requirement, but as a show of care to make sure employees stay healthy and go home to their families.
This is all exactly what an owner wants to hear, and it’s what makes a stellar recruiting video. When I left, I asked the owner to send me their employee benefits communications guide. After several email requests for the same information went without response, I followed up again. What the owner sent me was the plan documents that insurance companies provide to brokers – documents that are filled with technical jargon and are completely unconsumable. That’s all they had, and it was what they were providing to employees to guide them through the benefits process. I asked the owner, “When your employees finish open enrollment, do you think they feel closer to you or further away?” The response was “further away.”
The Brand Element: Creating a Brand that Reflects Your Culture
Part II: Employee Communication and Social Media
At Trucking Proud, one service we offer is shooting and producing recruiting commercials for our clients. During these shoots, we are typically given a carefully curated list of employees to interview – the ones leadership knows will be the greatest brand ambassadors. But at a recent shoot, one of the truck drivers we interviewed had nothing good to say about the company. When we asked how company leaders communicate with him, his response was simple: “They don’t.” He takes direction from his dispatcher every day and interacts with colleagues, including warehouse workers and fellow drivers, but unless there is a problem or client issue, he said he never hears from company leadership. His frustration was evident, as was his sentiment: he doesn’t feel like a valued part of the organization.
The first step in evaluating your employee communication strategy is to understand the “why” behind it. Communication from leadership makes employees feel purposeful, respected, and critical to operations. For the driver we spoke to, communication from the top would reinforce what he’s doing, keep him up to date on news across the company, and help connect him to both other employees and the company’s purpose. If your people don’t see the direct connection between their contributions and what the company is trying to accomplish, they aren’t going to stay very long.