Human Resources professionals could glean a lot about the workplace from reading marketing-related content. For example, this recent article on Marketing VOX about attitudes of the various generations.
For years, I’ve claimed that HR is really an internal marketing machine. As much as we overuse the corporate buzzwords ‘employment branding’ and ‘internal customers’…there is an ounce of truth in them. As human resources professionals, we are responsible for maintaining a culture and selling that culture to candidates. Candidates are, in fact, customers. And just as we say it’s cheaper to keep customers than constantly search for new ones, it’s cheaper to keep employees (with training and coaching) than get new ones (via turnover).
In addition, we need to know who our customers/employees are and what motivates them to stay with us. HR and Marketing do this exactly the same way – focus groups, surveys, and exit interviews.
But this is where I give our colleagues in Marketing their props…the Marketing folks actually do something with the results of these efforts. For example, somewhere in our great nation a focus group told Cheetos corporate executives that doing random acts of weirdness with a cheese puff was going to sky-rocket sales through the roof. Hence, The Orange Underground was born.
If someone would have told this to the average HR Exec, oh my…let’s just say it wouldn’t have gotten very far.
Whether or not this ad campaign was a success is a big question mark. The point is don’t be afraid to (1) ask people what motivates them, (2) accept that it might be different than what motivates you, and (3) take action to align your culture with your customers.
What’s the worst that could happen (besides having a Cheeto in your bonsai)?