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)
22 March 2010
Had speakers meeting this morning, was great to meet Lance from SAP and reconnect with Alan Hosking from HR Future.
Following the meeting I filmed a short promo video for the Summit with Prenai and Heather and Peter on the lens. I also did a video with Heather interviewing her on the case study of UnitedHealth Group for my new book.
It took us a while to set up the impromptu film set but we got there in the end! Today was a public holiday in South Africa, not too many people around.
Met Charna from Deloitte consulting who showed me around Deloitte's new HQ. Amazing work environment, open plan, lots of connecting spaces and the entrance really sets it off.
It rained really hard this afternoon, just as I was walking back from the place where I went to book in for a massage, could you believe it was closed!
We're all set for a great Summit tomorrow and then it's the long haul back to Australia!
21 March 2010
Spent some time connecting with the world and catching up on what's on in Johannesburg this week.
Went shopping at Mandela Square for an hour and stayed 3! The place is enormous with an excellent range of shopping. It's prices are somewhere like you'd find in Switzerland!
I saw a hot air balloon from my hotel window this morning and wondered what it was all about. Apparently there are 3 of them in Johannesburg and you can take a ride which takes you up 250m off the ground, whilst staying tied to the ground. Still a great birds eye view of Johannesburg and Sandton........and the storm that looked like it was about 15 minutes away. Glad it was only a 5 minute tide. Price of the flight was only USD$9 which I thought was quite cheap, so I advised them to triple the price during the period of the world cup because somehow I don't think $9 flights will provide a healthy ROI! The staff working the ride were very cool!
Came across some weird looking bike riders on a walk this afternoon. And doesn't matter where you go you can't miss Tiger Woods!
The place is gearing up for the Soccer World Cup and it is set to go off in two months time. Soccer gear is selling like hot cakes!
Found a great place for pre-Summit massage tomorrow.
A few of the EBI team are heading out for dinner tonight along with some of our South African partners. Should be a good night!
20 March 2010
Off we go again on the next leg of the Employer Brand Global Tour, our first event for 2010.
Looking forward to today's flight out to Johannesburg via Melbourne. I conducted a masterclass in Johannesburg around the same time last year and this year Deloitte is hosting our Employer Branding Summit on 23 March 2010. We have over 50 delegates registered for Summit and it's a very diverse range of companies so its shaping up to be a great event. I really look forward to meeting in person many of the people I connected with virtually and it will be great to connect with EBI Team members Heather Polivka (Director Employer Branding, UnitedHealth Group) who is flying in from USA and Prenai Pillay (Talent Attraction Consultant (ABSA Bank) who is based in Johannesburg. Flight has just been called so catch up when I get to Johannesburg.
Arrived in Johannesburg after 14 hour flight from Melbourne. Flew on the new 777, it was like a flying hotel. Had a great flight and arrived invigorated. Two hours later the jetlag sat in and was with the fairies by 8pm South African time, looking forward to exploring more of Johannesburg tomorrow.