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What HR Needs to Learn from Marketing

It is safe to say that most companies recognize the strategic value of customer service excellence, as it is – and probably always will be – the main driver of a company’s revenue.

At the same time, HR still struggles to secure their seat at the board room table. The reasons for this are both historical but also recent as in some companies, according to Ben Morton, HR is still seen as “pink and fluffy” and or as a traditional force, stalling innovation to keep things as they are.

The days, however, of bureaucracy and pure administration in most HR departments are over. To substantiate their relevance for the company it is time to observe and learn from what used to be the main competitor for internal resources: Marketing and Customer Relations.

Here are three ideas that you can start to implement in your HR department:

  • People Analytics: Understanding your customer’s behavior is crucial for every company and so is understanding what drives and engages your employees. As Morten Kampen Andersen put it: “the purpose of evidence-based HR is not to find ‘the Right Answer’ – we are dealing with people after all. The purpose is to use all available evidence (research, internal data, analysis, experience, interviews etc.) to find the Solution with the highest probability of adding the most value to your organisation.” And the evidence is on his side- a recent study from Deloitte found that companies using sophisticated data analytics see up to 30% higher stock market returns than the S&P 500 and HR teams basing their decision on data are four times more likely to be accepted by their counterparts.
  • Personas: In Marketing, personas are created to represent a group of people with similar characteristics. These personas help to craft programs, messages and channels to reach your target audience effectively. For HR, personas have the potential to be the cure for the headache called individualization. You’ve heard this before: one size does not fit all and personas might just be the right tool to find a balance between standardization and individualization. It is time to stop grouping your employees solely according to demographic characteristics or job rank but to analyze their desires, needs and wishes.
  • Customer Journey: The term Customer Journey describes the creation of a consumer experience at every point of interaction with the company. The customer journey starts at the broadest point of the purchasing funnel and moves from awareness generation towards familiarity, consideration, purchase and ideally loyalty. Its counterpart in HR terms is the Employee Journey. Unfortunately, many companies offer a rather fragmented experience: Employees encounter numerous departments, managers, policies and struggles. Mapping the employee journey helps your organization to deliver a great employee experience and identify gaps and areas of opportunity.

It is important to mention that data-driven and well-executed talent management plans can have major business impact. According to one expert analysis quoted by Korn Ferry, talent processes can boost employee performance by 22%, employee retention by 24%, revenue growth by 7%, and profit growth by 9%. Therefore, it is time that we develop the necessary self-confidence to be the change agents our organizations need to fuel growth and develop a thriving workforce.

Author: Magdalena Grasser, Conference Content Coordinator at Employee Experience Bootcamp

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