Closing the gap between the bosses and the employees.

Yesterday I read an article on Nextness about Emily Birks who is a Senior Account Manager at Pulse Communications, Ogilvy PR. Last week she participated in PRIA’s My Generation event as the representative for Gen Y in a panel discussion about how to can close the gap between bosses and the employees.  Here are her findings:

There are 4.5 million of us born between 1978 and 1994 and we are dominating the emerging workforce. And PR is one of the industries where it’s even harder to escape us.  To put it in perspective, 76 percent of Ogilvy PR’s current employees are Gen Ys.

We are the most labelled generation ever and the discussion kicked-off with a few of those labels being thrown around. The bosses described us as selfish and always thinking ‘what’s in it for me’, only caring about more money and job titles, and not being able to listen as we are constantly checking our phones or updating our statuses.

But in order to close the gap between bosses and employees you can’t label us with one big brushstroke.

Gen Y spans almost 20 years so it’s not sensible to consider this a target audience. Bosses should acknowledge life stages, career stages, professional needs, socio-economic differences when trying to motivate staff.

As employees we have a desire for customisation which I don’t think is unique to our generation. People of all ages want to know they can walk into a new job and carve out their own opportunities if they do well and are loyal to the company. It’s more about understanding expectations.

What ‘shiny’ things beyond salary attract us to a new job or keep us satisfied in a current one?

According to 2011 McCrindle Research one of the top priorities for Gen Ys when looking for an employer is a “great culture”. And I agree with this. We come to work at least 40 hours a week so it’s important that we enjoy being here each day and I think the people we work with play a huge role in that. All the Gen Ys in the room acknowledge the importance of great mentors in keeping us satisfied in a job.

Training also came out as being important to us.

We like to feel like it is a mutually beneficial relationship, Gen Y want something back and training and development shows that the agency is willing to invest in us. I know I always walk out of a great training session feeling reinvigorated and and grateful that I work for an agency that offers inspiring training.

Loyalty and Generation Y.

According to McCrindle Research on average Gen Ys spend two years with an employer versus the national average of four years. The bosses asked us what keeps us loyal to an agency.  As we tend to get bored easily it’s important to be presented with new challenges and we need to be able to see a future for ourselves at the company. Being rewarded for being loyal doesn’t hurt either. I just had my three year anniversary at Ogilvy PR and being rewarded with three extra days of Loyalty Leave is a nice little perk. It makes a difference.

As a generation we might be labelled more than past generations. But at the end of the day the same fundamentals of great management and leadership remain.

Follow Emily Birks on Twitter (@embirksy). This article was first published on Ogilvy PR’s blog.

 

Yours representing Generation Y,

Justine

How good is your companies internal culture?

With increasing competition to secure skilled workers what does your business do to get the best staff and keep them?

Creating a strong employer brand requires a virtuous circle from external reputation to internal recognition and engagement, and viceversa.

Employees need to become empowered to become brand ambassadors. In addition to  the role of employees as brand ambassadors, there needs to be a formal strategy for communicating the employee value proposition externally. Social media and your company website are great tools to help promote your internal culture. Check out the video in the link below from another local Australian company that is doing it right Atlassian.

The Brand Called You

According to Tom Peters back in 1997:

Big companies understand the importance of brands. Today, in the Age of the Individual, you have to be your own brand. Here’s what it takes to be the CEO of Me, Inc. It’s a new brand world…

Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.

It’s that simple — and that hard. And that inescapable.”

Wow, this gives a new dimension to branding. Even though this article was written over a decade a go, the idea of ‘being a brand’ was ahead of its time… but it fits much more readily into today’s world. We are all walking brands.

Read the full story here.

Yours in branding YOU,
Amber.

Employer Branding – how Virgin added ‘Virginess’ to Virgin Active

I love employer branding and when done well it can revolutionise Government Departments, large and even small businesses.

Always on the look out for businesses doing this well, I was excited to find this fantastic presentation by Elaine J0bson, where she shares the principles on how Virgin successfully took the old Health and Raquet club brand and changed it to be part of the distinctive Virgin family.

The key take aways for me from this presentation that can easily be applied to your business or department are:

1. Good is the enemy of Great. You can have a good business but unless you do something different and push the boundaries you will never have a Great business.

2. Culture is everything.  People will be attracted to your business because of your culture.

3. Combine Employer Branding strategies. The service and people strategies need to be combined in order to create a great culture.

4. Create an over arching theme.  For Virgin, they started by having an overarching theme that they called their Love Strategy with a goal to be the ‘Worlds Most Loved’.  They then changed their language around each part of the employee process / experience.  All employees were refereed to as humans and the Virgin brand was in a ‘relationship’ with everyone of them.

