Enterprise Social Networking

After implementing a targeted plan for increasing brand awareness externally, and a targeted recruitment campaign, we then developed, launched and implemented an internal branding campaign, designed to engage employees with the HLB brand and assist our firms’ overall employee engagement strategies. The campaign, called ‘Team HLB’, assists each member firm with employee engagement initiatives, and the key messages are extensions of the key messages used in the recruitment campaign and the external brand awareness campaign, and centre around teamwork and great people delivering great results.

We needed an internal communications tool to better communicate and collaborate across the Association. So, our latest internal communication initiative, and possibly the most radical ever for our organisation, was to implement an Enterprise Social Network. If you are unfamiliar with these, they are basically an internal social media platform, designed to increase communication and collaboration across an organisation. They use the best bits of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter – all designed for internal use.

Enterprise Social Network
We were seeking a system to enable collaboration and open communication across the Association. Because of our structure of independent member firms, we needed something to enable member firms, mostly our national divisional and industry groups, to converse more effectively and efficiently. We would like to see an increase in conversations and knowledge sharing at all levels of the Association, breaking down the traditional barriers of geography.

One of the Association’s major goals is:
“Fostering Improved Collegiality & Knowledge Sharing”
We decided that an Enterprise Social Network could help us do this.

We have bought and implemented tibbr www.tibbr.com

The main drivers of the project are to increase internal collaboration and communication between national divisional (service lines) and industry groups. The partners in these groups currently liaise via telephone conferences and email. Any documents are shared via email. No communication formally occurs between staff at lower levels. As a result, communication is disjointed.

Through an Enterprise Social Network, we want to accelerate innovation and spread of ideas, break down geographic and time barriers – speeding up communication information flow, and fostering improved collegiality and knowledge sharing. It’s also for increased visibility of our leaders, mostly our Association Chairman and the Executive Committee.

We have seen some really positive results in the first stages of our rollout.

Branding internally at HLB

The biggest branding challenge for us as a professional services firm is to engage our external market with our brand promise, by making it unique and distinctive. Professional services brands struggle with differentiating their brand from all the others, as our service offerings are usually very similar. Also, professional services organisations will often work extensively on their external branding and marketing, but neglect to include their internal stakeholders in the process. By “internal stakeholders”, I don’t just mean the partners, as they are usually involved in this process, I mean staff at all levels.

Home Team

At HLB Mann Judd, we started with the knowledge of what we were known for providing and what we thought of ourselves, through the use of external research and an internal brand auditing process. We recognised that, in order to stand out from the crowd, we needed to not only develop our own brand personality externally, but, more importantly, engage our staff with our brand and branding messages. After all, our staff are going to be the ones telling people where they work and what we are all about.

Staff also need to deliver on the brand promise. We are well known for providing excellent service. We have been finalists in the BRW Client Choice Awards, for Best Accountancy Firm (revenue between $50-$500M), and we won this award this year. We are working hard to win it again next year. This doesn’t happen without a clear understanding from our staff about what is expected of them as they provide our services to clients.

To help deliver our messages internally and engage our staff with our brand we developed an internal brand called Team HLB.

Team HLB as a vehicle for sustainable behavioural change

We wanted to develop an internal identity that would support the key internal messages, such as our Vision and Team Values (which are now consistent across the Association), as well as engage and excite our staff. Team HLB is essentially a marketing vehicle to assist HR in building real, long term employee engagement.

The Marketing & BD Team and the HR Team regularly collaborate on various internal engagement projects and use the Team HLB imagery and key messaging to assist. The Vision and Values are now included in recruitment, onboarding, performance management and throughout all that we do.

We also use the Team HLB branding for internal communications, internal events, team building activities, internal competitions and other fun and engaging activities.

We are surveying staff annually to measure the level of engagement with Team HLB and the Vision and Values.