Like any customer, HR customers—employees, supervisors, and management—respond to excellent customer-service. But if your customers don’t understand or, worse yet, don’t buy into what HR does, you are not only compromising your credibility, you’re also wasting a lot of valuable time and resources.
Sales and marketing may initially seem incongruent with what HR does, but we would argue that both are critical to generating excitement and building trust. To help you improve your reputation and customer-service strategy, we’ve adapted three tips from Susan Schoenfeld’s book, Managing an HR Department of One.
3 Simple Ways to Market your HR Department
Assess your reputation
Before you can market your services, you’ll need to assess your reputation. What do employees think of the HR department? Do they know what you do and see a connection between HR and the company’s mission? Most employees aren’t going to volunteer this information, so you’ll have to ask.
One way to do this is by creating an electronic survey with Survey Monkey. This free tool allows you to customize the look and feel of your anonymous survey and gives you up to 15 question types including rating scales and multiple choice questions. These surveys will not only help you identify areas for improvement, it will also tell you how effective your current programs and policies are.
Develop a referral strategy
One way to turn skeptics and adversaries into friends is by harnessing the power of referrals. As Schoenfeld explains, “In sales, referrals represent the most predictable, perpetual, and profitable source of growing and expanding your business.” In HR terms, one of the best ways to convert reluctant managers is by satisfying their employees. Why? Because customers talk to prospective customers. The better customer service you dish out, the more likely you are to receive referrals.
Educate and follow up
Most HR departments do a fine job of distributing information when there’s a new business strategy, or federal/state/local law changes, but they fall short when it comes to maintaining contact and evaluating customer satisfaction. Herein lies the problem. Regularly provide customers with consistent, frequent, and useful information that will encourage them to keep in touch with you. Not only are you providing useful resources, you’re also creating opportunities to interact with employees and assess their satisfaction with your department.
We’ve only scratched the surface of a much larger discussion, but if you’re looking for more tips on how to take a marketing approach to Human Resources, AON has a good article here.