HR and Communications: Essential Business Catalysts


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Presentation by Maria Lazarimou, CEO Advocate/Burson-Marsteller at GPMA HR Forum 2014
Athens, April 24

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HR and Communications: Essential Business Catalysts

  1. 1. HR and Communications: Essential Business Catalysts Maria Lazarimou CEO Advocate/Burson-Marsteller GPMA HR Forum 2014 Athens, April 24
  2. 2. Two Historically Parallel paths 2 HR COMMS Two historically parallel paths…
  3. 3. …now converging 3 In today’s reputation driven economy those functions have no other choice but to converge They both need to serve a common goal of creating corporate value
  4. 4. 4 To do this they both need to build a bridge to the business strategy
  5. 5. 5 They need to become relevant to the business and join the fight for market share, customer loyalty, license to operate and stock price
  6. 6. A reputation Economy 6 “80 percent of reputation leaders across 300+ global companies agree that we compete in a reputation economy in which people buy products, take jobs, and make investments based primarily on their trust, admiration and appreciation for the companies and institutions that stand behind them. Only 20 percent feel they are ready to deliver on these expectations and even take advantage of them.” - 2013 Forbes Reputation Leaders study
  7. 7. 7 Until yesterday Two parallel worlds of influence
  8. 8. 8 Today Increasingly important HR Challenges + HR from the outside
  9. 9. 9 An extremely complex working environment technology internet Social media GEN Y networking Work-life balance Aging employees digitization Office decentralization
  10. 10. 10 A new reality Evolving challenges for HR • Managing Talent • Managing Demographics • Becoming a learning organization • Managing work-life balance • Managing change and cultural transformation This is when HR & Coms started dating!
  11. 11. 11 Both consumers and employees seek companies with a vision and a clear sense of purpose
  12. 12. 12 The internal and external view of a company becomes unified.
  13. 13. 13 HR and communications have to work hand in hand, developing and nurturing the company’s reputation.
  14. 14. 14 On Balancing art and science
  15. 15. 15 Companies with high effectiveness in change management & communication are 3.5 times more likely to significantly outperform their industry peers than firms that are not effective in these areas. 2013-2014 Change and Communication ROI Study
  16. 16. 16 “The project made us realize that there are three outcomes for most communication: to inform, to instruct and to inspire.” [This] caused us to think differently about outcomes. Why settle for informing employees if there is a chance of increasing their overall engagement with the firm through more effective communications? Internal Communication as a business driver
  17. 17. 17 HR & Communications A Common Architecture
  18. 18. Burson-Marsteller has been tracking emerging organizational performance trends and practices since 1997 18 • Scanning latest organizational performance- and organizational communications-focused publications, studies and news coverage • Conducting in-depth interviews with organizational performance counselors and practitioners to understand the practices of public and private sector organizations across most industries • Leveraging Burson-Marsteller’s latest research on overall communications trends, analyzing the implications for workplace communications
  19. 19. Categories At the micro level, we continue to see evolution in key trends and practices, but also many “evergreen” practices that hold true from our previous research. But the most significant shifts we’re seeing are at the macro level. Micro Categories Macro Categories CATEGORIES Strategies and Programs Messaging and Content Channels and Vehicles Process and Planning Structure and Roles Feedback and Measures Challenging Times CATEGORIES Workplace Environment Employee Mindset and Behaviors “Anatomy” of Communications
  20. 20. Macro Trends: Workplace Environment • From dissemination to conversation • Digitization significantly affecting expectations • Workplace decentralization affecting expectations as well 2,000+ European communications professionals rated “coping with the digital evolution and the social web” as the most important strategic issue for the next 3 years, ahead of “linking business strategy and communication” (54.9% vs. 44%) European Communication Monitor, 2011
  21. 21. Macro Trends: Employee Mindset and Behaviors • Individual-centric focus and experiences • Increasing culture of co-ownership • From empowerment to entitlement • Increasing interest in organization’s health
  22. 22. Macro Trends: "Anatomy" of Communications • Less is more • Story sharing as well as storytelling • The power of visuals • Anywhere, any device • Digital communities rule • Relevance has become the baseline NASA used a visual storytelling technique to explain the complexity of the Higgs boson Newcomers Mobli and SwitchCam are taking visual story sharing a step further than “basic” story sharing— enabling the crowdsourcing of user-generated videos and imagery on common topics or events to provide a 360o view from around the world
  23. 23. Macro Trends: "Anatomy" of Communications Target behavior by affecting attitudes, commitment and behavioral intent Enable professionals to perform successfully as members of the organization Focus on message and form Ensure messages are received by audiences as intended; basic quality Level 1 Execution Level 2 Quality Level 3 Relevance Level 4 Influence Behavior Commitment Attitudes Relevant – Useful Customized Tone/Style – Credible – Compelling Awareness – Understanding Preferred Channels/Tactics/Information Sources Clear/Understandable Delivery – Accessibility – Timeliness – Frequency
  24. 24. 24 Finally just to spur your thinking, you may want to take a quick look at FastCompany’s list of the most innovative companies. Some of the innovations cited might suggest some parallels regarding the work done in HR and Communications that builds better mousetraps and drives businesses forward. companies/2014/
  25. 25. 25 Working closely together, HR and Communications can become essential catalysts for business growth.
  26. 26. 26 Maria Lazarimou Advocate/Burson-Marsteller Facebook – LinkedIn- Twitter:@marialaz