‘Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients’- Richards Branson

And it’s true. Which salesperson do you know that works well without the right motivation? Be it a commission structure, flex-hours, good holidays, base salary, you know the deal. It’s also a fact that a positive working environment is a productive one (even though those free boxes of fruit don’t go amiss sometimes) and your internal presentations should reflect this.
Let me take you back to a particularly memorable training presentation that I had to endure whilst working for a well-known retailer.

I was a student at the time and having paid £3 return on the bus to get to said unpaid presentation, it wasn’t the most positive start. There were 7 of us crammed into a small room with an ancient projector. Kicking it off was the ‘team success leader’ (whatever that means), with a suspiciously cheerful expression on his face. The light goes off and we’re plunged into the depths of health and safety slides- what to do in the event of a fire, what to do if a customer falls over and how to pick up a bin safely (it’s by bending your knees, by the way).

The surprising part of this presentation is that it was memorable, but mainly for the part that came after. A forlorn face appeared on the screen with the tagline ‘Actors have been used to protect the identity of this person’. We followed the story of Janine who had hit hard times, Christmas was coming and she’d spotted a toy that she’d like to give to her toddler in the store. We heard a teary ‘Janine’ tell us how she couldn’t afford it, but had gotten the idea into her head that she could hide it in the bins after her shift and collect it after hours. After the dramatic reconstruction of Janine being hurtled to the floor by police with a toy dinosaur in hand, we heard her woes through a teary actor ‘I just wish that I’d thought twice, I now have a criminal record, I’ve lost my job and there’s no presents for little Johnny this Christmas.’ I was traumatised! Not that I condone theft by any means, but they could have picked an example with someone who wasn’t likely on minimum wage with a young child, jeez, #justiceforjanine.

Aside from Janine’s story, though, wasn’t the message that our new employers were trying to put across to us- ‘don’t steal and be like Janine’, but the message that they didn’t trust us. The intention of the presentation was to evoke fear- and that didn’t sit well with me.

The reason that I mention this presentation is that it’s sat alongside my bad impression of the company ever since. I handed my notice in after a few months as the issue seemed to resonate throughout the company.
Although this may seem drastic to some, a lot of the people I’ve mentioned it to have found this to be a familiar scenario.
When considering how to build an internal presentation, your staff should be at the forefront of your mind when deciding the messaging that you’d like to put across.

Get in touch now to discuss our CLARITY service on +44 (0) 203 291 3897, helping you develop your messaging to make it the most effective that it can be at the point of delivery.