How do leading organizations Use Social Media to Improve Employee Experience?

Once a company defines its Employee Value Proposition and launches an employer branding initiative, the next step is to use social media to spread the word. 

A smart strategy can help an organization extend their presence online and engage with stakeholders real-time. However, a new brand of companies these days is using social media for employee brand advocacy. Did you ever think how businesses can benefit when their employees share something positive about the company on their social media channels? Believe it or not, your business can witness exponential growth with every like and share! 

Employee brand advocacy is an extension of employer branding which makes employees your brand advocates by encouraging them to represent your brand favourably on social media channels. By empowering your staff to share their experiences on social network can increase ROI and create a more satisfied workforce, attracting worthy talent to your company at the same time. 

This form of authentic storytelling has been leveraged by many leading businesses to not only enhance their employee experience but also strengthen their brand value amongst prospective candidates. 

Let us see how this winning strategy has been employed by the organizations to use social media for employee engagement. 

Starbucks

The leading coffee chain is a frontrunner of social media advocacy. The company’s employees are its brand ambassadors that post on their behalf everyday! The employee brand advocacy program encourages its employees to share their experiences on their social media accounts to spread awareness about the relationship they share with their organization. Not only does it improve employee morale but also gives stakeholders an insider’s look into Starbucks’ company culture. 

Starbucks CEO, Howard Shultzs, in his book, Onward, says that his “[Employees] are the true ambassadors of our brand, the real merchants of romance, and as such the primary catalysts for delighting customers. [Employees] elevate the experience for each customer – something you can hardly accomplish with a billboard or a 30-second spot.

L’Oreal

L’Oreal is a prominent name in the beauty business that has been recognized for its work ethic one too many times. The company is also a purveyor of gender equality and sustainability. In true spirit of its ethical and inclusive culture, they leave no stone unturned in appreciating the hard work and the enthusiasm of their employees that helps them breathe life into their mission and vision statements. 

L’Oreal’s Twitter page shares all its accomplishments and never fails to thank its employees for their hard work and commitment towards company goals. 

The cosmetic giant also uses channels like SoundCloud to help people get a sneak peek inside L’Oreal’s work culture by listening to employee interviews that are posted on LinkedIn and Facebook Channel. Additionally, L’Oreal uses YouTube and LinkedIn to create cool employee interviews and share it with their subscribers to give them a glimpse of their diverse and healthy culture. 

Microsoft 

Microsoft’s Facebook career page is called Microsoft Life that they use to host Live Facebook events to attract potential candidates. The page is designed in such a way that it sends a strong message as to how Microsoft is a way of life and not just a job. 

You know what makes Microsoft unique in using social media? They try to walk the talk by showing what they have done rather than what they can do. Their exclusive page for women called Women at Microsoft showcases how women in the organization are transforming the way they live, work, and play. 

Moreover, the tech giant’s YouTube channel has a total of 115 videos that shares an exceptional perspective on topics like internships, diversity, and culture at Microsoft. Viewers can get reliable insight into employee perspectives about working at Microsoft and what it’s like to work there. Videos like “Work Meets Life at Microsoft” do a phenomenal job at sharing that message loud and clear! 

Another interesting strategy used by Microsoft is the company’s home-grown blogging site, Microsoft JobsBlog. This unique employer brand strategy shares the employee experience straight through the horse’s mouth. The Bits and Bytes section of the blog gives a quick look into what it is like to work at Microsoft and what can one expect. At the same time, it gives employees an opportunity to share their own experiences and perspectives. 

Today’s digital savvy employees spend an inordinate amount of time each day on different social media networks that they use extensively to research their potential employers. This the reason it is necessary to use social media for employer branding. But rather than using the lackluster strategy of hooting your own horn, you can involve your employees to that for you. 

Employer branding is not just attracting top talent it is also about retaining the one you brought onboard. This is only possible if you delivered as you promised. If you indeed meet their expectations, then encourage them to share their experiences via their social media channels. 

At the same time, you can also use innovative approach to give a glimpse of what your brand looks on the inside. This is where social media comes in to play. No need to be boring about it. Social media is all about being fun and playful when it comes to sharing content. So be creative and let your employees be your brand advocates! 

