In last week’s #truLondon track “Lessons from Marketing” we all agreed: People are the brand. Unfortunately in most cases companies just pay lip service to employee engagement. It is not linked to business strategy and objectives, nor does it have the buy-in of the leadership.
If this is the case, the employer brand is only based on the present (the actual values of the existing workforce) and doesn’t take into account the future of where a company wants to be and how it has to behave and evolve to achieve the vision (the desired values by the leadership). If you build a brand only on actual values (what you have always done and do now) you are in danger of stifling growth and not adjusting to a changing external environment.
A planned and managed mismatch between actual and desired values, however, can be an important driver for the growth of a company and to attract investment, customers and employees. A learning and developing company does well to engage in this mismatch. (Read more about this in the white paper “People are the brand – the unity between Marketing and HR”)
At HRTech Europe, it was exciting to see several new startups showcasing apps that, when combined, can help HR teams not only manage the transition from actual to desired values, (hence link the employer brand to business strategy and objectives), but also to reinforce values and behaviours thus anchoring the brand in the hearts and minds of employees.
Organizational Culture Mapping
The first app (and my personal favourite) comes from heebo, a Finnish startup. Heebo has launched a software for mapping organizational culture. It is built on the Competing Values Framework created by Kim S.Cameron and Robert E. Quinn.
Through a questionnaire about the business strategy and the leadership of a company the desired values are defined (the ones the company needs to display to be successful in executing their plans). Through another questionnaire, the actual values of the workforce are unearthed and the mismatch highlighted. The results can be used to analyse the current set up, manage performance and also be used in the recruitment process to ultimately shape the company in line with the desired values, creating consistency between strategy and culture. It is beautiful and simple, yet powerful.
Actions Speak Louder than Words
Values are observable everyday in employee behaviour. Values become the glue for social cohesion, the DNA of a corporate nation. For this to happen the desired values need to be reinforced and “practised” every day – this is where wellevue comes in. In this app you can set your people mini-missions that reinforces behaviour and increases participation in the company’s performance. The result is then shared via a photo with the rest of the team, a moodboard creates a flow of positive images. As with other social applications feedback can be left and rewards given. Nice
Peer to Peer Reinforcement
To establish a living and prosperous culture, we need to go deeper and enable people within a company to highlight consistent behaviours and call out misalignment. Creating participation in the performance of the company.
Impraise has built a tool to for co-workers to give and receive continuous feedback. From annual performance reviews to permanent performance conversations. People can request or receive feedback and track their own developments. As any good app, it has a certain degree of personalisation, with people setting the pace and anonymity levels of giving and receiving feedback and the possibility to go deeper when feedback is not completely clear. Managers can see training and coaching needs. Like the other two apps described above, it is built for mobile, seems very intuitive and covers another important step in creating a consistent brand.
Aligned, as it is reinforcing positive behaviour, but not completely linked as it depends on the training course, is Practify. After a person has participated in a training course, Practify creates a follow up to put what was learned into practise and therefore enhances performance. It does this through gamification and peer to peer learning. HR teams have the ability to view the real impact on behaviour. Individuals benefit as they get their own personalised learning program and Practify helps them integrate what they’ve learned into their day to day activities.
After these apps have helped create an attractive culture and employee magnet, it needs to be communicated to the world to attract the desired future employees. One recruitment marketing platform that really stood out at #truLondon and HRTech Europe is Clinch. It follows the principle of hubspot – using content marketing to attract and nudge talent through the application funnel.
Clinch has two features that I particularly like: as soon as an email address has been captured, all social information is gathered to create an immediate profile. Every candidate receives an engagement score – based on recency and frequency of interaction with the career pages – therefore highlighting to the recruiter the probability of the candidate responding to an approach. Very neat.
There were also some other remarkable startups and established companies at both events, but within recruitment marketing, heebo, wellevue, Impraise, Practify and Clinch stood out above the rest for me. When combined they could create a truly revolutionary tech stack for building and communicating a consistent employer brand.