Category Archives: Employer Branding

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

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.