Identiteit en imago
Wij hanteren het label Open Access voor onderzoek met een Creative Commons licentie. Door een CC-licentie toe te kennen, geeft de auteur toestemming aan anderen om zijn of haar werk te verspreiden, te delen of te bewerken. Voor meer informatie over wat de verschillende CC-licenties inhouden, klik op het CC-icoon. Alle rechten voorbehouden wordt gebruikt voor publicaties waar enkel de auteurswet op van toepassing is.
Identiteit en imago
Meerlanden collects and recycles waste in order to create resources for new products. In addition, Meerlanden maintains the public area in a sustainable way. The communication team wonders whether the citizens (customers) and the employees view Meerlanden in terms of the desired corporate identity. The team assumes that citizens and employees do not fully understand and embrace the desired identity and may view Meerlanden as a traditional waste collector. Therefore, the problem statement of this research is: “What measures should be taken to close the gap between the current image of Meerlanden according to the management, the employee and the citizen perspectives?”
In addition, the goal is to better understand the perspectives of these target groups. Based on the collected research data, advice has been given regarding the identity of Meerlanden. The first three questions of this research focus on the perspectives of the management, the employee en the citizen. The fourth question focuses on the gap that can arise between these perspectives and how the cap might be reduced.
This paragraph describes the procedures and methods that have been used in this research. Employees received a link to an online survey through the internal communication tool, Cloudia. In addition, printed copy’s have been distributed at the different Meerlanden locations. Citizens were approached at the recycling center, located at the headquarters in Rijsenhout. In addition, a link to the online survey has been distributed through a variety of local Facebook pages. A manager and an office employee have been interviewed to further identify the management perspective. In addition, desk research has been done to obtain additional information.
Desk research shows that, although management has a clear understanding of Meerlanden’s ambitions, it’s challenging to identify one consistent, clear identity. During an employee workshop in 2014, it became clear that the participants could not define Meerlanden’s “Why” in a way that all the participants recognized. The “Why” that resulted from the workshop was: “Our passion is to create added value for people and their environment today and tomorrow.” The communication team describes Meerlanden in tems as: “Working together towards a society without residual waste”. The CEO and higher management view Meerlanden as “Director of raw resources in the business chain”.
Research indicates that the different target groups, and individuals within the target groups, view Meerlanden differently. Citizens and employees understand that Meerlanden is much more than a traditional waste collector and they have a basic understanding of Meerlanden’s ambitions. However, the CEO and higher management are one step ahead of the majority of the employees and as a result the citizens when it comes to express the desired identity. An indicator is that the description of “raw resources director” has been found in desk research but didn’t appear in the individual survey responses. In addition, citizens consider Meerlanden’s primary tasks as most important, such as a reliable and consistent garbage collection.
In conclusion there is not so much of a gap between the management perspective, employee perspective and customer perspective. Everyone in the target groups knows that Meerlanden separates waste in order to recycle the waste into new resources. However, this research has shed light on additional challenges. Citizens focus mainly on the technical quality (is the job done?) instead of the whole experience of Meerlanden. Management focuses more on functional quality; the total experience of Meerlanden and communication about the brand. For citizens to become receptive of Meerlanden’s brand, their expectations about the daily tasks should be met. This leads to an increasing trustworthy relationship with Meerlanden and room to learn more about Meerlanden’s ambitions and brand. So management should focus first and foremost on the technical quality. In addition, Meerlanden should provide educational support to citizens. And internal communication needs to be improved so that the management and employees perspectives become aligned.