Many of you may have heard about the ongoing pro-European protests in Ukraine. Since the country’s government made a u-turn on its way toward Europe on November 21, 2013, the people have being out in the streets nonstop. Interestingly, after the authorities tried removing the protesters from the capital’s main square violently in the wee hours of Saturday, November 30, the protesters did not go away.
Not ony were those people not scared, they actually grew in numbers with more and more citizens turning against the violent and undemocratic, as they now discovered, regime and supporting the protesters.
When we look at Russia or Belarus we see a few small groups of brave, desparate oppositionists, when we look at Ukraine we see hundreds of thousands, if not millions. Ukrainians read their history books mindfully, it seems, as they keep saying silence creates monsters and wish to stay silent about the violations by the regime no more.
But why aren’t they afraid? Not afraid to be beaten up, be arrested, die. Well, they managed to change the president in 2004, when mass protests against election fraud actually made a difference. Maybe now these people know they can change the politics of the country should they just protest long and massively enough. Or maybe the 1930s manmade famine taught them that silent obedience is deadly any way.
Curiously, many Ukrainians consider Ukraine a democracy, they like American movies and TV shows, are equipped with most recent gadgets, follow global fashion trends and like the Internet. Being a part of the global culture today means knowing the perks of the democratic values. And it feels like Ukrainians think they live in a democratic country, while the authorities think they rule a Russia.
Ukrainians have learned the power of the Internet, they use social networks to spread the information about the upcoming protests, about the lies of the government and abuse of power going on. But unlike Egyptians, who are also known to use social networking in their political movements, Ukrainians are also fans of Gandhi’s idea of a peaceful protest. Most of the people protesting are well-educated and know better than be provoked to use violence against the riot police.
But most importantly, the publicity that Internet provides has robbed these people of fear. They know that with the right cause, any violations will blow up the Internet and they can reach whoever - even Obama - in a matter of hours. These people are not afraid, these people say we shall not abide by the criminal orders. Which is extraordinary, really, given the Milgram experiment recreation in 2007 gave the same shocking results of high levels of obedience.
These Ukrainian people are probably too educated to think avoiding the problem can get it sorted. Which is no less than a great achievement for both the global educational system and social psychology, as now we know how powerful knowledge makes individuals.
Marianna Yarosh, Head of the HR Brand Ukraine Awards, is our next guest in Four Questions With Maria Ivanova. Marianna talks about HR trends in Ukraine, unconventional HR instruments and the hardships HR may face at work.
Dear Marianna, which HR methods are most popular in Ukraine these days?
M.Y.: The most current trend for the majority of the companies is professional training and personal growth. More than a half of the projects HR Brand Ukraine Awards evaluates are training programs - both large-scale ones (including the creation of corporate universities with multi-level education system) and more targeted campaigns, like training only for the most promising employees, e.g. top management. Another popular HR trend in Ukraine is encouraging the employees to share their ideas about business development, inside-company life, etc. The companies often hold contests and implement the best ideas. Another focus of the HR departments in Ukraine is the Y generation. These active and ambitious young people are lured in by internships and competitions. They can move up from middle to top manager in no time. Social and charity projects are also popular. Additionally, HR Brand Ukraine Awards noticed a growing tendency to measure the results of the work of the HR departments.
Marianna, as your profesional interests include employer branding, can you tell the Welcometomentalward readers which international companies are the most successful examples of employer branding?
M.Y.: According to Great Place to Work and Universum, who create best employer ratings every year, Google, Zappos.com, KPMG, Ernst & Young, Microsoft are among the best. Everyone’s aware of the “complaints” of Google employees - too much food or too large PC screens obstructing the beautiful view out of the window. One has to work long and hard to attract and retain talented employees. These companies offer good compensation packages, quite special corporate culture. Some of them might not even be that special, but they managed to convey their EVP [Employee Value Proposition] to the employees. Everyone wants to work for these companies. For young people it’s their lucky ticket into the future. Employer branding is not fast, but it works in the long term. It’s vital that a company’s CEO participates in the process.
What are the most unconventional HR methods you have ever come across?
M.Y.: I really like inexpensive but working solutions. One of the examples would be Give Your Colleague a Plant. The campaign was both a team-building exercise and eco-friendly initiative. Ideas ofered by the employees themselves are very efficient. Trips to foster homes, for example. For future employees it’s important to provide a good website, to show them what they can expect from the company. Another great idea is brading of an HR project itself. For example, if a company launches a foreign language class, it’s better if it has its very own logo, branded souvenirs, stationery. This is very engaging and creates the feeling that the company cares for its employees. Instruments like these are what forms a company’s brand as an employer.
