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Talk to My Employees - You've Got to Be Kidding

Most of our firm's newsletters/Client Alerts are premised on bringing out certain salient points of law for your consideration. This article is going to be a little different in that it is the aim of the author to raise a very important issue for your consideration that may provide you with the means to avoid/lessen legal complications.

At the beginning of any new business year, most businesses take the time to talk to their customers to assure them that the business is well-managed; is functioning and productive; and is able to fulfill their needs and seeks out from these customers what the business can do better to increase the use of the business by those customers. This is commonly referred to as marketing, but very few businesses do what the author believes should be "internal marketing."

Who are the individuals that make your business a success? Is it just the business owner or the executive group? If any reader of this article truly believes that, I think you are in for a rude awakening. The individuals who help a business to function and grow are not just the owner and the executive group but all of your employees - the employees who are answering customer questions on a daily basis; the employees who are manufacturing your products; the employees who are packaging your products and, if you are using your own delivery personnel, the employees who are delivering your products to the customer; the employees who are installing your products; and the employees who are servicing your products. Every one of your employees is a key component of your business and its success. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary for any business to do some "internal marketing" with its own employee staff to make certain that all employees believe that they are an important part of the team and the future success of the business.

We have all heard the reports about how our economy is starting to improve and unemployment rates are going down. Whether our economy is, in fact, improving, only time will tell, but that does not dissuade the author from suggesting that a little "internal marketing" with employees may head off a potential future problem.

No business can lose its quality employees and as the economy improves (?), some of these quality employees may "think the grass is greener" across the street. By doing some internal marketing now, you can alleviate the need or the interest of one of your employees seeking employment with another business or worse yet, a competitor. Talking to employees about how the business is going to work and grow in the upcoming year will make them feel they are part of the business's success and make them feel like more a part of the team. It may also alleviate a quality employee from considering going to a new employer.

Also, as part of the "internal marketing," when an employee chooses to leave your organization, do not lose out on the opportunity to talk to that individual and find out the reason(s) they are leaving your organization. It will put you in a much better position to protect your remaining human resources assets and it certainly may provide some insight as to changes that may need to be made. It also may provide you with the opportunity for that individual to return to your organization at a later time if it is mutually beneficial.

In closing, marketing is not just an external concept directed at your customers. It is just as important that your "internal marketing" be done as well because your human resources assets are extremely important for your future business success.

Questions? Contact Walter J. Liszka in the Chicago office at waliszka@wesselssherman.com or by phone at (312) 629-9300. 

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