What is HR Consumerization? How is it being utilized to attract and retain talent? HR Consumerization is a new concept for many. In this issue of Astronology®, we’ll explore the concept of HR Consumerization and some potential applications in your workplace.
HR Consumerization is the personalization of the workforce. As Jeanne Meister expressed in a 2016 Forbes Online article on HR consumerization, “the new objective is to create one employer brand which provides a seamless experience for current employees, potential employees, and consumers.” HR Consumerization involves creating a social, mobile, and consumer-style employee experience or work environment. This approach isn’t cookie cutter – the application will look different for every organization. For instance, at Pandora, Employee Resource Groups are used to foster collaborative bonds with employees. The Pandora Employee Resource Groups (PERGs) are groups of five or more employees with a shared interest. These groups range in topics from wine tasting to public speaking, and can be funded by the company for up to $1,000. Pandora has found that when employees can connect on unique topics, collaboration returns to the office and fosters a healthy work environment.
Employers have found other unique ways to personalize their workforces. Employee Advocacy Programs also have gained traction. Bambu, a company that offers an employee advocacy platform, describes employee advocacy this way: “At its core, employee advocacy is the promotion of an organization by its staff members.” They further explain that employee advocacy can be accomplished in a variety of ways, namely:
- Social Media Employee Advocacy: Your customers are already spending all their time on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. By having real life employees share articles from the company blog or pictures from company celebrations, organizations are able to advertise and expand their reach.
- Incentives & Recognition: 72% of businesses said recognition given for high performers within a workplace had a significant impact on employee engagement. Employee of the Month programs can be a simple example.
- Swag: Never underestimate the power of free stuff! If an employee is using a t-shirt or a water bottle with the company name or logo, they are advocating on behalf of the company.
Another form of HR consumerization is the flexible workspace / work schedule. In a 2014 report, Cisco found that “66% of American Millennials felt an organization that adopts a flexible, mobile and remote work model has a competitive advantage over one that requires employees to be in the office from 9 am to 5pm.” Jeanne Meister mentions Sodexho as another example. Sodexho’s USA talent acquisition team works mostly from home. How are these remote workers able to maintain high levels of engagement? In three ways:
- Culture of performance; not focused on face time.
- Regular communication both in person and in weekly virtual meetings.
- Focus on personal health and tracking movement through a company provided Fitbit.
While these are a few examples of how some organizations are using HR consumerization to help attract and retain quality workers, every organization will be different in how it implements HR consumerization. Has your organization incorporated some of the features mentioned above? Has your organization created other unique ways to personalize your work experience? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below!