What is the level of interaction between HR and marketing at your firm? Does it feel siloed with no overlap? Is it hard for you to determine where partnerships may benefit both departments? In our recent AAM High Webinar, we heard from Stephanie Gandsey, Marketing Director at DHJJ; Laura Norek, Director of Talent and Org Development at Forum Financial and Founder of Leadership Extension Consulting; and Kendra Germenis, HR Senior Manager, Employee Experience at Weaver. They shared ideas on how marketing and HR can work together to nurture a growth-focused firm. (Members can click here to access the recording. Learn more about AAM High! webinars.)
Bringing HR and marketing together presents a unique opportunity to help build brand advocates at your firm. These brand advocates can then help with talent and client attraction, retention, and creating a strong organizational culture. Instead of going at these efforts alone, you can work to maximize your resources, enjoy an efficiency of efforts, all while building powerful brand advocacy.
The Power of Employee Engagement
Did you know that happiest employees are those who tend to share the most firm content? Those happy employees also tend to generate more leads, converting 7 times more frequently compared to other lead sources. When employees are at socially engaged companies, they’re more likely to stay. They feel more optimistic about the company’s future and believe it is more competitive.
Successful organizations focus on employee engagement by ensuring that all employees have the best knowledge and tools available to perform their jobs as well as possible. Where can we find that sweet spot between human resources and marketing and communications that can encourage this level of engagement?
Organizational development sits at the sweet spot between the two roles. It can include any or all of the following:
- Change management
- Employee training and development
- Brand advocacy
- Employee engagement
- Presentations and messaging
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion
- Integration of mission, vision, and values
- Leadership development
Together, with these programs, you can create a symbiotic relationship between the two departments. For example, firm events can serve as an employee engagement activity for HR, as well as material for social media content for marketing. Internal communications can include learning and development form HR, as well as rankings and surveys from marketing. The projects don’t have to stand on their own, but instead, can be woven together to benefit both efforts. The goal is to focus on how the relationship comes together in the form of organizational development to enhance the employee experience.
How can HR and marketing help with employee experience?
If you think of the lifecycle of your employees, you’ll want to focus on three major areas: recruiting, onboarding, and retention.
When it comes to recruiting, what are you doing to attract new coworkers? Do you have differentiators that allow you to stand out? Are you sharing job postings that describe the feeling of working for your firm? What does your web presence communicate to prospective employees?
HR’s responsibility in recruiting is to know who the firm needs. Marketing should be able to provide advice on how to find the right candidates and get in front of them. Both should be approaching recruiting using shared messaging.
When you’re onboarding new employees, what are some of the first conversations you have with them? How do you acclimate them to the firm? And is the process consistent, no matter the employee coming in, or do you approach onboarding in a different way each time?
While it’s HR’s responsibility to onboard a new employee, marketing can play a role in firm messaging and design, so that the materials being used in onboarding are consistent with the brand. Come together and decide what the goals are for onboarding an employee, how you want someone new to describe their first week and month at the job, and how onboarding may look the same or different for employees versus clients.
With retention, what you should really be asking is why someone would want to keep doing their best at your firm. How do they feel recognized? What are the incentives available for them to continue to excel?
Both HR and marketing should be focused on content development and how it plays a role in retention. For HR, this could look like continuing education, whereas for marketing, retention will include content goals for personal branding. Incentivize coworkers to share and create content, offering periodic campaigns with prizes for participation.
Want to hear more?
For more ideas on how HR and marketing can work together to foster a growth-focused firm, check out the on-demand recording, available to AAM members.
About Sammi Dittloff
Sammi Dittloff is a Marketing Consultant, writer, and founder of Needs More Fiber, an agency dedicated to adding substance to a brand's content. She previously worked as the Marketing Director for Chortek LLP for 3 years. As a freelance content marketer, consultant, and strategist, Sammi specializes in content strategy, brand manuals, SEO, and analytics. She has 15 years of experience in marketing, writing, promotions, advertising, and analytics. Sammi was a Media Writing TA while pursuing her MA in Media Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and has since returned to school for an MS in Nutrition. Her latest projects can be found at needsmorefiber.com and hisammi.com.