• The recruitment process is called Flirting.
• Falling in Love with the brand is the first 90 days.
• The Being in Love phase is where the employees are looking for substance – asking themselves, is this somewhere I would want to stay long term.
• Staying in Love – 12 months plus – is the brand taking their humans for granted?, are they still helping nurture learning and growth?
• Happily ever Active – is a place Virgin have created for people who are scoring a 9 or 10 promoter score and have been with the business over 12 months. It is a place where things just happen – random acts of love.

Very inspiring and very achievable. All we need to do is stop and define the strategy that will take our employer brand to the next level.

Yours in Employer Branding,

Belinda

Awesome work spaces

Employer branding is the ‘promise of an experience’. It’s about creating an image of your business as a great place to work and, in turn, attracting the right people to the business. When a business employs the right people it succeeds. And when employees enjoy coming to work they succeed…and stay. Research has also found that that having fun at at work greatly improves productivity. Google are well known for their well designed and interactive offices. Their Sydney office includes a bean bag meeting room, cubby houses, a games room, masseuse and free cafeteria. Here are some other awesome examples of engaging and inspiring work spaces.

Google Offices eating area with slippery dip
Google breakout area pods
Google
Redbull office cricket pitch
Redbull office basketball court
Redbull
HOK, London office picnic lunch area
HOK, London
Thinkgarden office space
Thinkgarden office space with desks amongst trees
Thinkgarden

We can’t all have slippery dips in our office…but we can dream! When it comes to employer branding, even small investments can provide great financial benefits to employers.

Yours in office envy,
Andrea.

TED Talk – Drew Curtis: How I beat a patent troll

In 1993, while a student in England, Drew Curtis began sending links to his friends. Over time that grew until he founded a website for the links: Fark.com. The site has now grown into one of the largest, and most irreverant, news aggregators on the web.

Drew Curtis tells the story of how he fought a lawsuit from a company that had a patent, “…for the creation and distribution of news releases via email.” Along the way he shares some nutty statistics about the growing legal problem of frivolous patents.

Quotes by Drew Curtis:

“Don’t negotiate with terrorists; patent trolls have done more damage to the United States economy than any domestic or foreign terrorist organization in history, every year.”

“Don’t fight the patent, fight the infringement.”

Yours in patents

Angie Rapisarda

Using LinkedIn for Recruiting

If used to its full potential, LinkedIn can be a powerful tool in your recruiting process. If you’re not already using LinkedIn for your company, why not?

Setting up a company page on LinkedIn allows another avenue for you to represent your company culture and employee brand. Once that presence is set up and running, you are already in a prime position to reach out to the employees that are already attracted to you and want to work with you. Having team members on board who actually want to work with you in your business because they have been following what you do makes everything so much easier and cheaper in the recruitment process.

One of the best things about attracting team through LinkedIn is you can see the details and interactions of potential candidates also. And if they are already ‘linked’ to your company page you have an opportunity to even choose someone to chase after before there has even been any advertising of positions. So there’s another clue for candidates, follow the companies you want to work for!

Don’t get me wrong, using LinkedIn will not magically solve your recruitment and employee branding overnight. There will still be the need for screening, phone calls, handshakes and interviews but it will make a noticeable difference to the way you ‘used’ to do recruiting.

So what do you need to do?

First step: Learn what LinkedIn is:

 

Second step: Create a Company Page

 

Third step: Visit http://talent.linkedin.com/ to see how you can best use LinkedIn to attract the right people.

Yours in recruiting,

Paul Vesey-Brown

 

Google, incentives and looking after your staff.

Google is awesome. Not only do they supply us with endless amounts of information and social and communication tools, they also know how to look after their staff.

One of the perks of working at Google is their healthcare plan, which includes on-site medical staff. If a team member feels unwell whilst at work, he or she has access to see a doctor at the Googleplex.

We all know that work at times can be stressful. Google recognises this too and they offer their staff a subsidized massage program. For a reduced fee, employees can receive a massage from a licensed therapist in one of Google’s massage rooms.

For something similar, cost effective and closer to home, there is a service called 3 Minute Angels. They come to your business in work hours and give your employees a blissful 5, 10 or 15 minute massage.

There are many incentives that you can offer your staff to keep them motivated and refreshed. Anything from, a free lunch once a month, to a team social event, there are lots of things you can do to show your staff you care and appreciate their efforts.

Or, if you can create get a massage room with an on-site masseuse, I say do it. Your staff will love you for it.

Yours in ‘wanna-be’ massage bliss,

Justine