How can you discover your Employee Value Proposition?

Anyone who believes that the market’s top talent is only after huge pay packages has sort of been under a rock all this while. While money matters, it is not the only factor that candidates consider when choosing an employer. A company’s work culture, their work-life balance, intellectual stimulation, and career progression opportunities play an equally important role, if not more. All these non-financial components together make up your company’s employee value proposition (EVP) and they have a significant impact on how you attract the best candidates. 

Not only will strong EVP help businesses hire a competent workforce, it can actually craft your winning edge. But most importantly, a well defined EVP bolsters your employer brand and makes your company a desirable place to work. According to a survey conducted by Glassdoor, 69% respondents said they will never join an organization that doesn’t have a good reputation. Needless to say, EVP plays a monumental role in defining your recruitment strategy. 

But what can you do to highlight your employee value proposition and come out shining?

Define your Employee Value Proposition

This may seem obvious, but it is strange how very few companies consider it. Before you discover the EVP, you need to define what it is. Ask yourself what your company stands for? What is the work culture like? Do you prioritize work-like balance? Is the work stimulating? Will your team members work independently or collaboratively? Once you have answered these questions, you can ask your employees why they like to work for the company to see if you are on the same page in terms of “delivery on promise”. Remember, the idea is to create an authentic image and deliver as promised if you want to acquire and retain the best from the marketplace. 

Rolls-Royce is one of the most famous brands out there that has more than 50,000 people in its employ globally. So how did Rolls-Royce prepare their EVP? Daniel Perkins, Global Employer Brand Manager, explains that they began interviewing their employees to understand what they feel about the company and wanted to understand why people wanted to work for them. Most importantly, Rolls-Royce wanted to know if the employee experience matched the expectations they set through their marketing efforts. The results were not only positive but also revealed how proud the employees were to work for the group. The company’s value, “trusted to deliver excellence” fit organically around what inspired their work force. 

Define your target audience

The next important step in discovering your employee value proposition is to define the ideal candidate persona that you are not only trying to attract and hire but also to retain. This persona is a combination of skills, traits, and traits that make them a perfect candidate. When defining an ideal candidate persona, it is not enough to consider if they will be a good fit for the role. You must also ensure that they are suitable for the company’s ethos too. 

L’Oréal is a great example of this. They use the front page of their career website to define the characteristics they seek in their ideal candidates. They also provide curated content related to its functional areas with employee profiles and inside stories to educate potential applicants about the kind of people that work for the organization, the nature of their work and what do they mean when they say the “right fit.”

Deliver what is promised

A good employee value proposition is not just about hiring; it is also about retaining the people you hired. Most employees agree that in the long-term, employer brand success really depends on the employment experience. However, companies also agreed they mostly work on hiring practices only rather than focusing on people management and employee life-cycle. They don’t pay much attention to performance metrics either like career progression and management reviews. This mismatch in EVP goal setting and what is actually delivered can ruin employee advocacy that can be counterproductive to your recruitment efforts. Organizations must not only focus on developing solid EVPs but also consistently deliver positive employment experience.  

Google, for instance, uses scientific approach to manage every aspect of their employee management including their experience. This helps them ensure that their people are enjoying their work and performing to the best of their ability. Some fine examples of this experiential design can be seen in projects like “20% time” that gave software engineers stimulating projects of their choosing that the company realized encouraged great innovation. 

If you want your business to attract superstar talent, then you need to be a good employer and be one consistently. You need to choose the areas where you can be great and this is where the secret to successful employee value proposition lies. You should be able to answer confidently what sets you apart from the competitors and what makes your company culture better than the others. 

Who are India’s most attractive employers in 2019?

As the workforce in India becomes a fine mix of millennials and baby boomers, companies in 2019 have to device interactive and attractive ways to keep multigenerational employees happy. In a recent survey conducted by LinkedIn, the companies that provide casual work culture, fair wages, and job security are the ones that are preferred by applicants. 

A smart employer brand strategy has always been at the heart of attracting valuable and talented workforce. These companies leverage their Employee Value Propositions (EVP) to reward experienced employees and offer a consistent platform for improved employer brand communication. 

