Why Heineken Understands the Importance of Employee Culture

 

When you look at a lot of the talk on the social web around brands, much of it centers on a few core mindsets:

Be your customer; listen to your customer; be there for your customer; be where your customer is.

Wise words, and definitely core for any business to succeed, not just on social. Yet as important as customers are to the longevity of a business, there’s another very core component – the employee.

The Internal Customer

I’ve written before about the value of your employees, and the very smart Leon Noone has shared his thoughts on the value of looking after your employees by creating the right culture and expectations from the start, as well as continuing to live by them.

Yet so many businesses miss this, and instead talk a good talk about customers while missing the walk when it comes to internal customers – your employees.

They’re the folks that represent your brand in public; they’re the folks that determine the customer experience; they’re the folks that keep the wheels turning. The importance of having the right culture and making sure there’s a good fit on both sides – brand/employee and employee/brand – is evident, as highlighted in this article from Forbes:

  • Companies that acknowledge employee value can see three times as much return on brand equity than those that don’t;
  • Aluminum producer Alcoa saw income growth of 500% over 10 years when employee safety was made the #1 priority;
  • A study by Bright Horizons showed 89% of employees who felt appreciated were more productive.

This should be common sense, but unfortunately it’s not, as seen by the high amount of employee churn at many businesses and corporations. Which is why the video at the end of this post from Dutch beer manufacturer Heineken made me smile.

The Right People for the Right Culture

The video follows the hiring process for a new intern position at Heineken. It opens with something we’ll all recognize – the canned answers to interview questions that candidates hope will be what the hiring company wants to hear.

For Heineken, though, getting the right person for their culture is much more important than being spoon-fed answers that may be complimentary, but don’t really show the personality of the potential employee, and whether they’d be a good fit or not.

While the video itself may be part of a marketing campaign on showing what Heineken is all about, the actual company culture speaks for itself – Heineken’s core brand values are Respect, Quality and Enjoyment.

These have seen Heineken receive numerous employee-centric awards and features, including Britain’s Top Employers 2012, features in People Management, shortlisting for the Employee Benefits Awards 2012 and much more.

As I mentioned at the start of the post, it’s key to appreciate your customers, especially in this fast marketing world we live in today where the smallest dissatisfaction can become the biggest online buzz.

Just remember the equally important internal employees, too – get that part right and your customers will automatically benefit.

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28 comments
jonharules
jonharules

Very interesting and very interesting stats here, Danny. I think more and more hiring managers should consider not only looking at resumes but actually setting up campaigns that will help them truly see and experience applicants' expertise and not just hire someone "who looks good on paper".

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jonharules
jonharules

Very interesting and very interesting stats here, Danny. I think more and more hiring managers should consider not only looking at resumes but actually setting up campaigns that will help them truly see and experience applicants' expertise and not just hire someone "who looks good on paper".

AliAhmed2
AliAhmed2

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AliAhmed2
AliAhmed2

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AliAhmed2
AliAhmed2

http://www.usofts.com Professional development A Professional Development Programmer is aim  to catch the attention of strengthen and retain budding ability within world vision global by providing programmers for persons to exchange knowledge and strengths attained ies nor in the higher education degree and http://www.usofts.com prentice skills and talents valid for the no benefit world the aim for the professional development programmers Professional development is the core skill and learning of education al type of software development and personal development in the career improvement professional development is the best way of all Professional development  http://www.usofts.com

AliAhmed2
AliAhmed2

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AliAhmed2
AliAhmed2

http://www.usofts.com Professional development A Professional Development Programmer is aim  to catch ttention of strengthen and retain budding ability within world vision global by providing programmers for persons to exchange knowledge and strengths attained in Universities nor in the higher education degree and http://www.usofts.com prentice skills and talents valid for the no benefit world the aim for the professional development programmers Professional development is the core skill and learning of education al type of software development and personal development in the career improvement professional development is the best way of all Professional development  http://www.usofts.com

AliAhmed2
AliAhmed2

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AliAhmed2
AliAhmed2

http://www.usofts.com Professional development A Professional Development Programmer is aim  to catch the attention of strengthen and retain budding ability within world vision global by providing programmers for persons to exchange knowledge and strengths attained in Universities nor in the higher education degree and http://www.usofts.com prentice skills and talents valid for the no benefit world the aim for the Professional development is the core skill and learning of education al type of software development and personal development in the career improvement professional development is the best way of all Professional development  http://www.usofts.com

