A couple of weeks ago I attended module 2 of the HRD Level 5 course. Some of this was about branding from an external branding point of view. This all got me thinking about the journey we'd had with our own internal L&D brand.
We set the department up just a couple of years ago now. Before this, there was no department dedicated to Learning and Development or HRD. Setting up an L&D function was a key piece in the overall strategy of the organisation. We agreed that it was important that we had a strong presence from the offset. Our name was already decided with our Chairman and President very keen on the term "Academy". And so we became Genting Academy.
But a name on it's own wasn't good enough. We needed a strong brand. Something people could associate with. A department that people could trust. Something that stated very clear who we are, what do we do and who we were there for.
And that's where our branding journey began. It was exactly the same approach you would take if you were designing an external brand for a new business. We began brainstorming all the typical questions you'd expect - what do we do, who are we, how do we wish to be known, who are we there for, what is our aim etc. A logo, derived from the main corporate brand identity was agreed. Our strapline for the brand decided; three bold words which reflect who we are and what we do. A single point of contact for everyone to reach us, one central telephone number, one central email, and one online help form using our eLearning and online site.
Thinking about where we are today, our department has made great progress. I would suggest that we're one of the most well known support departments that exist within the business. We're a trusted, reliable partner. We're known for the quality of the work we do as well as the success our work leads to.
Now, I've no doubt that this comes from the quality of individuals that make up our team. But I'm almost certain that some of this comes from the very strong internal brand that we created for our department and the time we spent a couple of years ago in doing the thinking behind that brand.
With a similar experience of creating an internal L&D (HRD) brand in another organisation, I've concluded that it's a worthwhile activity to do. Whether you're setting up a department from scratch or you think it's time to re-focus your department on the perceptions of your department, it's a useful and fun process to go through.
What do you think? Does your department have a strong presence in your business? Have you thought about how people perceive your department? Do you have a name or a strapline that allows people in your organisation to instantly connect with your department?
I'd be interested to hear your views on how this works, or could work, in your organisation. Please feel free to comment below...