2019 has been a year of paradigm shifts with some new companies making the list and topping it! IT giants like Tata Consultancy Services and IBM are an indication of how companies are changing their job and recruitment landscape to complement the current business environment. 

The survey also revealed that candidates look for salary and employee benefits, work-life balance, job security, strong management, and career progression, as the most important factors when choosing an employer. These are the primary factors that were taken into consideration when deciding the best employers. 

That being said, let us look at the top three employers in India to work for in 2019. 

Flipkart (Walmart)

This homegrown e-commerce website was founded in 2006 by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal who learnt their tricks of the trade from their former employer, Amazon. In the last ten years, the company has gained traction as not only the largest online retailer for its consumers but also one of the leading employers in India. The company’s continued growth can be attributed to its employees who brought Flipkart from its second position last year to the top spot. So what does Flipkart do for its employees that sets them apart?

The leading e-commerce service provider worked intensively to develop benefits program and ensured that these benefits were meaningful for their workers. Unique features of their employee benefit program includes flexible leave and work-hour policy, legal support and financial assistance for adoption services, tenured and full time employees can take up to six months of sabbatical, maternity benefits and lots more. It is the unique work-life balance maintained by the company for its people that kept them content at work and outside of it! 

Amazon India

This US-based e-commerce leader continues to hold a strong foothold in the Indian market despite complex FDI policies. The company has worked aggressively to promote its private label and flushed money in its retail divisions to setup 100 kiosks in Indian malls. Even though the company is growing at a manic pace, Amazon has managed to take its employees with it to become the second best employer in India, according to a LinkedIn survey.  

With the objective of making Amazon India the most desirable company in India, the company leveraged employee ambassadors to ensure that right perception reaches its stakeholders. Amazon even went so far as to customize its Employee Value Proposition to suit the Indian market while maintaining their brand consistency. 

Amazon India offers not just handsome salary packages to its employees but also employee benefits like its stocks and equity shares, paternity and maternity leaves, health insurance, paid vacations etc. that makes it one of the most sought after companies to work for. 

OYO

OYO has been rising progressively since the start of 2019. This hospitality major is not only expanding in India but also outside of it. From partnering with Airbnb to launching coworking spaces, OYO is investing audaciously in its expansion strategies. It was only a matter of time when OYO became the leading hospitality chain in India. Its rapid growth has not only been noticed by its investors but also its employees who vouch for its corporate culture and quality of work environment. 

OYO is known for its top-down culture that has worked well for the company so far. The employees enjoy the stimulating challenges that helps them grow personally as well as professionally. They participate in different projects and get full support from senior management to learn and perform in new roles. While most startups struggle to retain top talent, OYO has managed to secure the third spot in LinkedIn’s best employer list. The sense of ownership amongst its employees makes the company’s success everyone’s success story. Other than offering huge salary packages and stock options, OYO gave its talented workforce a conducive work environment that is geared for growth. Work-life balance is consistently maintained throughout the organization to prevent burnout situation. 

India’s multigenerational workforce can be treated as a challenge or considered as an opportunity that can bring the best of both worlds – balanced experience of its tenured employees and youthful brightness of its millennials. Using the winning combination of work-life balance and job security, these companies have not only attracted new talent from the market but also retained their existing one to create a thriving ecosystem that is growing exponentially. 

How to use Employer Branding to Build a Stronger Workforce?

As employers struggle to find the right talent, employer branding helps companies position themselves as a desirable employer that attracts the right set of candidates. With articulate statement of purpose and goals, the company sets precedent for its existing employees and potential ones to create an image of a worthy employer. But how exactly does that help? How have companies used it to build a reliable workforce?

According to a report by Glassdoor, 84% jobseekers consider an employer’s reputation when choosing to apply for a job. Given the statistics, it is evident that the importance of establishing a positive image is indisputable. However, despite its growing importance, recruiters often falsely believe that employee branding is nothing but an HR fad that is a waste of resources leading to superficial results. But even though this unique strategy requires intense amount of time and effort, its significant returns make it an essential investment. 

