A reasonable night sleep before the Summit. Felt really good this morning, this is our third employer branding event in Italy and I really enjoy the positve outlook of managers over here. They are very keen to learn best practice and it's always great to meet up with members of our EBI team based in Italy. Veronique, EBI's Senior Associate based in Paris has also flown in for the event so we have 7 of the EBI team here today.
I opened up the day and had a translator which is always fun! I shared 'Global trends in employer branding and the implications for leaders in Italy.' We then heard from Giuliano Noci, Professor of Marketing, Politecnico di Milano who spoke on 'Employer Branding: lessons from marketing discipline.'
Paolo Emilio Testa, Human Resources Director at HP delivered a really interesting presentation on, 'Building an effective Employer Value Proposition (EVP) to attract graduates to HP.' Following Paolo's presentation Eugenio facilitated a Q&A session about the morning presentations. Delegates are always very keen to learn what other companies are doing in Italy and it was a great way to lead us into the lunch break.
Following lunch we had a discussion between delegates and a panel of leaders from Microsoft, Vodafone and Ferrero which was facilitated by Barbara Demi, Partner ETLine e Associati. I also joined in the panel. The topic of discussion was, 'The impact of Employer Branding on retention: building internal loyalty and maintaining a valuable talent pool.' Each company provided an overview of what their company was doing to enhance retention and Barbara facilitated some interesting questions from the delegates.
Sonia Tramontana SEMEA Rewards Manager at Ceva Logistics then presented an indepth insight into, 'Re-branding – energise your workforce to support brand values through times of change.' I'm amazed at just how far Italian companies have progressed in Italian companies over the past 4 years I have been conducting events here. There is also more marketing and communication professionals at this years event which is also a good sign.
Kerry Noone, Senior Marketing Manager, Talent Acquisition Group, Sodexo Human Resources USA rounded off the Summit's presenters by delivering an excellent presentation on, 'Using social media to develop, leverage and strengthen your employer brand.' Sodexo's social media strategy is world class, as is its rercuiting function which was awarded the 2010 ERE Best Practices in Recruiting award. The Italian leaders are always keen to learn how the world's best companies are delivering their employer brand strategy and Kerry's presentation was extremely well received and no doubt will inspire leaders to invest in social media. It is a relative new field for Italian companies.
We concluded the Summit by presenting the EBI Employer Branding Excellence - National Awards - Italy. The 'Excellence in Employer Brand Strategy' award was presented to Microsoft. Congratulations! It is our first year for the Employer Branding Excellence Awards in Italy and we look forward to growing the awards in 2011 to continue to recognise the development of the employer branding concept in Italy.
As is tradition, the EBI team headed our for a post Summit dinner. Eugenio found a great restauant not far from our hotel (Italy's like that!). It was a great way to round off 2 weeks in Italy and a successful Summit. I always enjoy connecting with members of EBI in person and everyone gets along really well. This year we had team members from Australia, USA, Italy and France with us in Milan.
Tomorrow is the long hall back to Australia via a day stop over in Hong Kong before we are back there in early June. I have two weeks now to work on completing my new book and to get ready before I fly out to the USA on 14 June.
A wonderful time in Italy once again! Ciao!
Weather perfect again, though the hayfever is killing me! We spent the morning having a great look around Bologne. Eugenio and I had an excellent strategy session and have a good year of activities mapped out for 2010/2011. We then finalised preparations for the Summit before our drive into Milan.
On our arrival to Milan which Eugenio says takes 2hrs but always takes 3-4hr! we went straight to Politecnico di Milano, the venue for tomorrow's Employer Branding Summit. It's a beautiful University, rich in tradtion. It was great to meet up with our contacts at the University once again, they are such a friendly team. Their careers services continues to grow in headcount and I would rate it as world's best practice. They have 15+ staff providing careers services for students and companies are well integrated into the careers programs, everyone wins! It's alot different to our Universities back in Australia where career services appear to rank low in the services chain for students.
Andrea and I met up with Kerry Noone (Sodexo USA) and her husband Kevin and headed out for a coffee. Kerry and Kevin had only arrived earlier that day from the USA and had already spent a day touring the city. Kerry is a member of the EBI Advisory Board. I really enjoyed meeting Kerry in person as we have only previously had the chance to connect virtually previously.
