Issue #48

Culture Consciousness

How social consciousness in marketing is influencing internal events.

Budweiser’s Super Bowl ad this year brewed a big batch of social consciousness. In the spot, the general manager of the Cartersville, GA, brewery receives a call in the middle of the night to flip the switch to fill cans with clean drinking water, rather than beer, to deliver to people in disaster relief areas. While it served as a millennial-friendly message for consumers about Budweiser’s CSR efforts, it also served as a millennial-friendly hiring message with a real employee helping drive a message about company culture.

In early 2018, a time of low unemployment when brands need to attract and retain talent, culture building has become a driver of internal events and programs. Beyond just showcasing how they are “doing good” externally, brands are focusing on “doing good” for their employees internally.

Some are offering unlimited vacation and embracing forward-thinking flexible public holidays, like Spotify. Others are building creative office spaces that feel more experiential. Take a look at Microsoft’s treehouses for inspiration: outdoor meeting rooms on the campus where employees can breathe in fresh air and get inspired.

Companies are creating internal events surrounding wellness and “The Workplace of Tomorrow,” like Hilton has by partnering with Thrive Global to create the Thrive@Hilton engagement program, which will incorporate “new initiatives like building in time to recharge during the workday, sabbaticals and modern tools for increasing recognition.” Hilton developed the program around a set of key insights. “Over the years, we’ve seen that increases in resources and benefits for our Team Members have corresponded with rising guest satisfaction scores and parallel growth in our most loyal customer base,” Hilton said. Those findings are backed up by a Project ROI study, featured in Forbes, that found “an effective corporate social responsibility program can increase employee engagement up to 7.5 percent, increase employee productivity by 13 percent, reduce employee turnover by 50 percent and increase revenue by up to 20 percent.”

To be culturally conscious about their own employees, companies are hosting internal events on specific topics including diversity, like Adobe did for Hispanic Heritage Month with HOLA events in offices across the country. Companies also showing that they care about employees and their professional goals, like Oath did during a summer-long merging of the AOL and Yahoo brands, engaging employees in personal brand-building experiences including a global headshot tour with hair and makeup, and digital presence evaluations.

Shifting the spotlight of CSR programs from external marketing to internal events? That’s a move that will attract talent and celebrate culture while building careers.

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