That said, employer branding has long since evolved from being a marketing gimmick to a necessary organisational strategy. As a result, companies all over the world are developing their brand image in order to stay ahead of their competitors and acquire the best talent. Today, many business leaders agree that employer brand image plays a key role in their recruitment as well as their business success. 

For employers who aren’t exactly sure how to use that in their favour, read on to learn how leading brand names have used their employer brand to successfully hire the best from the lot and how you can do it too. 

Google

Google’s selection process is rigorous and the company is known to use a brain-teasing interview approach to identify cognitive skills. They leave no stone unturned in finding highly qualified candidates that can fit into their system organically and work as per their organizational ethos. So how do they attract their potential employees?

Google’s employer branding technique involves reaching out to the right candidates to show that they are willing to go the extra mile to find the right people who can thrive within the company’s environment, both at personal and professional level. Their career website explains what they expect from their employees and what is it like to be within the company fold. 

The tech giant receives as many as 3 million resumes each year for 7000 job openings! With only a 0.2% chance of being hired, Google sets the right precedent for its potential candidates as well as competitors to strengthen their hiring game. But despite so many applications, Google vets each of them individually and makes sure no great candidate slips through unnoticed. What’s more? They use the referral system to find good applicants from their employees’ network. What better way to promote yourself than good old word-of-mouth?

Starbucks

Want to learn how to build an influential employer brand from your social media channels? Learn from Starbucks! Starbucks’ Twitter and Instagram handles, @StarbucksJobs, are used exclusively to interact with potential candidates and to promote themselves as an employer brand. #SbuxJobChats, exclusive Twitter hashtag for employees to express their gratitude and a YouTube channel with millions of views also helps in creating an impactful employer brand. 

Starbucks has always stayed committed to being a desirable employer and has never failed to provide consistent support to its employees. They know exactly what their brand stands for and what it represents. They use this opportunity to build a strong employer brand reputation to increase the satisfaction and confidence of all their stakeholders. 

What makes Starbucks ad their employer brand strategy unique is their comprehensive focus on everyone, from their frontend employees to their corporate staff. The company continues to increase work benefits and perks to keep all its employees happy and content. A relaxed dress code, parental leave package, free education, etc. makes its employees advocate the brand strongly across their social media pages. 

Salesforce 

Named one of the best employers in the world by Fortune, Salesforce calls its employees and its team members as ‘Ohana,’ which means family in Hawaiian language. The word is followed by the phrase, ‘Family means no one gets left behind… or forgotten!’

From enviable employer reviews at Glassdoor to a healthy work culture, Salesforce has nailed every aspect of providing their employees with just the right environment to encourage their growth and by extension, their own. 

They have a very single-minded strategy to attract new talent to their company pool. They have put together effective videos about employee experience and built an attractive career site to inspire people to work for them. Salesforce also pays close attention to all the decision points that candidates have when they are deciding who to work for. As a result, their employer branding strategy became employee driven that has managed to attract the best of the best. 

These employer brands have one thing in common – they have a great reputation that all the stakeholders want to connect with. Employer branding has come a long way from being going the extra mile in hiring process to being a key strategy for acquiring the right talent. Take notes from these companies to create a successful employer brand that is so much more than recruitment. 

What millennials want from employers in India and China?

415 million millennials in China and 440 million millennials in India make up the world’s 47% millennial population. With statistics like these, it is safe to say that this generation will lead 21st century’s workplace narrative. 

Despite promising numbers, there are myths that portray millennials as self-absorbed and lazy, and at the same time there are reports that dispel these myths. In this technology-led and absorbed era, millennials are redefining everything from consumerism to employer-employee relationships. Born at a time when the employment market was highly volatile and businesses were experiencing global recession there has been more emphasis on skill and less on education. 

Over the years, the business landscape has changed dramatically as Asian countries like India and China produced an increasing number of talented workforce. The time is ripe for employers to rework their people strategies and employ new hiring practices to attract, retain, and motivate the best millennials to develop the workforce for 21st century.  

But what does the largest pool of millennial workforce want? Let us have a look. 

