Why HR needs marketing's budgetInsights

Why HR needs marketing's budget

5 min read, by Luke Fisher

Hi I’m Luke, the CEO here at Mo.

For a people tech company CEO I’ve not taken a typical route to get here. I didn’t feel a significant pain as a HR professional nor was I a developer or a product designer. No, instead I have a very commercial background, with my last corporate role in a FTSE 100, leading one of their corporate sales functions.

With a commercial career focussed on sales and customer success, I’ve spoken to thousands of people looking to change something in their organisation, with varying degrees of budget, in both planned and discretionary spend. Much of my career was spent with Commercial, Operational and Finance teams but since starting Mo I’ve been well exposed to the HR world.

The foundation of Mo was driven by a question that wouldn’t stop bugging me. Why do we appear to spend so much more time, money and effort trying to create meaningful experiences for our customers, but put just a fraction of the effort for our people?

So, why do I believe HR deserve budgets like Marketing...

The primary role of marketing is to get people to connect with the company, the brand and its proposition to buy from you, buy more frequently and spend more money with you. Equally, when you think about strategic HR, for me, the primary task is to get people to connect with the company, the brand and it’s proposition (EVP to help make the connection I’m trying to make here).

The overall driver for both functions is to create an emotional connection (as opposed to rational one) with your organisation, so that people give you more. This is the heart of customer and employee engagement.

However, when you look at most marketing and customer focussed teams, there is a tonne of focus on what the customer ‘sees’, ‘hears’ and ‘experiences’ when interacting with your organisation.

This has led people to crave exceptional experiences and there is no longer an exception at work. So it begs the question, is it that we have never thought about the experience of our people in this way or do we not get access to the budget to create meaningful experiences for our people?

With the emergent job titles of ‘Employee Experience Director', 'Employer Brand Manager' and 'Employee Engagement Leader', I have faith that we are seeing the value of thinking along the lines of the 10 year old service profit chain or the words of Richard Branson:

“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your people, they will take care of your customers”.

The experience is very closely tied to the type of organisation you want to be. EasyJet don’t want to create the Emirates standard of experience, equally Harrods feels very different to Primark. However, people love all of these brands, because the expectation of what you’re getting is clear, the things you do, hear and feel when interacting with them is what you expect, with the occasional moment of delight.

The things that unite the brands mentioned above, is that the standard of service is largely driven by the standard of the interactions with the people serving them. These companies have reasonably high levels of control over the way the brand looks in their advertising, what the physical environment looks like. But how that person, on that day, decides to interact with you, makes all the difference to your experience.

So I like to think of investing in people first as building your brand from the inside, out. If the largest variable in the customer experience (that drives satisfaction, spend and their ultimate return) is that interaction with your employee, why would we not invest more money in creating an exceptional experience for your people. My mum raised me saying: "treat others as you would like to be treated", and it really feels like this is relevant when you think of your people too.

Treat your people, as you would like your customers to be treated.

Marketers, HR leaders, CEOs, if you care about the experience that the customer has, then invest in the experience of your people.

At Mo, we believe meaningful moments are the heart of an exceptional experience at work.

When you consider your work life, you will remember it in the moments that mattered, the real highs; a promotion to a job you really wanted, a major project or transformation you delivered or a surprise celebration someone threw when you reached 3 years in your role. Or the moments of insight; some strong but fair feedback that caused you to change the way you act, when something failed that you went on to learn from.

Moments can be created, elevated and analysed to help create a meaningful relationship with work. Some are spontaneous, some can be designed for, and some are earned. We can help you consider the moments that matter to each of your employees to transform their experience with your organisation.