Think about it, your employees are an increasingly important communications audience and the concept of developing an employee lifecycle marketing strategy has grown in importance. Why? The war for talent affects all b-to-b companies and attracting and retaining top talent is vital for fueling innovation and growth. Executives often talk a good game about the importance of employees as ‘our most valuable asset’ – but actual investment in and focus on employees is lacking. The good news is that when employees understand a company’s mission and feel an emotional connection to upholding it, there can be major gains all around – namely in dedication and productivity: The organizations with the most skilled and loyal employees will be the ones that charge ahead.
Why does an employee lifecycle marketing plan matter?
An Employee lifecycle marketing plan, provides a roadmap for optimizing each phase of the employee lifecycle at a b-to-b organization. A lifecycle approach recognizes that an employee’s relationship with the company changes over time. Within the structure each of four lifecycle phases is charted, focusing on both the employee audience and the company’s responsibilities. Each phase also includes four elements of execution – including the definition of key objectives, how to connect organizational functions (such as communications, HR and IT) in order to achieve those objectives, specific tactics to apply, and supporting technologies. A quick breakdown of the phases of an employee lifecycle marketing plan is as follows:
- Attract/Selection. The objectives of this phase include positioning the company as a top employer and finding employees who are a good match for the company’s culture and specific job requirements. Some prospective employees will be in the market for a job while others will not be actively searching for a new position. It’s important to consider potential employees from several perspectives, including rational (“Is this job the best fit for me?), emotional (“Is a potential job change a wise move?”) and cultural (“Will I fit in?”) standpoint. The result is “Selection” by the employee, based on how the company fits his or her needs and expectations.
- Inform/Readiness. Once candidates become employees, the objective of this phase is to enable their success by providing the right information and insight. To optimize this phase, the company needs to allow employees to self-serve the information they require. This type of communications fosters confidence and minimizes disruption for both the new employee and the seasoned employees who otherwise would spend time helping the new employee find the necessary information.
- Inspire/Engagement. The objectives of this phase are to build employees’ understanding of the company’s mission and deepen their level of emotional commitment. For the company, a key part of this phase is helping employees get to know their colleagues better – to encourage them to become even more committed to the company’s success. The outcome of this phase is personal and professional pride for the employee in playing his or her part to help the company to achieve its goals.
- Celebrate/Advocacy. During this phase, employee lifecycle marketing reinforces company values through recognition, and employees become advocates of the company as a result of being motivated to achieve that recognition. Employees look forward to the opportunity to shake the CEO’s hand. The win is two-fold: employees feel validated and appreciated, and the company gets an employee who wants to work harder for the greater good of the organization.
SiriusDecisions addressed this very topic in their recent Summit. Tell us, how are you addressing your employee lifecycle marketing needs?