Back to the Beginning

There are various kinds of addictions. Addiction is considered unhealthy. But in my case I have some not-so-bad addictions.

One of which I have recognized is the constant desire to learn and improve as a person and professional, which makes me a lifetime student, and thus, I keep enrolling in various programs, courses and workshops.

And this week, I was back to one of my favourite institutes, SPJIMR, to attend MDP on a very unique topic ‘Employer Branding – pathway to becoming a great place to work’. I have almost 12 years of experience in Marketing, Branding and Communications, which is also supported with relevant academic qualifications. However, during my academic years as well as in real life, ‘Employee’ plays an essential role in the growth of an organization was taught, cases revolving around employer-employee relations were discussed, how employees are responsible in creating a great customer experience was also talked about—but how to achieve this wasn’t a major focus. It is there somewhere throughout, mostly dispersed, but I never came across a dedicated session on Employer Branding that solely focuses on valuing employees, who are The Essential (not-the-forgotten) Stakeholders and The Brand Ambassadors of the organizations, whether they are working with the organization or have moved on to next phase in life but with good memories.

Attrition has increased in almost all the companies across sectors. Why? Easy answer is –“It is the millennial attitude.” But is it? And if so, then why? It is said – “People leave the manager, not company.” And the boss, in most cases, isn’t a millennial. Something to think about.

Employees are the face of the organization, more so, in the service sector. I belong to healthcare industry, hospital to be precise. Right from the time a patient makes a call to book an appointment to the time he/she sees the doctor, the patient interacts with a series of hospital executives…

  • The person from customer care who took the call for appointment confirmation
  • The security who checks all the visitors entering the hospital premises
  • The liftman guiding the patient to the respective floor
  • The registration team providing patient with the hospital card
  • The billing unit on the cost details
  • The nurses interacting with the patient
  • The assistant doctor taking the case brief
  • The treating doctor advising the patient towards right treatment management
  • The pharmacy person dispatching medicines

Broadly, these are the Hospital Employees a patient and/or the patient caretaker will come across in any first time OPD (Out-Patient Department) visit to any Multispeciality Hospital. Now, each one of the employee mentioned above probably is an expert in his/her job, but is his/her functioning aligned with the organization’s (hospital here) vision-mission-values? And by this I don’t mean the HR team talking on Vision-Mission-Values in the induction session; what I mean is its actual percolation across the hierarchy.

And if they aren’t and if there happens to be an incident (imagine in a hospital where each patient, each life matters), which fortunately (for the customers as they will be aware) and unfortunately (for the organization) goes viral on the digital media, then who is to be blamed—the Employee, the Manager, the HR team, the Board or the Entire Management System? Again, something to think about.

In this two-day workshop, many such aspects were discussed, and I understood on ways how Brand Equity is to be created by including all the employees, and not excluding or overlooking or taking any one of the employee for granted.

Employee Value Proposition is not something we aren’t aware of in the corporate world. However, it is something that needs not just to be preached, but practiced. Well, it is a matter of time, the sooner a company realizes and recognizes the need for Employer Branding, the better are its chances of growing, however this time, not just with innovation and aggression, but along with compassion and positivity.

Interesting subject. Great faculty team. Interactive batchmates. And goes without saying, a known and a good Management Institute.

Some quotes that stayed with me post the session…

“Life is precious, but too short. You can’t take anything with you, but you can leave a lot of meaningful things behind.”

“Within the company, collaborate. Outside the company, compete with the competitors.”

“Learn-Unlearn, from time to time.”

“Employer Brand + Employee Experience = Brand Strength —> a competitive advantage, a POD (point of differentiation) in Marketing Parlance.”

“Creating Moments That Matter. Making Employee Experience a beautiful journey in the company.”

“If you want a better brand image, it is best to start with a better brand reality. Self analysis, self reflection and walk the talk kind of leadership.”

“Good employee journey maps are one which has stories.”

Yes stories, I hope there will be some good stories about me and my firm someday.

To hire talent and to retain talent are two different things, and each requires great effort and investment of resources, time being the leading resource. It is easy to be on the other side and criticize a boss, but it is difficult to be a boss and not to be criticized.

So I think, and will try my best to be a better leader everyday…

…because it is a new beginning, everyday…

…and everyday is a good day to create some good memories, some good stories.

Glimpses from 26-27th Feb 2019…

Group Picture Credit: SPJIMR LinkedIn Page

For further information on MDP at SPJIMR, please visit: http://www.spjimr.org/mdp

– Ashu Bolar

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