Unlock potential, drive engagement and position your EO business for sustainable success

How do you communicate the adoption of employee ownership as a positive move? How do you use your organisation's vision and culture to align and empower your teams? How will you unlock the potential of employee ownership to accelerate growth and the sustainability of your organisation?

Every employee ownership journey varies, and the reasons for transition are nuanced in the culture of each individual organisation. But, there is a common thread that should weave itself through each journey: a desire to create a positive and lasting impact for employees and within your market.

Maintaining clarity, consistency and fostering a culture that is capable of sustainable growth and regenerative returns, means keeping people informed, involved, interested and inspired.

How you use internal engagement and communication, and how you align with a clear and compelling narrative, will help position your organisation for long-term sustainability and success.

Why brand?

Your brand isn’t just a logo that sits at the top of your website. Your brand is the big picture – every internal and external interaction. It’s your founding story, your EO story, your mission. It’s your intent, your vision, your values and your behaviours.

Your brand has the potential to improve employee engagement, attraction and retention. To create a band of loyal brand advocates, to foster company trust and loyalty, to identify and maintain competitive advantage.

The journey through the transition to employee ownership, and the stages that follow, represent opportunities to re-evaluate your brand from both an internal and external perspective. Opportunities to authentically represent the organisation you’ve become, to sharpen up your messaging and to use employee ownership as a tool for doing great business with great people.

Three critical opportunities

There are three critical points where communication plays a crucial role in translating the why, how and what of employee ownership:

1. Adoption

When you need to communicate your adoption of employee ownership – generate the right message for both internal and external communication.

This first stage is crucial to achieving initial buy-in from the team. Typically there will be a group of strongly aligned individuals who will champion the transition. And there will be some detractors. Internal messages around adoption, therefore, need to focus on the potential benefits of Employee Ownership and ensure every individual is given the opportunity to understand what EO means to them, their colleagues and the organisation. And, with the Employee Owned world gaining more traction and visibility, external communications are vitally important too. How you explain your reasons why you’re going EO, and how you reassure customers that the changes are beneficial to them, will make a positive impact on both existing and future relationships.

2. Alignment

When you need to align and empower your people – encourage them to adopt a position of ownership and show why they should care.

The second stage of communication needs to start from the day you transition. Initial messages of adoption are now replaced with action. This is where your vision and culture become levers for real engagement. The ingredients of your alignment strategy comprise your vision, mission and values. How will you align your teams with these critical concepts? How will you build and activate your employee value proposition?

Involvement in the development of these fundamental foundations can create a culture of deep engagement. Inviting your team to participate in the brand-building process will signal that you’re listening. That you value the whole organisation’s input in the process. Increasing representation and recognising that you’re building together. Giving your team a sense of shared ownership and shared responsibility. After all, no one knows your business better than its people.

3. Acceleration

When you need your brand to represent your people focussed business – leveraging your embedded employee ownership and getting your brand to work in sync with your culture.

This final stage, once alignment is achieved, seeks to use employee ownership as a lever to improve your external communications. A deep understanding of the marketplace and your customers starts with those who work at the coal face. This is not just a sales and marketing exercise. This is an exercise in creating a single overarching narrative to support why you do what you do, and how you do it, designed specifically to utilise the knowledge within your organisation to create a truly representative and magnetic brand, capable of sustaining your business well into the future.

Speaking from experience

As an employee-owned organisation, we understand the importance of nurturing a positive and engaging working environment. We’ve spent a lot of time on engagement, striving to ensure that everyone in the team sees the benefits of employee ownership. That’s translated into us being compelled to better integrate our culture and our brand. And we’ve seen the results. We’ve embraced a mindset of ownership, we’re aligned on the benefits and we’re using that understanding to continue to build our business to benefit our people and position ourselves for long-term, sustainable success.

And now, having focussed our attention on ourselves we feel better prepared to help other employee-owned organisations do the same. Employee ownership becomes such a powerful force when used creatively, increasing the connection between brands and their customers, due to the fact that their people are empowered, educated and encouraged to see both the business and the brand as their own.

Empowering engagement

Our EO brand-building programme is designed to help you overcome the challenges of communication and engagement. Whether you’re anticipating going employee-owned, have recently transitioned, or you’re at a more advanced stage of employee ownership and need specific help with brand building and internal communications, we can help.

Head over saladcreative.com/eo, or get in touch to learn more about the programme.

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