23 March 2010
Had a typical nights sleep before the Summit, jetlag starting to work it's magic!
We arrived at the venue early and amazed to see the level of energy amongst the staff at Deloitte so early in the morning. The environment when you walk through the front doors is welcoming and energetic, no wonder staff hit the ground running when they start so early in the morning.
Gert de Beer, Leader Human Capital Consulting, Deloitte opened the Summit and I delivered the opening presentation on Global Employer Branding trends and implications for leaders in South Africa. I catergorised trends as offline and online, the relationships and where leaders needed to explore further so they were better prepared as the trends emerge.
I then put on my Summit Chair hat and was pleased to introduce David Comeradie who is the Director Human Capital at Deloitte who presented "Employer Brand best practices: a decade of lessons from the Deloitte Best Company to Work For Survey." David had some really interesting statistics in his presentation and some great insights into employee engagement.
Heather Polivka, Director of Employer Branding at United Health Group gave an engaging presentation on “The role of leadership in employer branding.” Heather shared the key learnings from the employer brand strategic journey UnitedHealth Group have been on for the past two years and discussed how leadership is key to developing and implementing your strategy effectively.
Prior to the lunch break, Peter Schmitt, Managing Director, tribalfish presented on, The impact of employer branding on employee engagement & corporate performance” and used an interesting story to connect the theme of his presentation.
We had lunch outside on a landing deck with an amazing view.
There were some minor renovations during the lunch break as the couch and chairs were brought in the for the panel discussion on, "The impact of Employer Branding on retention: building internal loyalty and maintaining a valuable talent pool." The panel was moderated by Alan Hosking, Editor HR Future and I was joined on the panel by Gillian Hofmeyr, Director Human Capital, Deloitte, Heather Polivka, Director of Employer Branding, United Health Group and Prenai Pillay, Talent Attraction Consultant ABSA. Alan did a wonderful job of keeping the discussion flowing and there was excellent interaction with the delegates. The panel provided a number of best practice approaches for developing and implementing your employer brand strategy and the diversity in approaches in different parts of the world was a highlight.
The afternoon presentations were opened by Lance Petersen, Human Resources, SAP and followed by Aiden Choles - Conversation Agent, The Narrative Lab. Lance presented, "Articulation of a global employer brand in a local environment at SAP South Africa." He showed a video of the work SAP are doing in South Africa to mobilise the small business bakeries around rural South Africa to improve business efficiencies. It was quite evident SAP were also changing the lives of the business owners and their communities as well. There were a few tears in the audience and I must say it is one of the most moving stories I have heard on how employer branding is impacting employers, employees, clients and their communities. Aiden concluded the Summit with an intresting presentation on “Why stories & conversation strengthen the employer brand. Aiden's approach of story telling is unique and impactful in discovering what truly makes organisations 'a great place to work.'
We are really pleased with the outcomes of the Summit. There is an enormous amount of work required in making these events a success and it was made all the more enjoyable by the relationships developed between the event partners, speakers and event management team collaborating across 3 countries to bring the event together. This is our second employer branding event in South Africa and it's great to see the adoption and development of the employer brand concept by many companies and leaders in South Africa.
I headed back to the airport and due to road works for the World Cup a 40 minute journey turned into 3 hours but it was another chance to learn more about this wonderful city from one of the locals - I find the taxi drivers the best tour guides in all the cities I visit.
A special thanks to our event hosts and partner, Deloitte who were exceptional hosts and made everyone feel very welcome and went out of their way to ensure the Summit was a success. Their Johannesburg headquarters has one of the most inviting physical work environments I have come across, if you're in Johannesburg, it's worth a visit! Thanks to our event partners as well who have been a fantastic team of people to work with:tribalfish, IPM, Employer Branding Online, Employer Brand International, mbaconnect.net, Jobs.co.za, HR Future and the narrative lab,
Our next Summit is in Milan, Italy on 27 May 2010. Details can be found by clicking here>
South African Tour diary (continued)
Employer Brand Global Masterclass European Tour - October 2009
To watch Brett's interview in Germany please click here>
Follow the tour photo deck please click here>
7 events in 6 cities in 5 countries over 20 days - Thank you to all of our event partners and guest speakers who shared the journey with me during the Employer Brand Global Masterclass 2009 European Tour. We appreciate your kind hosting and the opportunity to collaborate in employer branding with you.
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