5 Ways To Treat Your Employees Like Your Best Customers

Written by EO Executives on Feb 27, 2017

Following my last blog on Employee Value Proposition, I started to question ‘how do you create a great EVP?’ and wanted to explore this further.

Understandably, when people think about marketing they think about external marketing - marketing to potential customers. But as mentioned in my last blog, no business can truly afford to neglect marketing to its own employees. After all, that is what an EVP really is - employee marketing.Having a clear EVP is a critical tool in the “war for talent” particularly as the market for talent becomes more global. Many HR Professionals are now starting to see aspects of their roles becoming like their peers in sales and marketing.

In many aspects, HR leaders are responsible for managing a complex product comprising of culture, environment, and reward. Each element of this mix has different drivers, communication channels, processes and delivery components.

1. Attraction

To guide the strategic development of the EVP, many HR professionals are adopting traditional marketing tools that have been used by marketers for decades. Organisations now look to attract and retain ‘employee customers’ often in an extremely competitive environment. Talent can enable or constrain competitive success, and as the war for talent intensifies (whether it be changing demographics or critical-talent shortages) more importance will be placed on an organisation acquiring and retaining critical people, and so attraction is key.

As in marketing, the goal is to establish an employee value proposition that satisfies the needs of the workforce (the ‘employee customer’) and is aligned with the strategic objectives of the organisation. Although not a sale, it is a conscious decision by the employee to buy (join/stay with) the company. The sale is reflected in engagement metrics, reduced attrition, lower employee acquisition costs, and improved productivity.

Innovative marketers understand the value of market research and continuously collect consumer feedback in the form of market research. Market research helps business leaders shape products and communication strategies by instilling fact-based, decision making processes. In HR, we are now seeing more organisations conduct employee surveys that provide feedback on employee engagement, satisfaction, and attitude. This research is fundamental for identifying the key drivers behind each of these metrics.

2. Sourcing and retaining talent

As we find ourselves in a market with a declining working population, it makes it even harder to source and retain talent. The market leading organisations of tomorrow are finding they need to be more creative if they want to entice future leaders and millennials to their organisations.

In a recent conversation with an HR Director of a leading technology organisation, they commented that their EVP and recognition in awards such as being a ‘great place to work’, not only supported them in attracting and retaining top talent but also when they were required to make people based changes within their organisation, they could do so with less resistance from employees.

But what is the most effective way to ‘market’ to your employees?

Start by communicating what you believe to be important enough to include in your employee handbook, and orientation speaks volumes.

Don’t just talk about the functional aspects of the job, talk about the value your employees bring to the business and how they influence and reinforce the brand. Remember to take the time to tell your employees how the brand was established and give them some tangible examples. This gives them the opportunity to connect in a to the ideals of the brand in an authentic way.

3. Give back

If you’re a product-based company, why not recognise your employee’s contributions by offering free or discounted products to them and their family/ friends. As they move through their lives, both professional and personal, they will interact with dozens of people daily and employees should be your best customers and your biggest fans.

4. Social media is a powerful tool for promoting your EVP

“In the UK, nearly three quarters (72%) of internet users now have a social media profile, with 81% of these people using social media at least once a day.”

Businesses are always implementing new strategies to keep their employees from wasting time on social media, but the challenge comes when they want to drive brand awareness. If your employees believe in the EVP, chances are they will be happy to promote it with others. So, why not encourage your employees to follow and share your posts? Not only is this a great way to expand your audience but it hones in on your employees’ friends and family who are likely to already have a positive view of your company.

Social media is also a great platform for enhancing brand reputation and if employees feel valued they will naturally share their experiences on sites such as, LinkedIn and Glassdoor. Additionally, with so many people using social media to source authentic information, traditional website marketing is often ignored by potential candidates. After all, the social media generation is more investigative and less trusting of traditional marketing techniques.

Employee advocacy is often overlooked by organisations but it shouldn’t be forgotten that your employees are your greatest tool for genuine promotion.

5. Providing added value

You want your customers to have a positive experience, so why should employee experience be any different?

Creating value is fundamental for creating engagement and positive promotion of your brand. So, investing in your people should be unquestionable.

There are several ways to ensure your employees feel valued, such as:

  • Creating opportunities – Often, you’ll find that employees want to progress quickly and will grab every opportunity to learn new skills. Therefore, providing and encouraging them with career development opportunities, coaching sessions and workshops will be key to creating a positive workforce.
  • Added Value – Encouraging your employees to go that extra mile and get involved in issues outside the business, such as, supporting the local community is a key tool in adding extra value and will aid in ensuring employees feel they are also giving something back.
  • Recognising employee wellbeing – The health of your employees is crucial and should be the key priority for any business.

If you’d like to discuss this in more detail or if you’re looking for ways to attract, retain and engage your employees, feel free to get in contact at lucy.bielby@eoexecutives.com or alternatively comment below.

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