The working world has seen a huge shift over the last couple of years. Remote and hybrid working styles have become the norm, and employee mental health and wellbeing have been launched up the corporate agenda.
It’s not just the workplace that’s changed either; employees are different now, too. Their needs and expectations have changed, leading to a wave of professionals quitting their jobs in what became dubbed ‘The Great Resignation’.
So, with the retention and resignation crisis ongoing, it’s never been more important for organizations and their HR teams to rethink their employee experience strategies.
But how should they go about doing this?
Well, perhaps it’s time to take a leaf out of their marketing playbook.
By employing techniques and strategies traditionally associated with marketing, HR teams can help to attract new hires, boost employee engagement and create the best possible experience. Read on to find out how.
How employee experience is changing
We’ve briefly touched on some of the biggest changes in the working world, but how is employee experience changing as a result?
Let’s start with the more obvious shift towards remote and hybrid working and how this has changed employee needs. With almost one in four (22%) professionals estimated to be working remotely, open communication has never been more important. Plus, today’s professionals need the right tools in order to work and collaborate effectively from any location.
This new hybrid workforce also requires more focus on creating a strong company culture. It can be a much bigger challenge to create a unified and friendly workforce when some people work remotely, but employees still want to feel like a valued part of the team.
Not only this, but the competition to acquire top talent is fierce right now. Therefore, HR teams need to do all they can to create a strong and connected company culture that professionals will want to be a part of.
There’s also a larger need for feedback. Employees are adjusting to these changing times just as much as organizations are. They may also be required to use new tools or find new ways of working. This makes giving and receiving regular feedback even more crucial for both parties.
And finally, we mentioned the acceleration of mental health and wellbeing. If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s not to neglect our health, whether physical or mental. This has diverted professionals’’attention away from simply wanting to earn a good salary; they’re now interested in businesses that do more for their wellbeing, such as offering paid sick leave, mental health services, flexible schedules, etc.
Why learning from marketing could be the answer
Marketing and HR might seem like two completely different areas of the business, but this doesn’t mean they can’t learn from one another. Marketing is all about promotion and the selling of products or services; it’s about attraction and retention.
Some of HR’s larger goals are also attraction and retention. HR teams must look at employees in a similar way to customers; you want to attract them, offer them the best possible experience and ultimately keep them coming back for more.
In doing so, marketing techniques can be applied. For example, building an employer brand in much the same way you would an organization’s brand or running an advertising campaign to attract new hires.
5 marketing techniques HR needs to adopt
If your employee experience strategy is in need of a revamp, here are five marketing techniques your HR team need to adopt this year:
1. Offering personalized experiences
The marketing industry has understood the need for personalization for many years now if they hope to attract today’s consumers. However, more and more professionals are increasingly looking for personalized experiences in the workplace too.
Moving away from policy-based norms, HR teams need to focus more on offering personalized communications, flexible working and access to a variety of digital tools. This will allow employees to better fit their life around their work and help them to communicate and collaborate in ways that are more beneficial to them.
This can lead to a boost in productivity, as well as increase employee happiness and wellbeing.
Learn more: Personalization: The Missing Link in Employee Experience
2. A mobile-first approach
As well as personalization, mobile is huge in the marketing world. This is unsurprising given that 5.22 billion people across the globe use a mobile device and the average person clocks around 5.4 hours of screen time each day.
So, just as marketers will utilize mobile for their customers, HR teams should consider a mobile-first approach with employees. This might mean having dedicated apps for employees, allowing them to complete tasks or requests through their phones. For example, holiday requests, answering questions, using collaboration tools, etc.
This allows people to use technology that’s familiar to them and gives them further flexibility to work how and where they want.
3. Employee personas
Just as your business would create customer/client personas to help you make understand customers and make sales, creating employee personas can be a great way to understand their needs and expectations as well.
Aim to segment your employees into several groups, focusing on their individual needs, seniority, career goals and preferred ways of working/communicating. This way, you can tailor your employee experience strategy to better meet the needs of these different groups.
And if you ever feel like employee engagement is slipping, you can look back at these personas and get a better understanding of how to improve things as quickly and efficiently as possible.
4. Building your brand
Building a strong employer brand is a vital way to attract new talent.
Just like you would when building your company branding, you need to think carefully about the content you produce and the tools you use.
You should certainly leverage social media and your company website to do this. Some other marketing techniques you should consider to boost your employer branding include:
- Running an employee advocacy program
- Setting up dedicated careers/employee accounts on social media
- Sharing employee testimonials online
- Always leading with your values and creating/sharing content that your employees and target audience will care about
- Sharing your company story online
- Attending relevant industry events or careers fairs and getting your name out there
5. Advertising campaigns
In order to beat the competition and secure the most talented professionals, you need to get a strong recruitment campaign in place. Employer branding can be a great way to encourage professionals to apply to your positions, but you need to grab their attention in the first place.
Work closely with your team to decide which positions you need to fill first as a matter of priority. Then, you can create an advertising strategy. Think about the digital channels you will use to advertise your roles, for example, social media or Google Ads. Then work with the marketing team to create appealing job descriptions, imagery and content for your ad campaign.
You can also use advertising tools like social media to help you reach your target audience more effectively by setting up keywords or using demographics to target them.
As the workforce continues to change, the needs and expectations of professionals will continue to change too. Therefore, if HR teams hope to attract, engage and retain talented workers, they need to keep up.
Marketing professionals are all too familiar with this need to keep up with ever-changing trends and expectations, and there are lots of lessons that HR teams can learn from their marketing strategy.
So, if employee experience is a key priority for your organization this year, consider the five marketing techniques we’ve outlined above and how you can effectively implement these in your business.