Welcome!

News Feed Item

Happy People Equal a Happy Brand

Interview With Susan Goodsell, Manager, Employee Communications, Aflac

CHICAGO, IL -- (Marketwired) -- 03/18/14 -- With the consistent flow of research demonstrating the connection between an engaged workforce and revenue growth, improved employee retention, and customer loyalty, organizations have realized that they must deploy a more strategic approach to internal branding and employee engagement, or face the realities of lost market share. However, optimizing a global internal brand platform is proving to be challenging. Developing a consistent internal brand message that can be disseminated across multiple platforms and diverse internal audiences requires advanced communication and training methodologies, and an internal culture that is well-aligned with organizational values and goals.

Susan Goodsell, Manager, Employee Communications at Aflac recently spoke with marcus evans about key topics to be discussed at the upcoming marcus evans 9th Internal Branding and Employee Engagement Conference, April 29-30, 2014, in Chicago, IL. All responses represent the view of Ms. Goodsell and not necessarily those of Aflac and its subsidiaries.

Developing a comprehensive and consistent internal brand message is essential to enabling employees to deliver the brand promise. How do you personally define "brand promise"?

SG: The simple answer is that we define brand promise as doing what you say you're going to do. For example, our founders believed that if you take care of the employees, they will take care of the business. Our culture continues to thrive on this personal commitment to a caring service, and as a result, we are able to deliver benefits to our policyholders, in most cases, within four days. At Aflac we say we've got you under our wing. I think the more my colleagues embrace this promise, the better ambassadors we are for our company.

What is the biggest challenge to developing, and then disseminating, a consistent internal brand message on a nationwide scale?

SG: The biggest challenge in disseminating our brand message on a nationwide scale is reaching employees in locations outside of the headquarters. Because the team culture in each location is slightly different, in addition to electronic communications, we rely on the face-to-face interaction of our HR business partners to be our voice in each of those locations. They are instrumental in maintaining the caring culture we've cultivated at headquarters.

How do you gauge internal brand or employee engagement success? What are your long-term goals regarding strengthening the internal culture of the organization?

SG: We conduct an annual employee engagement survey that helps us track our engagement year over year. The results help HR pinpoint areas that need attention based on both quantitative results and open-ended questions. What we've found with these surveys is our employees understand our brand promise and they live that promise as evidenced in their interactions with our policyholders and our associates. However, there are also instances where challenges are revealed. For instance, employees, we found through our survey, crave more face-to-face discussions with their leaders on company strategy and direction. So that is something that we have sought to provide with greater frequency.

To meet that need, we are providing more information about our strategic direction. We've provided targeted print pieces to leaders to help with team discussions. We also created a short-video series for our employees where senior leaders are sharing the strategy and goals directly with employees through the company portal. Additionally, we've included articles in our employee magazine on the Company's three-year strategy. By taking a multi-media approach we can capture the attention of our audience in the manner that best suits them.

Adopting a more strategic approach to employee engagement is a focus of every company. How has your employee engagement strategy matured in recent years/months?

SG: We've always had a very strong commitment to motivate and engage our employees. Being able to post daily news stories on our company portal was a turning point in our engagement strategies. Not only did this allow us to share news in a timely manner, we were also able to connect our employees in locations outside our corporate headquarters.

The maturity evolved with adoption of the media. At first, we really had to dig for news and information to share with employees. Now our challenge is controlling the output based on the volume of requests, making sure we pace the dissemination of information so it doesn't become white noise.

Your company has created its own internal brand message, or identity, that is referred to as the "Aflac Way." How did the Aflac Way come about and how has it enabled the organization to better reach its goals?

SG: Aflac's employee population grew tremendously along with our brand recognition once the Aflac Duck campaign began in 2000. We hired and trained our teams rapidly to keep pace with new business. However, with this new influx of employees, we didn't have the opportunity to fully translate the culture. Senior leaders who had been with the company "pre-duck" felt the need to capture the essence of who we are before we lost touch with the values of our founders.

The Aflac Way defines who we are and how we expect our employees to treat our customers and each other. It defines the essentials of customer service. We can see the results first-hand in the way our customer service specialists interact with our customers. We know that their care and compassion makes a difference from the thousands of positive testimonials we receive each year to our dedicated email box, ilovemyaflac.com. Our CEO Dan Amos recently said at a company meeting that happy people equals a happy brand. The Aflac Way is essential to our happiness.

