3 ways employee-generated content is affecting your employment brand

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At Bazaarvoice our teams work with some of the world’s biggest brands and retailers to help them harness the power of what consumers are saying about the products and services they sell. I have always been fascinated by the transferability of Bazaarvoice’s message to how employers can harness and have their employee-generated content work for their employer brand.

Employee-generated content includes anything that a past, current, or prospective employee publishes about a company online that is accessible in the public domain – company reviews, blog posts, social media updates etc.

By applying research from consumer shopping behaviour, here are three ways that employee-generated content is similarly affecting your employment brand:

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How People Mature is your Start-Up?

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What makes a start-up mature? Business maturity brings to mind rigour, stability & predictability. In my learning it’s managing the juxtaposition of the innovative, blue-sky, and unconventional aspects of a start-up against the need for organisational diligence. The success of managing the above dictates how well the business scales and meets it’s organisational vision.

The people can make or break the small start-up: one culturally misaligned employee or one poor performer can have a much greater impact on customer satisfaction and employee engagement than a rogue employee in a larger business.

What I am interested in is how start-ups make themselves mature from a people & culture perspective. I tried to answer this with one of my Bazaarvoice colleagues recently and I was particularly fascinated to hear about his experiences of the culture ups and downs in the Bazaarvoice journey. At Bazaarvoice we describe ourselves as a ‘mature start-up’ now at 10 years of age, and we’re on a path to people maturity. Our discussion inspired me to pick up a (figurative) pen and write this post.

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What You Think You Recall: It’s Not Necessarily The Truth

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Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, or whatever it is you think you remember? Elizabeth Loftus

In 1995 an experiment named “Lost in the Mall” gave evidence to prove that false memories could be deliberately implanted on an individual. The participants were presented with four stories from their own childhood which had been remembered and supplied by members of the participant’s family. Only three out of the four stories were true; the fourth, about getting lost in the shopping mall, was fabricated purely for the experiment and given plausible extra detail – with the assistance of family members.

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Learning in a New Dimension: Using Virtual Reality in Business

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I attended my first TEDx event last weekend at TEDxEastEnd in London. It was a privilege to listen to such a variety of incredible people speak about big ideas, such as:

  • Mobile technology bringing modern healthcare to rural Africa
  • The global issue of Honour Violence – violent acts committed to defend the honour of a family or community
  • How global open source satellite networks are revolutionising responses to disasters
  • Cultural intelligence, and why we need this in a globally interconnected world

One presentation struck me in particular. It was delivered by David Sackman, the CEO of a company that develops Virtual Reality (VR) technology. VR is a computer generated simulation of a three-dimensional environment, which can be explored and interacted with by the user. The user wears a special electronic helmet/mask that has a screen on the inside and noise-cancelling headphones. These products are becoming more and more accessible today as we make technological advances and as the technology becomes cheaper. Continue reading

Violence & Attention-Seeking Behaviour in Business

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I watched an inspiring TED Talk from a Brazilian filmmaker, Julia Bacha, who was questioning why we only pay attention to violence in the Israel-Palestine conflict, and not to the nonviolent leaders who may one day bring peace to the region. For the last 8 years from her 2011 talk, she has dedicated her life to documenting the work of Israelis and Palestinians who are trying to end the conflict using peaceful means. She uses the case of a town called Budrus, who launched a successful peaceful resistance campaign against Israel to prevent them from building a wall on top of their village, which would have resulted in them losing 40% of their land, as well as free access to the rest of the West Bank.

She believes that unless we pay attention to nonviolent efforts, they become invisible – as if they never happened. But she has also seen first hand that if we do pay attention, they will multiply, which means their influence will grow in the overall conflict. Her vision is to give them attention so they can prove nonviolence works everywhere. Continue reading