In 2019, clients contacted CONSORT Group more often than before with a request to carry out various consultancy projects for them. Among the most interesting was a project aimed at improving the HR brand of a large food industry company in one of the Russian regions.
The reason for contacting CONSORT was a high staff turnover (over 50%), especially among blue collars, and the company’s negative image on the local labor market. Moreover, the grounds for this fact were not clear since the company’s salaries were even higher than the market’s and completely official, social benefits were good but staff still left for competitors after working for just a few months.
In an effort to find out the real state of affairs, our consultants began with the situation’s audit, during which relevant personnel documents were carefully studied, a large part of employees at various levels were asked to fill questionnaires (with an emphasis on rank-and-file employees and new staff), over forty people were personally interviewed — from blue collars to mid-level managers, both on the staff list and those who recently resigned. As a result of this time-consuming but significant work, we managed to establish the main reason: literally, all the HR functions in the company suffered from serious shortcomings. They seemed to exist but were implemented extremely inefficiently.
In particular, insufficient attention was paid to advising the team of the social programs offered by the company. It provided wide possibilities for sending employees on vacation, putting children in pre-school institutions, and providing material assistance, but this was used only by those who heard of it through the grapevine. When receiving a salary, it was not explained to staff why they were paid this or that allowance, what their income was made up of, and they were completely unaware of their career prospects. There were no grades, as a result of which a person who knew several professions was paid the same as his “mono-qualified” co-worker. Rank-and-file workers were offended: it was customary to honor an “important” employee with great fanfare on his/her birthday, but nobody even thought of congratulating ordinary blue collars … These flaws in internal communications produced a negative image of the company on the local market.
Based on the results of two and a half months of work, our consultants produced an analysis of the existing situation and offered recommendations on how to rectify the situation with the HR brand, as well as proposed follow-up support to eliminate identified bottlenecks. The client company expressed sincere gratitude for the assistance rendered, and agreed, practically, with all of our advice, and immediately started implementing them. As far as we know, after several months, there has been a steady improvement in the HR brand’s situation.
This project has convinced us that the HR branding expertise accumulated by CONSORT Group can be really useful for clients.