John Moore at OurHouse posts an article on lack of employee motivation. A Gallup poll found that 80% of British workers lack any real commitment to their jobs, and there have been similar findings in the US. John comments:
I think (the findings) are a sad measure of the failure of marketing to create genuine engagement for stakeholders in organizations. What hope is there of a brand engaging customers if it can't engage its own workers?
I agree in principle with his comment, but I don't think that marketing has failed to create engagement for its stakeholders. The fact is, marketing is usually not allowed to participate in creating engagement for its stakeholders. The employee stakeholder is in HR's territory, and all too often the HR director/team is busy with paperwork and not with engagement. The other problem is that employee motivation is often at the bottom of management's priority list. A C-level client recently said to me, "Why should we motivate employees to do what they're already paid to do?" Ouch. Employee engagement happens during the brand-building process, when the brand promise is actively infused throughout the corporation by the entire leadership team.
John's right: it's impossible to engage customers without engaging employees first. Passion is infectious. Good brands are viruses. The key today is, how can marketers widen their sphere of influence within organizations to make sure the virus takes hold internally? I know of a few companies who are putting their training function under the Marketing umbrella; that's a good start, but it's usually done to make sure that the sales pitch matches the advertising pitch. I'm becoming fascinated with internal branding, because it's a prerequisite for good external branding. More posts on this topic to come...