They see a promising future and successful career for themselves

The Indian and Chinese millennials share wide-eyed optimism as far as their job prospects are concerned. With China’s new reforms and policies in 1978 and India’s economic reforms of the 1990s, both the countries have witnessed significant economic development resulting from extraordinary change at the societal level. Both the countries continue to evolve at a rapid pace, with new policies and implications for its workforce. Owing to this change, the millennials in both the countries are upbeat about their careers as the business outlook appears buoyant despite competition. 

Together, the new brand of millennial workforce is bringing in a paradigm shift towards the ways of working. However, the volatile environment in India and China does not necessarily support this change which can result in declined innovation as well as productivity. Therefore, businesses must factor in the impact of this shift in workplace design and policies to influence their most valuable asset, their employees. 

The need for strong personal identity and empowerment

According to Zarina Bhatena, Vice Senior VP and HR head at Atos Worldline India Pvt Ltd., this generation has grown up amid technology and is used to being a part of important decision-making processes at home throughout their formative years. Indian gen Y prefers enhanced designations and personal entity due to peer pressure and ambitions. Organizations should consider defining designations and roles and clearly define the path for quick progression for a rewarding career. 

At the same time, a global study conducted by PwC too highlights that millennials in China have a strong desire to be autonomous. This generation is continuously looking for elements of individuality to cultivate confidence and develop strong personality. However, this stands at odds with homogeneous workplaces in China that the employers must address to appeal to their millennial workforce. 

Work-life balance takes precedence

Millennials all over the world, not just India and China, have a strong desire to create work-life balance. They do not want to work endlessly for a company that does not give them personal time and space. 

They do not settle for mediocre careers

This new breed of workforce does not settle for run-of-the-mill careers. The need for passion and job satisfaction remains the top most priority for millennials of these countries. The employers need to understand the generation Y is very different from the workforce before them when it comes to work culture. There is a visible shift from loyalty for their employers and fewer expectations, to one that is more empowering and autonomous. 

Gen Y in India does not put as much importance on tenure as it does on clear performance metrics. The winning combination will be defining processes that will put freshers on a fast track career path and equip them with infrastructure to move quickly. This will allow them to have multiple experiences across the organizational structure. 

Chinese millennials, on the other hand, often consider workplace to be their first opportunity to express their personal identities. However, the traditional offices lack personal spaces. Companies can shape their employees and their skillsets by giving them personal workspaces that are suited to their individual preferences. 

Attracting the millennials

The millennials march to a very different tune than their predecessors, especially when it comes to workplace setting. They demand more strategic approach to their recruitment as well as retention policies. Millennials look for a life beyond the periphery of jobs and want to steadily climb the corporate ladders. Regardless of where they come from, be it India or China, they both express strong desire to do something that feels worthwhile and take company values into account before considering the job. You need to have a lot more than just money to lure the biggest pool of talented labour!

What can you learn from Netflix’s employer branding? 

“High standards are contagious,” says Jeff Bezos of Amazon. If this doesn’t explain the multiplier effect of Netflix’s employer branding strategies, we don’t know what does. 

In the last decade, Netflix has redefined human resources and developed a system that attracts, retains, and manages top talent. Their culture-forward efforts became the industry standard to hire and acquire the best there is. The company’s HR manifesto is a treat if not a drawl. With its unique branding as a workplace of “freedom and responsibility,” the company developed culture that bred a sense of ownership and accountability amongst employees. 

That said, here are some key takeaways from Netflix’s unique employer branding strategy that makes them a preferred employer.

Leading by example

Netflix pioneered in reinventing the rules of hiring and aced these factors by giving their employees a concept called Netflix’s Culture Deck that has set a new precedence for others in the business to follow. From offering huge severance packages to skills that no longer fit into the company ethos to a generous parental leave policy, the company has struck the perfect balance for its employees by giving them enough leverage to act responsibly and in the company’s best interest. 

According to a report by Hired, Netflix is the company that most tech workers choose amongst other other top players including Tesla, Google, SpaceX, and Airbnb. The report highlights that during their job hunt, the leading factors that influenced employee’s decision to join an organization was compensation and benefits, followed by company culture, with a narrow margin. At the same time, negative culture and poor company reputation were the biggest reasons why top applicants turned away. 

