Which employers do the LGBTQ community want to work for?

The new generation that makes up the current workforce is more inclusive and expects more fairness than their predecessors. Other than opening up to the idea of diversity in hiring practices, there are also non-discrimination policies and inclusive benefits that employers are using to recruit the best talent from the talent pool in general while making sure that the LGBTQ community doesn’t get left out.

Businesses these days participate in recruiting events exclusively for the community that draws top industry skill in a setting that provides them with an opportunity to engage with employers that are visibly interested in hiring LGBTQ professionals.  In today’s changing landscape, having LGBTQ-friendly policies will not only attract talented workforce but also retain the larger workforce. In fact, an inclusive work culture makes you more appealing as an employer over your competitor. 

Having said that, here are some companies that the LGBTQ community prefers to work for. 

Google

Google is a leading business name and an employer. The company works closely with LGBTQ organizations to protect their employees against all kinds of discrimination. The tech-giant has worked inclusion in its marketing and employer branding strategy to attract worthy talent to their organization. 

Google is celebrating Pride this month by using hashtag #ThisIsFamily where its LGBTQ+ employees shared their family stories on the company’s social media channels. Not only is it a workplace for everyone, the company has pledged to donate as much as $100,000 to support LGBTQ+ initiatives. 

Most importantly, Google also helps other companies list their businesses as “LGBTQ+ friendly” in their products such as the maps, Google Search etc. According to its employees, Google is a pay master that offers a friendly culture, intelligent smart.

Infosys

This Indian IT giant has been amongst the few companies in India that has worked hard to create an environment for its employees that is safe, inclusive, equal. They also created an employee resource group called “Infosys Gays Lesbian and You” (IGLU) to bring all the LGBTQ employees together. The focus of this group is to promote open dialogue regarding policy changes that are required to help the community make their workplace better and more all-encompassing. They also host workshops to create awareness about LGBTQ and to encourage a culture of respect within the organization. 

What’s more? To make the LGBTQ candidates feel welcomed, the company has removed the gender column altogether. 

Uber

Uber is a leading transportation company that provides can services via a mobile app to connect passengers with drivers. As a provider of equal work opportunity for all, Uber supports LGBTQ+ community with the help of its employee resource group called UberPride. The company takes immense pride in retaining and recruiting top market talent and offering them a diverse environment that supports LGBTQ+ community outreach. The company also works towards providing training and workshop to LGBTQ+ employees to retain them in the company and make them more visible. 

Uber has, in fact, been named one of the best companies to work for LGBTQ equality. Thanks to UberPride, the company has built a robust and diverse workplace that gives everyone equal opportunities regardless of their gender and sexual orientation. They also work actively promote the rights of the community in the city they operate. 

Employees at Uber love the inclusive work culture and especially enjoy working with a passionate workforce that is always prepared to change the world. 

Apple

Apple is a name for quality and innovation. It is a leading employer not only because of its brand image but also openness work with diverse workforce. The company supports LGBTQ equality and constantly works towards hiring a diverse workforce. The company has been rated as one of the best places to work for the last 15 years due to its employee-friendly policies. The Cupertino-based giant uses its brand power to advocate for LGBTQ rights around the world. 

Employees who work at Apple call the organization cool and super fun. The work environment at Apple is not only diverse but also enthusiastic, not to mention the great benefits offered to all its employees that helps them retain top talent across all communities. 

Did you know that LGBTQ friendly policies in your company is not only the right thing to do but also good for the business? According to a report by US Chamber of Commerce Foundation called Business Success and Growth Through LGBT-Inclusive Culture, companies that are LGBTQ friendly attract better candidates and reduced employee turnover. The report also revealed that the public-listed companies that support the community has experienced a stock price rise by more than 6.5%. 

However, just calling yourself an LGBTQ-friendly company alone does not make the cut. What these companies did differently was apart from drafting inclusive policies, they also created an environment that was based on equality. These business leaders designed a conducive environment for inclusiveness that promotes conversations around the betterment and inclusivity of LGBTQ. 

How can employer branding talk to both the candidate and the consumer?

The all-encompassing nature of employer branding strategy is what makes it unique as well as interesting about an organization. It is often falsely believed that HR owns the employer branding in a company when in reality it is held together by all stakeholders, from its employees to its customers. You ask how? We’ll tell you how! 

It is not just employees that define a company, it is also its vendors, prospects, and clients, who own the brand. Therefore, it is important for the employer brand to be treated as a multi-dimensional functionality that needs to spread beyond its single role. 

In this article, we will talk about the cross-functional nature of employer branding and how companies have used it to build a powerful image among all its stakeholders. 

Cross-functional collaboration is at the heart of employer branding strategy

The influence of employer brand cannot be overlooked when it comes to its multi-dimensional impact on all the aspects of an organization. Cross-functional collaboration happens when different teams across an organization come together to contribute towards a common goal. If their skills are relevant and utilized in the right manner, it can help a company achieve new levels of innovation, creativity, and success. 

