“What It Means to Work Here”… a classic HBR article (from March, 2007) that is proving to be timeless!
HR Directors know that practical competitive “benefit packages” are necessary to attract and satisfy both job candidates and employees alike (yes, people!)… but that “it’s not necessarily the most effective way to usher the right people across the threshold – great employees who will be enthusiastic about their work and fiercely loyal to the organization and its mission.”
The article goes on to affirm what it is that separates great companies from merely good ones: “Exceptional firms attract and retain the right people – employees who are excited by the company’s culture and values and who reward the organization with loyalty and stellar performance.”
The article’s authors (Tamara J. Erickson and Lynda Gratton) have set out to answer that key question of – “how to get the right people on board?” Their considered response? Organizations need to communicate their signature experience – “the distinctive practice that best conveys what it’s really like to work at your company and what makes your firm unique.”
When this article was written, brandstory was already in the business of strategic brand story development for more than three years, and we could not have agreed more with Erickson & Gratton, even if we never had the pleasure of meeting them in person!
Because one of the authors’ key focal points for successful companies-as-brands was to “Share Your Stories – encourage employees to relate legendary, signature experiences to potential hires.”
The merging of two key concepts – “organizational culture” and “Sharing stories” – brandstory’s very own “bread and butter,” if you will permit us! Smile. We have no desire to quibble over what the definition of a “signature experience” might be: A “break-through” product innovation? An unexpected Positioning in a commodity-like industry? An otherwise unknown stakeholder who holds two crucial patents? Etc…
Every company-as-brand has its own equivalent of this “signature experience” – an experience that should be at the heart of the brand’s own strategic brand story. Yes, again, precisely what brandstory is good at!