One Size Does Not Fit All

Netflix is a leading employer because they know what their employees want in exchange for what they want from them. Their collaborative work environment is designed in such a way that it delivers according to their employees’ specific needs. Netflix did not mimic a successful company’s corporate culture; they home-grew their own based on company’s demographics. Netflix hires fresh and vibrant talent and hence understands the importance of extended maternity leave benefits. Their company culture is built to support everyone in the fold. Not a penny or effort is wasted on expensive perks that will either go unacknowledged or underused. 

Talent recruitment practices that breed loyal employees

According to a LinkedIn study, robust talent brand can reduce hiring costs by up to 50% and increase the revenue by 28%. Companies like Netflix do not underestimate these figures and put every effort to gain and retain their top talent. But you don’t have to be a leading media house to develop conducive talent recruitment policies. Netflix understood the importance of creating a high-performance ethos by articulating values by rewarding and recognising employee behaviours that aligned with company goals. In absence of proper plan and accountability, many companies that take the path of employer branding end up being an open-floor office with a foosball table in the corner. The idea is to create a culture of like-minded employees who work synergistically. 

Businesses these days underestimate the importance of creating an ambience that attracts genuine talent. The key to developing solid corporate culture lies in being distinctive and taking pride in standing out. Netflix not only defined that culture but honed it over the years to attain an auto-pilot mode that now attracts employees of similar ilk who become a cog in the company’s wheel organically, ensuring its seamless growth and progression.

Building employee relationship with trust

According to a report by Inc., employees that work autonomously are the ones who are most productive. In case of Netflix, their 5-word expense policy speaks volumes about employee sovereignty – “act in Netflix’s best interest.” The company’s tough recruitment policies ensure that they only hire people they can trust and make them believe that they play a significant role in Netflix’s growth story. A sense of ownership and accountability goes a long way in building genuine workforce. The employees get to choose what’s best for them and the company. By giving them this level of autonomy, Netflix has created a pool of employees that are loyal, motivated, and engaged. 

What makes Netflix a leading employer is their straightforward managerial style. A quick look at their Culture Deck slide will reveal that all employees have to pass the ‘Keeper test.’ Managers are asked if they will fight hard to retain a certain worker who is leaving to join their competitor. If the answer is no, then this employee does not meet Netflix standards. It’s really as simple as that! 

Netflix’s approach to HR is candid as well as modern. The company is open to embracing change and does not keep pushing outdated ideas down their employees’ throat. The synergistic work culture and focus on problem-solving skills is what makes top talent naturally gravitate towards Netflix. 

5 ways to Differentiate your brand in the world of cut- throat competition

If you are a business owner then it is quite possible that you might know the following statistic very well. Only half the businesses make it past first five years and only one-third make it past the 10-year mark. Now there can be many reasons behind why a certain business fails but many a times lack of a differentiator-something that sets it apart from its competitors- is hovering somewhere at the top among the reasons of failure.

While there are no sure shot ways to know what might work and what might not, there are some simple practices that can be used effectively to ensure that your brand comes to be known as different from its competitors.

  1. Excellent service: Customer is king is not an adage that is restricted to the advertising world. Providing excellent service and customer support makes people want to come back to you again and again. A shoe company called Fleet Feet, fits its customers for running shoes. They watch you run and walk and then suggest a shoe. They let you run in the parking lot to know how the shoes feel and even after you have purchased their product, they let you return it after weeks and months if unsatisfied. If as a customer you get this kind of extraordinary service, would you want to go somewhere else at all for your shoes?
  2. Own up when you make a mistake: Nobody likes to be made a fool of. Customers equate the brand with their own experience and one bad experience is all they need to write you off. So, when you bungle up somewhere, own it up. In July 2011 Netflix angered consumers when it announced plans to hike up subscription rates by 60 per cent in an attempt to boost revenues and splitting the business into two. Seeing the reaction from the public, CEO Reed Hastings, sent out mass emails apologising to users explaining how he had ‘messed up’ and ‘owed everyone an explanation’ when the Qwikster plan had to be scrapped within a month of its launch. 
  3. Be the expert: Domino’s Pizza has set itself as a household name in pizza delivery thanks to its expert home delivery and 30-minute guarantee. Using what you are best at as a differentiator is a smart move because like Dr Seuss said that ‘no one is youer than you’ and that’s what will make you unbeatable and unparalleled.
  4. Get yourself a mascot: A talking lizard that has nothing to do with insurance, helps millions of Americans believe that there is something different about the insurance company GEICO with a touch of humor.  
  5. Create a powerful offer: Every day the online selling space sees the arrival of yet another e-commerce website. Zappos gives its customers a year to decide if they would like to return a pair of shoes brought from their online store. And no one probably in the whole e-commerce business can or does offer this kind of offer eliminating any hesitation in making a purchase thus leading to high sales as Zappos.