With a focus on communications, project management and event production, Susan has 27 years of experience in both non-profit and corporate organizations. Susan has been a part of the Aflac Employee Communications function for more than six years. Her team's efforts support all aspects of internal communications through print, electronic and digital media. They give voice to corporate initiatives including sustainability and diversity awareness, health and wellness, benefits and strategic messaging, as well as event communications for the annual leadership meeting, Diversity Week and the week-long employee appreciation festivities that celebrate Aflac's 4,700 employees. Although a Buffalo native, Susan's called the South home for more than three decades. She is a Distinguished Toastmaster and remains actively involved in the Toastmasters organization.

The marcus evans 9th Internal Branding and Employee Engagement Conference will take place in Chicago, April 29-30, 2014. For more information, check out the conference brochure or please contact Tyler Kelch, Marketing Coordinator, Media & PR, marcus evans at 312-894-6377 or [email protected].

About marcusevans

marcusevans conferences annually produce over 2,000 high quality events designed to provide key strategic business information, best practice and networking opportunities for senior industry decision-makers. Our global reach is utilized to attract over 30,000 speakers annually; ensuring niche focused subject matter presented directly by practitioners and a diversity of information to assist our clients in adopting best practice in all business disciplines.

Image Available: http://www2.marketwire.com/mw/frame_mw?attachid=2545392

Tyler Kelch
Marketing Coordinator, Media & PR
marcus evans
312-894-6377
[email protected]

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, discussed how they built...
Sanjeev Sharma Joins June 5-7, 2018 @DevOpsSummit at @Cloud Expo New York Faculty. Sanjeev Sharma is an internationally known DevOps and Cloud Transformation thought leader, technology executive, and author. Sanjeev's industry experience includes tenures as CTO, Technical Sales leader, and Cloud Architect leader. As an IBM Distinguished Engineer, Sanjeev is recognized at the highest levels of IBM's core of technical leaders.
Digital transformation is about embracing digital technologies into a company's culture to better connect with its customers, automate processes, create better tools, enter new markets, etc. Such a transformation requires continuous orchestration across teams and an environment based on open collaboration and daily experiments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alex Casalboni, Technical (Cloud) Evangelist at Cloud Academy, explored and discussed the most urgent unsolved challenges to achieve f...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
Recently, WebRTC has a lot of eyes from market. The use cases of WebRTC are expanding - video chat, online education, online health care etc. Not only for human-to-human communication, but also IoT use cases such as machine to human use cases can be seen recently. One of the typical use-case is remote camera monitoring. With WebRTC, people can have interoperability and flexibility for deploying monitoring service. However, the benefit of WebRTC for IoT is not only its convenience and interopera...
"WineSOFT is a software company making proxy server software, which is widely used in the telecommunication industry or the content delivery networks or e-commerce," explained Jonathan Ahn, COO of WineSOFT, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...
There is a huge demand for responsive, real-time mobile and web experiences, but current architectural patterns do not easily accommodate applications that respond to events in real time. Common solutions using message queues or HTTP long-polling quickly lead to resiliency, scalability and development velocity challenges. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ryland Degnan, a Senior Software Engineer on the Netflix Edge Platform team, will discuss how by leveraging a reactive stream-based protocol,...
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
The past few years have brought a sea change in the way applications are architected, developed, and consumed—increasing both the complexity of testing and the business impact of software failures. How can software testing professionals keep pace with modern application delivery, given the trends that impact both architectures (cloud, microservices, and APIs) and processes (DevOps, agile, and continuous delivery)? This is where continuous testing comes in. D
The dynamic nature of the cloud means that change is a constant when it comes to modern cloud-based infrastructure. Delivering modern applications to end users, therefore, is a constantly shifting challenge. Delivery automation helps IT Ops teams ensure that apps are providing an optimal end user experience over hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud environments, no matter what the current state of the infrastructure is. To employ a delivery automation strategy that reflects your business rules, making r...
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software. They hope to capture value from emerging technologies such as IoT, SDN, and AI. Ultimately, irrespective of the vertical, it is about deriving value from independent software applications participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridhar, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, discussed how given the magnitude of today's application ...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
Continuous Delivery makes it possible to exploit findings of cognitive psychology and neuroscience to increase the productivity and happiness of our teams. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Daniel Jones, CTO of EngineerBetter, will answer: How can we improve willpower and decrease technical debt? Is the present bias real? How can we turn it to our advantage? Can you increase a team’s effective IQ? How do DevOps & Product Teams increase empathy, and what impact does empath...