What is the hardest part of being an HR?
M.Y.: The most difficult is hearing and understanding what the employees need. And coordinate that with the company policy. It is also important that all employees in the company understand the role of HR department. HR professional has to be employees’ best friend in the company, listening to them, finding a compromise and making their life at work better.
by Maria Ivanova
What? You need a fix for this one nasty day you are having and you don’t think anything would help? CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!
1. Hop on a city train. Destination doesn’t matter - it’s the ride that gives you the time to clear head in a relaxed, predictable setting.
2. Scroll through those People Having a Really Bad Day picture collections - some of those are bound to make you laugh!
3. Get yourself some chocolate money! Because who doesn’t love chocolate money?:)
4. Go to a hairdresser’s, get your nails done, or ask a friend to braid your hair - feels good when someone’s taking care of you.
5. Watch a kitten video. Believe it or not, I even have one ready for ya.
6. Throw things out. Just raid your apartment for stuff you no longer need or can use and just throw it away already - clear you karma;)
7. Say thank you. Gratefulness is an unexpected way to feel better. Send a thank you card, remember something you’d like to thank someone for and make their day a little bit better. And watch the warmth and positivity return to you.
8. WatchRead more
Today Four Questions With Maria Ivanova returns with a feature on Olga Mets, marketing director at HeadHunter. We asked Olga about her marketing experience and the future of the industry.
Dear Olga, can you name one marketing principle you consider to be the core one for effective advertisement?
O.M.: The one core principle would be measuring - all the activities that you perform and all the channels that you use. Actually, there are three main principles, and they are closely related - measuring, collecting the data, comparing… and measuring again.
In one of your previous interviews you mentioned the successful HR-branding of HeadHunter - our readers would be curious to know which of the in-company marketing projects turned out to be the most successful?
In brand building, and especially in HR branding, success is all about consistency and continuity of what you do. For example, we have some excellent events, like a company birthday celebration or the New Year parties. People are travelling from our offices in other regions and countries.
These events are bright and big. They are professionally organised, real parties (trust me, I would know what a good party is). They stick in one’s memory.
Every year all the employees of HeadHunter are looking forward to the celebrations, prepared in advance, it’s a hussle. But they wouldn’t be that engaged and inspired if hundreds of smaller activities and projects weren’t implemented throughout the year. Some of them are educational, some - motivational or increasing responsibility. But all of the projects are united by this one idea - working in an innovative, leading company, being as effective at work as possible while living a comfortable life.
During the November 29 press conference in Kyiv you talked about the emerging generation Y and how their needs and aspirations differ from values and goals of the previous geenration. Which marketing methods do you think will be applicable for this target audience and to what extent they would differ from the ones used before?
Generation Y wants more flexibility, more engagement, more mobility. They seem to be much more socialized - thanks to Facebook they know more people and build social connections much easier. But this kind of socializing differs significantly from what we usually think of when we say corporate socializing. Thus, HR managers will need to find new communication and motivation tools to cooperate effectively with this new generation.
To continue the topic of fresh trends, I’d like to ask how self-marketing strategies have changed over the last couple decades and which trends do you believe have the future?
I believe there is no change in strategies (and never will be) – be effective, make others know about what you do, share you experience, learn something new all the time. There are some changes in the instruments, but they are insignificant. I’d say now there are much more channels for self-marketing than 10 years ago and they are available for wider range of professions.
Holiday DIY Psychology
by Maria Ivanova
Whoever came up with the idea of selling Christmas decorations that require you o paint them on your own is either a genius or a Dan Ariely fan. In his Coursera course on irrational behaviour (as well as numerous scientific papers) prof. Ariely explains that when something requires an effort we like it more.
He takes IKEA as an example. After we’ve struggled with putting the pieces together we actually love the furniture way more than we would’ve liked the same piece of furniture should we just bought it from the store fully essembled.
Carin Perilloux, David M. Buss
This study examined differences between men and women, and between individuals experiencing rejection and individuals doing the rejecting in romantic relationship break-ups. We tested fourteen evolution-based predictions about romantic breakups using data from 193 participants.