Human Resource Management and Marketing
An interesting alliance
Barbara Asimakopoulou HRM Consultant Executive Coach and Maria – Afrodite Tsianti, HR & Communication Expert
The most important common element that MKT and HRM share is – obviously – man! The former targets consumer-external clients, while the latter targets internal client-employees.
Communication – research – harnessing research results
The cooperation of these two functions significantly contributes to the company’s strategic goals. Both departments aim at the company achieving its goals on a strategic level. The main weapons used for this are:communication, research and harnessing of the research undertaken.
According to recent research on business practices, it was found that HR underperforms in terms of properly leveraging the results of the research being conducted or that could be used to make its role more efficient.
Satisfied employee = satisfied customer
A third element regards employees’ satisfaction, which affects the company both internally and externally. To start with, satisfied employees perform better in the task they have been assigned and trusted with by the company. On an external level, their satisfaction is communicated to the consumer, creating positive feelings; a satisfied employee is more interested in the consumer, which in turn helps the customer form a positive impression about the company. As a result, consumer preference towards this company is increased. This is the outcome with both potential customers and current customers.
Potential customers come from one’s family, friends and social environment in general, but also from future employees.
That is, the marketing principle “not to promise what you can’t deliver” applies, as far as the HR professionals’ approach towards candidates goes when seeking for new executives. They have to treat candidates with respect to make a lasting positive impression, as their experience will certainly be communicated to others. For example: HR professionals should provide candidates with an answer, even if it is a negative one. It will be appreciated by the candidate who will then pass on their good impression to others. Reliability is a virtue in this case.
How attractive are HR systems?
Another important point where Marketing and HRM meet is research into staff needs so as to find out whether the company’s systems and processes reflect the employees’ real needs and therefore become attractive for them and applicable, with approachable methods. A weakness of modern HR is that it does not focus on how systems are conveyed and, as a result, they fail to be attractive, they are not easily applied and their value is not understood. It is impossible to be attracted to something that you don’t understand or like, let alone apply it. Complicated systems are not helpful. Less is more. An example supporting this is the typical war between production and marketing, where quite often production departments create complex products that don not meet real needs, turning a blind eye to these, as opposed to the Marketing department which receives information straight from the consumer.
A catalyst of change through appropriate communication
Our goal for HR is that it is an equal business partner in the company’s strategic procedures but mainly that it is the catalyst for change. It has to facilitate change. How are changes facilitated? Obviously, through trust. Trust is built by offering comprehensible knowledge and commensurable value, and that is can only be done through appropriate communication. This is the only way to ensure trust and follow the guidelines given. In order to help all departments accept the various strategies and policies for the various employees, HR has to help them incorporate change in their daily routine. This can only be achieved through communication.
Mutually understood – clear role
Unfortunately, for many HR Professionals, while their jobs focus on people, that is on employees, they come across as austere professionals and supervisors, who recruit and dismiss workers (even though others have the power over this). They have not tried to communicate their true role in the company, which is the creation of a safe environment, support towards the employee even when firing them, facilitating their transition to a new post. A satisfied worker is a satisfied customer. When firing an employee, we are not intending to “fire” our customer too.
Strong relationship with workers = strong relationship with old clients.
For Marketing, the strengthening of the relationship with customers is a crucial thing, because it costs more to acquire a new customer than to maintain an old one. Similarly, it costs more to get a new employee than to retrain the existing ones. The same way ongoing effort is required to maintain a customer, a lot of effort should be put into maintaining the employee’s interest and to motivate them.
Obviously, the search for new customers is unending, as is the search for new talent.
It is here that the concept of rejuvenation becomes relevant. The new blood that is injected into the company contributes to rejuvenating the environment, bringing with it development, new ideas, creativity and new customers. Rejuvenation is the source of longevity and innovation.
Ongoing employee satisfaction survey = Ongoing customer satisfaction survey
Internal renewal is achieved through continuous research on how to keep employees content, highly motivated and energized. Motivation is an internal process, while inspiration is external, it comes from the environment, from the person who inspires. It is therefore part of the HR professional’s role to continuously inspire the employees and support executives in incorporating the need for inspiring their team into their work routine.
Recognizing the employees’ contribution = recognizing a loyal customer.
Finally, employees repay what has been offered to them. When the company’s management surrounds its employees with honest concern and love, then they in turn will do their job respectfully and conscientiously.
Risk is for both
What has to be understood by company executives is that employees must be partners in the decisions made and the risks they decide to take. Because then risks will have a smaller impact. Whether an effort fails or succeeds, employees feel as part of the attempt, they share success or failure.
All in all, we should support communication, research and emotions. It is good to risk professionally, but not risk hurting other people.
We should value the employee as much as we value consumers.
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