Yet another item on the spring cleaning list that is often forgotten by organisations is how they look from the inside. What do employees see each day when they arrive? How have you created the space to be distinctively yours? The internal perspective of your organisation is important because it a) reinforces your organisation as a desirable place to work and is an important factor when recruiting new employees, b) reinforces your organisation’s positioning and branding and c) ensures your business culture is strong and felt at every level.
So try and be objective for a moment and look at the inside of your organisation. Consider how much of it is exposed to your customers. Don’t just look at the obvious areas – examine your bathrooms, kitchen/lunch room, parking areas and even the gardens. Don’t only look for cleanliness, but test yourself on whether there’s any form of consistency or theme. Trivial things that you may overlook every day, such as the brand of minties or lollies at the reception desk, the colour and the brand of the tissue boxes used and even the smell of your organisation, all combine to form perceptions.
Then take a look at your work stations or work areas. What do your employees have as wallpaper on their computer desktops and screen savers? What appears in the background of your intranet or internal server when it is opened? Are stationery items consistent in brand and appearance? What hangs on the walls? Again, trivial items, but extremely important in creating internal brand loyalty and reinforcing your business culture.
Ask yourself this question – do you or any of your staff go through a normal work day without ever seeing your brand?
At Jack in the box, I am exposed to our branding, culture, philosophy and corporate objectives from the moment I arrive each morning. There are branded ‘reserved’ parking signs. There is branded wallpaper on my desktop. There is a branded background when I log onto our server. There are branded job files. There are branded labels on our client lever arch files. The ‘strategy wheel’, Jack in the box mission and philosophy are mounted on the walls for all to see. The boardroom table was custom built with the Jack in the box ‘J’ inset into the middle. Even our recycling bin, which has pride of place in our office, has our brand on top of it.
And it doesn’t stop there – when I go to the gym after work, I have a branded gym shirt I can wear, with a nice warm branded fleecy jumper to wear over the top.
It is very rare that these items are exposed to the customer, but that doesn’t matter. It’s about creating an environment that belongs to you and your organisation, even when your employees go home for the day. That said, you never know when any of these items will be seen by someone external to your organisation, and this is when they make the most impact.