Differentiation is a strategy that you have to have in a place to make sure that no one can take your place.

Purpose not Profit- A powerful Intrinsic Motivator

Since 1954, General Electrics has been known as one of the top companies that donates to non-profits. Under Google’s matching gift program, Google matches $50 to $12000 in donations per employee each year. Disney VoluntEARS encourages employees to volunteer in their communities and rewards these efforts with grants to the eligible non-profit of their choice.

There are many companies such as Coca Cola, Macy’s, Whole Foods, GAP, Walmart, Amazon, Universal and Hilton Worldwide- which year after year are among the preferred places to work at. The common thread running through these names and many like them is that these companies recognise the fact that a motivated employee with a sense of purpose is an engaged employee who performs better, is satisfied with his/ her job and isn’t looking to jump ship anytime soon. 

Today’s business leaders understand that bringing in a sense of purpose can transform your organisation. They not only encourage their team members to wear their heart on the sleeve but set worthy example.

Motivation itself as a subject has been studied for over a century by psychologists, sociologists, economists and organisational development experts. These experts tell us that motivation can either be intrinsic or extrinsic. Extrinsic motivation as the name implies originates outside the individual and is driven greatly by rewards (think bonus, pay raise and other perks). Intrinsic motivation though arises from inside the individual and results from the prospect of an emotional response such as enjoyment or personal fulfilment. The examples that we spoke of at the beginning show us the wonders of intrinsic motivation. But more on that later.

Intrinsic motivation is hard to influence from the outside yet not unachievable. The value that intrinsically motivated employees bring to an organisation has been subject to studies over and over again, consistently showing wonderful results. McKinsey data shows that intrinsically motivated employees are 32 per cent more committed, have 46 per cent more job satisfaction and perform 16 per cent better than others. Add to this the fact that there are more and more millennials joining the workforce every year. About 84 per cent of them say that making a difference is more important to them than professional recognition. Ninety-two per cent believe that business should be measured by more than the profits that it makes. Performance n Purpose Consulting (https://pnpconsulting.org/) can be an invaluable partner when bringing this kind of insights into practice. With its frameworks, methodologies, processes, tools and courses PnP can help build upon your employer brand and help your organisation define its purpose better.

It can help you meet your targets by deciphering and helping your people to see the proverbial bigger picture. In return you will have an engaged and motivated workforce rallying behind you. When employees know why they are doing what they do, chances are that they dedicate themselves to the cause with greater zeal and gusto.  Giving your team a cause to believe in, which is bigger than just the pay cheque, can be a huge differentiator as well. Encouraging them to work for their community or be responsible for bringing in the wave of change can help them to add meaning to their lives. The joy they will get out of attaining this sense of purpose will translate into dedication and satisfaction at the work place.

Image: https://www.litmusbranding.com/blog/purpose-not-profit-drives-company/amp/

How can Performance & Purpose help you create a huge “cultural advantage”?

PwC conducted a survey in which it found that 79 per cent of business leaders surveyed agreed that an organisation’s purpose is central to its success. Another survey done by Harvard Business Review revealed that currently 71 per cent of millennials feel disengaged at work. These two facts might sound like opposite ends of a spectrum but hear this, the study by Harvard Business Review also found that employees that found meaning from their work report almost twice as much job satisfaction and are likely to stay on with the company three times more.

Being purpose driven and being profit driven are uttered in the same breath in business now. The myth that either a company could be purpose or profit driven has been busted as business leaders recognise that purpose fuels profit. How so? Companies who are invested in a higher purpose have happier employees, but not just that. Such companies also boast of delighted, loyal and satisfied customers. Such companies have also been found to outperform their rivals in stock prices by a factor of 12. 