AliAhmed2
AliAhmed2

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AliAhmed2
AliAhmed2

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AliAhmed2
AliAhmed2

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penneyfox
penneyfox

That video is a riot! What a great way to learn more about what a person is like beyond the basic interview questions. And it puts Heineken in such a good light for their company's hiring policies.  This reminded me of my first job where I worked in a radio station (before the corporate folks came in and took the fun out of working in radio!). We use to have monthly parties to 'honor' an employee but it was more like a roast with jokes, stories and the employee would get some goofy prize. We'd take a break from work, laugh and connect with each other outside of our jobs.  They did lots of things like that to promote our company morale but it all ended once the corporation took over. It's good to see companies still willing to have a bit of fun :)

penneyfox
penneyfox

That video is a riot! What a great way to learn more about what a person is like beyond the basic interview questions. And it puts Heineken in such a good light for their company's hiring policies. 

This reminded me of my first job where I worked in a radio station (before the corporate folks came in and took the fun out of working in radio!). We use to have monthly parties to 'honor' an employee but it was more like a roast with jokes, stories and the employee would get some goofy prize. We'd take a break from work, laugh and connect with each other outside of our jobs. 

They did lots of things like that to promote our company morale but it all ended once the corporation took over. It's good to see companies still willing to have a bit of fun :)

timbo1973
timbo1973

Hi Danny I've experienced working for employers that really value their employees and ones that don't. I know which ones I'd rather work for! The recruitment policy for the last place I worked at seemed to be, get bums on seats and as cheaply as possible. That led to a lack of professional experience and a high staff turnover and was a truly miserable place to work at times. On the other hand, the employer prior to that engaged with their employees, recruited sensibly and created a "Centre of Excellence". It meant that everybody wanted to be employed there.

Quotes love life
Quotes love life

Fab post. Most people would not think twice before taking up a job with such a company.

music2work2
music2work2

That was a fabulous commercial - I'm going to go out and drink Heineken tonight - just one thing though - I think you'll find that Heineken is Dutch! ;-p

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

jonharules Agreed, miss, especially in today's marketplace. While there's still very much room for the traditional resume, looking beyond that can only benefit all parties, which Heineken seems to understand. Here's to more like them.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

penneyfox You know, it's strange - if companies would just realize that you don't have to be this big behemoth just because your size suggests you should be. Like you say, people are people regardless of what industry - so why not let them be so?

Danny Brown
Danny Brown moderator

@penneyfox You know, it's strange - if companies would just realize that you don't have to be this big behemoth just because your size suggests you should be. Like you say, people are people regardless of what industry - so why not let them be so?

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

timbo1973 The ironic thing is, these companies think they're saving money by reducing the quality process during the hiring stage. And yet the money it costs to train new employees to replace the disgruntled ones - not to mention the severance packages - adds a lot more to the top line than it would to look after employees. Hey ho...

Danny Brown
Danny Brown moderator

@timbo1973 The ironic thing is, these companies think they're saving money by reducing the quality process during the hiring stage. And yet the money it costs to train new employees to replace the disgruntled ones - not to mention the severance packages - adds a lot more to the top line than it would to look after employees.

Hey ho...

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Dammit! Of course it is - why the heck did I think they were German?? Gah, clearly I need to stop drinking while blogging. :)

penneyfox
penneyfox

Danny Brown I know - its funny how things change when the corporate world takes over your building. I stuck it out that world for over three years before I left to open my own business. I learned a lot but saw that I could do things better for my clients. Proud to say I've been in business since 1991!  BUT like I said before, I like to see things like this. Maybe this means we're heading back into place where companies can have a good laugh and treat their employees like people not just a number on a paycheck.

penneyfox
penneyfox

@Danny Brown I know - its funny how things change when the corporate world takes over your building. I stuck it out that world for over three years before I left to open my own business. I learned a lot but saw that I could do things better for my clients. Proud to say I've been in business since 1991! 

BUT like I said before, I like to see things like this. Maybe this means we're heading back into place where companies can have a good laugh and treat their employees like people not just a number on a paycheck.