After a summer working for the National Capital Commission, I learned a lot about internal relations. I noticed three excellent practice of internal relations and thought I would share it with my followers.
Training, enforcing values and exit interviews.
When I was hired as an information agent, I had no idea what I would be doing. In the interview for the position, I was told I would provide a service to visitors to Gatineau Park by providing information on the Park and the Nation’s Capital. A broad statement to say the least. But on my first day on the job, I was not send to the Visitors Center in Gatineau PArk, no, I was sent to a company wide training day for student employees. The NCC has student employees all over Ottawa and Gatineau, but to keep their image/brand consistent, all students must attend the training day before they start work at their prospective locations. This means, an information agent in Gatineau Park will get the same training as an information agent in downtown Ottawa. The entire training is done in both official languages and students are given the option to speak in either language, however speaking in your second language was encouraged. We learned everything from good customer service to learning about the NCC values.
The training was important to keep a consistency in the NCC brand. As an organization, there is nothing more important than consistency in your staff and brand image. The NCC certainly succeeded at that. Not only did we have a one day training, but there was a company wide meeting for students at the end of the summer. This meeting was used as a wrap for the end of the summer, and an introduction to other positions available with the NCC. Why hired more students, when you can just move them around. To the students, it seems like a new job, to upper management, they saved money keeping on old students instead of having to run a campaign to hire new students.
Enforcing values can be difficult for an organization. but it is so important for the brand image of an organization. The NCC did two things to enforce their values. The first was to introduce it during training. It was not just introduced once, but many times and was even used as a question on a quiz at the end of training. The values were also posted on the front entrance, so everyday a student came to work the first thing they would see would be the list of values. The values were short and understandable, which made them easy to remember.
The final praise I have for NCC’s internal relations was their exit interview. As a student, I had never partaken in an exit interview before. The interview last no more than 30 minutes with a total of about 14 questions. Not only did this give NCC the chance to evaluate me and make comments on my work habits, but it gave me a chance to evaluate and give suggestions for the NCC. For example, for the entire summer I had to drive to work. I found this hard because the gas was expensive and I try not to use my car if possible to do my part in helping the environment. My big suggestion to the NCC was to create a shuttle service, car pooling service or have busses extend their route into the Park. I felt this went well with their third of value: doing their part to protect the environment.
Even though I didn’t work in a PR position, I still managed to learn and expose myself to public relations!