Companies working to change the world for better are companies that can be categorised as purpose-led organisations. Apple features as one of the companies in the Fortune 2018 Change the World List. It has been recognised for iPhone’s contribution to bettering communication and for its commitment to lowering its carbon footprint among other things. Another American grocery giant Kroger was recognised for its commitment to solve hunger issues among communities in which it operates.

These are the companies that have shown by example that economic value and social value aren’t mutually exclusive. Purpose can be found at any position in any organisation because it has to do with how you approach your job. Here are a few ways in which you can create a purpose-driven culture that your employees will love and that will show in their performance.

  1. Define your why: A sense of purpose comes truly from within. The attempt to reach within can start by asking yourself the question “Why are we doing this?” Defining the organisation’s purpose and stating as well as reinforcing it at intervals is very important to let your people within and outside know where you are headed and why should they associate with you.
  2. Invest in people: Did you know that 76 per cent of employees list learning and development opportunities as a top driver for engagement? Investing in your people, giving them opportunity to grow and learn as well as recognising them for something as simple as their efforts to learn maybe a new skill is the most powerful way to motivate them. By helping people understand the relation between higher purpose and learning process, leaders can strengthen it, suggests the Harvard Business Review report titled Creating a Purpose-Driven Organisation. 
  3. Be at it constantly: The need to convey the purpose is of an ongoing nature. There never will be a point in time when you can say that enough has been done in this regard. You will need to ensure that the purpose sinks into the collective conscience of the company. 

As a company, you can use empathy to understand what the end user and your employees need and then drive meaningful innovations to build and communicate your brand in the correct light. To meet your organisation’s needs in this sector Performance n Purpose Consulting (https://pnpconsulting.org/) can be an invaluable partner bringing to the table its frameworks, methodologies, processes, tools and courses that can help build and build upon your employer brand.

How to use your Brand to shape positive experiences with all stakeholders?

The dictionary defines branding as the process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumer’s mind through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding allows your customers and clients to know what they can expect from you. It gives your employees the motivation and direction to work in. Similarly, it helps to win over new clients as well. In view of all this it becomes very important to communicate your brand and its strengths in such a way that it creates a lasting and positive impression on the minds of the audience.

Amazon’s physical books stores arrange the books in the same way as they are shown on the site- book cover facing out. Building cohesive experiences, offline and online, for your consumers is a great way to enhance the brand experience. Amazon shows us that consistency is the key word in an attempt to keep the customer tuned-in with your brand. The user experience for the brand everywhere- be it in the office space, or in a store should all be aligned in terms of colours, logos and the feel of the company.

To project your brand in a positive light what would work better than showing them the work culture of your company. You can use pictures and videos of events to bring into focus values and beliefs that your organisation holds dear. Oreo, the biscuit brand, engages in playful tweets with its customers that are in sync with brand’s strategy of projecting itself as a fun brand. The two-way conversations surely delight the consumers thus increasing brand loyalty as well.

According to American Marketing Association, in the years to come, 78 per cent of search traffic will be driven by video content. Videos are already booming and consumers are hungry for more. The video content that you make should focus in delivering your message keeping in mind who your audience is and what kind of content they are looking for. You can use client stories as well as employee stories to increase engagement and drive traffic.

While we are talking about knowing your customer well before creating content for them, how can we not mention Walt Disney World. A look at their Facebook page and you will understand how well they grasp the fact that the major users are women in the age group of 34-54 which for them means Mothers who plan family’s vacations. Creating buyer’s persona or even fictionalised characters will help you know your ideal customer and which will then help you create more compelling content to which they will respond favourably.

As a company, you can use empathy to understand what the end user needs and wants and then drive meaningful innovations to build and communicate your brand positively. To meet your organisation’s needs in this sector Performance n Purpose Consulting (https://pnpconsulting.org/) can be an invaluable partner bringing to the table its frameworks, methodologies, processes, tools and courses that can help build and build upon your employer brand.

Cover Image: https://www.facebook.com/WaltDisneyWorld/photos/p.10157685986258274/10157685986258274/?type=1&theater