As a leader, you’re tasked with diverse challenges each day. Lack of organizational clarity, disengagement of employees, territorial walls — these trials are a reality across industries. Their negative effects can undermine a company’s productivity, teamwork and innovation. How do you begin addressing these obstacles to greater success? What route can you take?

An internal brand is an asset easily overlooked. When leveraged properly, it can be a tremendous driver of business growth, cutting through many of these challenges.

So, what’s an internal brand?

A compelling internal brand is the common thread within your internal communications. It focuses every employee on your purpose and vision for the future.

It draws upon the defining elements of your corporate brand — the nuggets of authenticity that differentiate you from your competitors — so employees and prospective candidates understand what working for you means to them. Within the marketplace for talent, your internal brand clarifies why people should want to work for you and why they stay.

Why does it matter?

Your employees need a crystal clear understanding of your business strategy and purpose; their buy-in is essential for successful execution. An internal brand translates your company’s mission into action, making meaningful and emotional connections with employees and elevating passion in delivering your brand promise to customers.

Ultimately, employees are looking for guiding values and a sense of purpose to give their work personal meaning. As Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2014 Survey* notes, “any workplace that lags in inspiring passion and purpose will suffer by losing key employees — and at an increasing rate as the global economy picks up momentum.”

Yet, the clarity of purpose defined within an internal brand can be an important business driver far beyond just retention. As Deloitte’s 2014 Core Beliefs and Culture Survey highlights, “Evidence is mounting that focusing on purpose rather than profits is what builds business confidence.”**

The survey identifies additional links between purpose and business performance on several levels:

  • 82% percent of respondents who work for an organization with a strong sense of purpose indicated they are confident that their organization will grow this year, compared to 48% within organizations that did not have a strong sense of purpose.
  • 81% of respondents working for organizations with a strong sense of purpose said their stakeholders trust their leadership team; 74% said their investors are confident in the company’s growth prospects over the next year.
  • Those working for organization’s with a strong sense of purpose also report they are much more optimistic about their ability to stay ahead of industry disruptions (83% vs. 42%) and to outperform their competition (79% vs. 47%).

All signs seem to be pointing in the same direction. Today clarity of purpose, as defined within an internal brand, can be a windfall for any company.

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