An all-star team made up of marketing, legal, HR, product, sales, and agency can handle the marketing efforts effectively  across all channels and execute your strategies to reach out to the right target audience. 

For example, when General Electrics (GE) released a video in 2017, aired during Oscars, the company’s message was loud and clear – they want to hire 20,000 women in technical roles by 2020. The right timing, right message, and right strategy made GE’s video an internet sensation that garnered 1 million views and louder applause. This is just a good example of a company whose marketing team works closely with the branding team to bring content that changes not only employer perception but of the brand altogether. The movie-style video that showcased a world where women scientists were treated as stars really pulls at the heart strings and makes you believe in the brand for its values. 

Cross-functional employer brand advocacy reign supreme

If cross-functional collaboration is the key to brand management, then the role of employer brand advocates is even greater. With their diverse knowledge and skillsets, these employer brand advocates are out there to advance all aspects of an organization. They are not only responsible for acquiring and retaining the top talent, but also use their strategic excellence to deliver products and services in such a way that the customers feel engaged and wowed. These brand advocates or employer brand champions bring the best of both worlds – marketing and recruitment. 

Booking.com started a One Mission Project that encouraged its thousands of employees to document their travels in a company-provided GoPro. This two-pronged strategy allowed Booking.com to create tons of free inspiring travel videos that they shared across their social media channels as a cost-effective marketing effort. At the same time, it strengthened the company’s brand image as an employer that cares and empowers its employees to experience the world. 

Building credible viral stories via employer brand champions

If you want to create a ‘credible employer’ narrative, then you need to create viral content that resonates not just within the organization but outside of it. Cross-functional employer brand teams must work together to tell a story about company’s values and vision in a powerful manner. Lending human voice and sharing real life stories across the organizational hierarchy and demographic levels can help create an authentic employer brand image that will be relatable for all the stakeholders. 

In a unique employer branding campaign, Accenture encouraged its employees to share a video regarding diversity-related struggles at workplace. This highly shareable video not only spread around the organization like wildfire but outside of it too. As a result, Diversity Inc. and Fortune covered this campaign extensively that reinforced the brand image as a great employer as well as an organization of inclusivity. 

Employer branding now far transcends just the hiring and talent acquisition benefits. It has come a long way from being a one-dimensional approach to reach a point where its doctrines are being to develop an all-inclusive strategy that not only attracts top talent from the market but also reliable vendors and loyal customers. 

How can Design Thinking be used for creating a positive employee experience?

Design Thinking describes a creative way of solving human resource problems that is based on innovation and helps design an employees experience- each and every experience that an employee goes through over the course of their stay with a company- that is productive and meaningful yet simple and enjoyable.

Various companies around the globe are using design thinking to make every day HR tasks easy, in a bid at improving their employees’ experience. A Deloitte study quotes the example of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group which developed as easy to use mobile app to allow employees to manage their time and attendance, benefits and vacation schedule and allows them to collaborate with their colleagues.

The Deloitte survey also found that HR Departments in organisations that deliver the highest value are five times more likely to use design thinking as compared to their counterparts. 

While using design thinking the HR professional is compelled to raise and answer the question- what does a good employee experience look like, end to end? For an excellent execution of the answer to this question we can look at General Electric (GE), the company which has made simplification a core new business strategy. The company by using agile methodology throughout product development and by teaching its managers to help their teams to ‘do less’ and ‘focus more’ is working on crafting an excellent employee experience which is simpler yet more productive. It has introduced new mobile apps for goal management and collaboration and a whole new set of principles for work. Design thinking is making a huge difference in how the company is perceived as people-centric rather than profit centric and this helps to place it amongst the most sought-after places to work.

Zappos, the online shoe and clothing retailer, is another example of a company that has designed its employee experience with the help of design thinking. In an attempt to make employees feel connected to each other, when some Zappos staff logs into their computer in the morning, a picture of a co-worker appears, and they have to guess his/her name out of the given three options.  Not only that Zappos has also recognized it can use design thinking to develop a candidate experience to attract high-performers and make it easy for them to find the right job and apply quickly; thus, helping gain a favourable opinion among candidates applying for a job who then also form a positive opinion for the products offered by the company. 

Empathy comes in handy while designing employee experiences and if you need someone to partner with you to help build this into your employee brand then you might not need to look further than PnP Consulting. As a partner with highly credentialed intellectual property- frameworks, methodologies, processes, tools, and courses that can be easily adapted to build your Employer Brand, PnP Consulting understands your brand and then suggests meaningful innovation that help build your brand as a force to reckon with in the markets.

Seeing how employees from amongst millennials and Gen Z prioritize learning and developing opportunities at places they choose to work, companies like Nestle and Qualcomm are also using design thinking to develop intuitive, experiential learning programmes. Programmes such as these have been found to be stimulating and engaging leading to higher skill retention. These companies no longer need to depend on learning management system but can simply leverage new learning technologies to promote continuous learning, all thanks to innovations of the design thinking process.

In light of these global examples we can easily say that it is now important for HR departments to move from process design to person-centered design by studying employees and observing their behavior.

