Take a look at 3M's careers webpage and the tagline "Endlessly Innovative" jumps out; on Abbott's careers website the line "Make a Difference Through Your Work, Every Day" catches your eyes. If you click over to the "About Our Company" pages, you'll see lockstep alignment: 3M--Welcome to a world where your inspired ideas fuel endless progress
; and Abbott--See how we're advancing the future of human health through science
i4cp's recent research findings demonstrate that brand alignment can be a significant driver of success--but strong brand is not only critical to the market, it is critical to the workforce as well. In fact, high-performance organizations are 3.3x
stronger in brand alignment than their low-performance counterparts.
Based on this finding, you shouldn't be surprised to see that over the past five years, stock prices at 3M and Abbott have increased 104% and 69% respectively. While many factors likely contribute to this success, i4cp's research provides clear rationale for why organizations should make efforts to align customer needs, company brand, and workforce capabilities.
Strategy in action
i4cp member company Humana, a health insurance provider, has carved out a strong brand in the ever changing, extremely competitive healthcare marketplace. The company is shifting brand perceptions by going beyond its legacy provider role to position itself as a well-being partner, empowering people to live healthy, active, and rewarding lives. Humana believes strongly that when its associates achieve lifelong well-being, those associates will inspire the same in the customers that they serve.
Humana's YouTube Channel highlights a variety of personal stories around the "ValYou" theme. The company is creating a powerful internal employee value proposition that's helping fuel the external brand. The results? Its stock price has increased 227% over the last five years.
From here to there
As you examine your employee value proposition, i4cp's data and the examples above should direct your attention to your customers. Companies that are successful in aligning their brand to the employee value proposition routinely ask their HR staff to:
- Meet with the marketing team to discuss the brand promise
- Participate in sales calls with the business development team
- Participate in customer service calls (inbound)
These simple, yet targeted steps are crucial to understanding customer needs. Going a step further, many companies re-examine their career advancement criteria and performance management metrics to ensure that an emphasis on the customer exists. The bottom line is that high-performance organizations are:
5x more likely to align internal systems and processes with customer needs;
4x more likely to set clear customer satisfaction goals;
3.5x more likely to use customer focused criterion for advancement decisions;
- And, 3x more likely to hire for customer focus.
To discover the other 24 KPIs that correlate to high-performance, download a complimentary copy of The People-Profit Chain™