Greater engagement with talent inspires and creates meaning, ultimately benefiting the customer, the workforce and the bottom line. Find more ways to value your people, your most important asset.
IN 1906, working with low-income families out of a small flat in Rome, Maria Montessori opened the doors of Casa dei Bambini, or the “Children’s House.” This one-room classroom marked the first educational setting built on Montessori’s philosophy to free a child’s potential and transform [them] into the world.1 It was here that she experimented and honed her hallmark curriculum and education model that, today, has evolved into an institution encompassing more than 20,000 Montessori schools worldwide.
Placing the child at the centre of the design, Montessori realised early in her research that to advance a person’s capabilities, knowledge, accountability and sense of self (the pillars of Montessori education), each student and their unique traits need to be accounted for and balanced with the Montessori values. Giving young people foundational capabilities, focussing on the individual experience and cultivating deep human interactions can help successful students grow into high-functioning, empathetic citizens.
The Montessori model provides a useful mirror for companies to reflect on who they are to all humans across their ecosystem, especially their own people—their workforce. The connectedness of organisations and the reliance on networks and ecosystems is well established (see our fusion trend). In this world of organisational interdependence, boundaries become blurred, removing categories that segregate customers, workforces and competitors.
A worker is no longer the average 9-to-5, lunch pail–carrying employee. Rather, an organisation’s people are its talent, representing a diverse swathe of individuals including brand ambassadors, giggers, social influencers and partners. These individuals reside both inside and outside the walls of the organisation. And just like Montessori students, this diverse workforce requires an approach that nurtures the “entire person,” enabling them to evolve and develop new skills and relationships, while building loyalty towards brands and places of employment.
In this new world of talent, it is important for businesses to recognise that their collective workforces often comprise individuals from different backgrounds and diversities, who come with differing perspectives, experiences and goals. Organisations that acknowledge and value each individual’s experience place the human at the centre of what they do, aiming to create a sustained and connected experience for all their people. As marketing departments move in-house and transform to smaller, multi-disciplinary teams, it can be critical that they work to help ensure each person is nurtured and valued across the organisation (see sidebar, “How in-house agencies can improve the talent experience”).
As we explained in our agility trend, agile processes, teams and structures are a prerequisite for keeping up with the pace of change across the business landscape today. The need for transformation in marketing sparked a trend in which many brands are bringing the marketing agency “in-house” to be better positioned to react, participate, and predict where conversation and culture are heading in the marketplace. As the walls of the organisation become more permeable, the importance of building trust and loyalty across partners and the workforce has risen up the ladder of priorities (see our trust trend for more).
To create an environment that values all people, bold leadership from within the marketing function should champion the human experience (see our human experience trend) and help ensure that the workforce is included.
Our global marketing talent trend explores how many marketing functions today are transforming organisations by serving in new capacities. The role of the marketing department is shifting as a result of greater customer participation (see our participation trend), new organisational structures to deliver marketing campaigns (see our agility trend) and a need to manage the human experience better. Many CMOs and marketers are stepping into the role of facilitators of the human experience to help ensure every person's capabilities, experiences and goals are accounted for across the organisation. 2
In this article, we present insights and strategies on the ways many leading brands are integrating the workforce experience into their talent approaches. We also discuss the implications of this trend for marketers and marketing departments who are thinking about adopting workforce-centric models.
Across the seven global marketing trends, we see a common theme— the human connection matters more than anything else. Successful organisations should account for all humans within their ecosystem (including the workforce) and align them with the organisation’s purpose. Below are two examples that showcase how companies are helping ensure they deliver a world-class experience for their talent:
These two instances show how brands are applying tried-and-tested strategies from customer engagement to improve and create a diverse and deeper workforce experience. By leveraging insights to understand and account for each person, marketing departments can lead the entire organisation in finding innovative ways to help ensure consistency in the talent experience.
Having understood how to engage customers beyond the walls of the organisation, many marketers are embracing the challenge of creating deeper, more meaningful engagement with their people. Drawing on our research, we outline specific strategies that show how many companies are supporting the talent experience:
As the walls of the organisation continue to expand, the need for new roles is increasing. To help ensure and meet the demands of a growing and changing workforce, the marketing function (along with the CMO) can serve as a leader, convener and facilitator to build a culture and space that supports each individual worker by accountancy for their capabilities, experiences and goals—gaining loyalty in the process.
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