How does Company Culture lead to better Employer Branding?

Company culture has come to be seen as a competitive advantage. Most aware organisations are working actively to change theirs. Many have recognized the impact that a vibrant and diverse company culture can have on the brand and their business. These are the companies that comprise about 85 per cent found to have seen a massive growth in their revenues.

SAP, the multinational software corporation, realized that they needed to shake up their traditional employee branding methods to attract crowds from amongst the millennials who were being wooed by more visible companies like Google, Apple and Facebook. They went to task to revolutionise their entire brand image. They redesigned their career website, hired a videographer to tell the employee stories and pushed brand messages on to the social media. The emphasis of the video stories was to focus on the people working with them and give an insight to the outsiders to the company culture and what fun ‘Life at SAP’ was.

Today the legacy tech company which once had reputational issues has turned over a new leaf with 550K active members in their talent community, all with the help of its employees who vouch for the company’s culture that is vibrant and inclusive.

 When Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi took reins of the company, he published a LinkedIn post with new mantras and guidelines that he hoped would drive the company’s growth at the next level. He wrote, “the culture and approach that got Uber where it is today is not what will take us to the next level. As we move from an era of growth at all costs to one of responsible growth, our culture needs to evolve. 

But it is not just what he did at Uber but how he did it, makes for an interesting study in terms of revamping company culture. Khosrowshahi crowdsourced these ideas from more than 1,200 Uber employees. In a tweet he said, “If culture Is pushed top down, then people don’t believe in it. Culture is written bottoms up.”

Today Uber which was earlier being called out for turning a blind eye to sexual harassment and racial discrimination, has moved on to evolve into a company that celebrates ‘Differences’, values ‘Ideas over hierarchy’ and believes in ‘Doing the right thing. Period.’ Continuing its efforts to become an employer brand that is inclusive as well as diverse, Uber is promoting and creating employee resource groups and a workshop program focused on D & I, so that they are a part of its evolving company culture.

Sweetgreen, a fast-casual health foods restaurant, believes in creating a company culture that thrives on its people being happy and imbued with positivity. It allows its employees to work with impact projects to support community. The company also provides financial support to its employees in times of need. The employers also host a ‘Gratitude Night’ to thank employees for making a positive impact on its customers. This is just one of the many companies that are spending time and resource into building a positive company culture and supporting the well-being of its employees.

Trusted brands like Virgin or Goldman Sachs or Zappos or Apple have taken the time to focus on strategies to reach their target audience (read quality over quantity) and assure them of their own alignment with the reasons that a prospective candidate chooses them for. These brands have used their company culture as part of their employer brand to appeal to a more diverse, a more global audience. In turn, they have also come to be known as #peoplecentric organisations that are #purposedriven rather than #profitdriven. 

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

How do culture led initiatives enhance organisational resiliency?

If we were to use one word to describe Apple, it would be resilient. The company’s story is the stuff of fables. In the times when the music player and phone industries were commoditising, the company rose from ashes on the strength of simply and beautifully designed products.

Resilient organisations are the ones that are prepared to change with changing times. Resiliency is becoming a buzzword in business yet it is one of the most elusive traits to build upon. Organisations that want to bring in lasting change and those that want to make an enduring name for themselves have realised that building a company culture based on trust, agility and accountability is the key to being a resilient organisation that can time and again rise like the mythical phoenix (not necessarily from ashes though!).

With technological advancements and broadening of the competitive landscape of any industry, companies cannot afford to shy away from the demands of evolution. Developing a resilient, agile and innovative company culture, seems to be the only way out.

Naturally now you would want to understand what sets a resilient company apart from its competition. Here are a few key traits of a resilient organisation:

  1. Engaged employees: The greatest strength of any organisation is its workforce. Nobody recognises this more than companies that vow to take care of their employees beyond giving them the pay cheque and by promoting their physical, mental and social well-being. It is no secret that engaged employees are committed employees.
  2. Clear organisational objectives: These help employees see where the company is headed. Having clear organisational goals act as a reference point in times when employees need to make tough decisions.
  3. Investing in a relationship with various stakeholders: Resilient organisations clearly are able to see the importance of having a nurturing relationship with their stakeholders at various levels.
  4. Strategy: A resilient organisation is very well able to differentiate and invest between valuable and meaningful changes and trivial industry fads. 

If you are wondering where to go from here, we have got you covered. As a company willing to enhance organisational agility and resilience through culture-led initiatives, you can start by improving on current cultural strategies. A recent study from Accenture Strategy sheds light on the fact that in high performing organisations leaders were successfully able to engage employees in the change initiatives. 

The same research also pointed out that if employees were involved in shaping those changes, they were more likely to accept these cultural transformations like what Zappos’ CEO was able to achieve when he asked all the employees for one thing that could be changed in company’s processes and policies.  

Peer coaching and building safe and secure work communities, that encourage and stimulate learning also go a long way in enhancing agility and resilience in an organisation. 

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.

Image: Google Images