• Transform magazine
  • May 25, 2019

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How HSBC NOW has raised the bank’s image as a great place to work

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With a culture change necessary post-banking collapse, HSBC had to reinvent its employee engagement. Thus HSBC NOW was born. Annie Bissett from MerchantCantos explains the development process

Join Bissett at the Employer Brand Management conference on 12 December. Attendees will learn from almost 20 in-house experts from global organisations who have mastered the art of managing their employer brands. To book your place, click here.

In today’s world, employee satisfaction isn’t enough. Employees seek emotional commitment and guidance throughout their career journeys while employers expect everyone to be aligned to the company’s vision and values internally.

Your employer brand is your first touchpoint to speak to your internal audiences; allowing you to communicate in a clear and coherent voice. Building trust through your brand communication will support and promote your business strategy and will allow you to reap the rewards. The overarching employer brand can also unlock your internal messaging to the outside world – enabling you to attract the best talent.

Creating a strong employer brand is a clear investment in order to remain competitive and to deliver results.

In 2011, HSBC embarked on the most significant change program in its 148-year history, unveiling a new business strategy amid unprecedented turmoil in the financial sector. Trust in banks hit an all-time low as a series of scandals rocked not only customer confidence but also the confidence of employees. Surveys showed that only 50% of employees trusted decisions made by top management at HSBC, which of course had an impact on the employer brand.

Taking action, the bank put values at the centre of its new global business strategy. But how could it introduce a global sense of community and a shared sense of purpose to unite 261,000 employees across more than 80 countries? It made employees the stars of the HSBC story and helped them to discover the passion and drama of the world they share. HSBC NOW is a weekly TV programme that does exactly that. It has employees at its heart, enabling them to tell their compelling stories of commitment, friendship and triumph over adversity both inside and outside the business. The programme has become essential viewing, regularly reaching a third of the bank’s employees.

As its popularity grew, employees wanted to share their stories with family and friends. In response, HSBC NOW was made available externally in May 2013. Today, it can be watched on YouTube and via Twitter and LinkedIn. An unexpected outcome has been the increased interest in employment at the bank. HSBC NOW gives an authentic and honest view of life inside the bank and through powerful storytelling it lets real people show what’s good about banking and what it means to work for HSBC.

Some of the results: 7 out of 10 employees feel more connected to HSBC after watching HSBC NOW; 10% increase in overall engagement for HSBC NOW viewers; 15 % increase in ‘Would recommend HSBC products and services to friends and family’; 15% increase in ‘Feel part of one global HSBC community’; Over 12m impressions on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Annie Bissett is client services director at MerchantCantos