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09 Nov 2016

Keeping It Real at REA to Attract and Engage

REA Group, the company behind realestate.com.au and other leading property sites, is one of the most sought after companies to join – earlier this year LinkedIn named REA Group as one of the 25 most desirable companies to work for in Australia.

In a recent project to reveal the new REA Group values across nine countries, Barb Hyman and her team have used digital channels (Slack, Jive and Wordcloud) to engage their employees. Importantly, these values have been articulated and communicated in a way which is sensitive to the diversity of their employee base and reflective of their new value to ‘keep it real’. Ahead of her session at HR Tech Fest 2016, Barb gives us an insight into their values project and how they’ve used customer experience principles to drive engagement.

Can you tell us a bit about your values project?

Earlier in 2016 we kicked off a values renewal project with a group of passionate culture champions, both local and global. The intent was to reveal the values we live by every day and integrate those with our aspirational values that will secure our future culture.

While there are a number of projects my team has launched in the business over the last 12 months, we knew that this was the project that was the most critical to get right in terms of how we did it.  The key commitment we made was that this was going to be done inclusively and was going to come from our people.

We had more than 600 contributions in total and over 200 vox pops from across the globe. They were held via multiple intranet and messenger discussions online and in focus groups to zone in on particular areas.

How have you used CX principles in all this?

REA Group is best known for its Australian property websites and apps that help people reimagine the property experience, making every step of their property journey simple, efficient and stress-free. Being a digital media business, we want our people’s experience to mirror our consumer experience – that is, we want every step of our candidate, offeree and employee lifecycle, to feel simple, efficient and stress free.

In redefining our values, we were conscious to use accessible language that would be understood by multiple cultures and languages. For example, in the launch of our parental leave offer, the artwork was created specifically by one of our employees. To really communicate the ground-breaking nature of the offer internally, we created a video that captured some of our people’s reactions to hearing the new offer (six months’ full pay to the primary carer, three months’ pay for the secondary carer).

In addition, we’ve developed a unique template for policies which looks and reads nothing like a policy. We call it our ‘nitty gritty’.

How does all this tie in with your ‘Keep it Real’ value?

We’re committed to using language that’s authentic and real, and we like to use our people to tell the story wherever possible. For traditionally dry topics, we find using our people to help communicate the message and ‘bring it to life’ not only keeps it real, but keeps it interesting!

What advice would you give to a team looking to do the same kind of thing in their organisation?
  • Have a conversation with your people in their language and in the channels that they use
  • Be bold
  • Do less and do it really well

About the Author

  • Barb Hyman

  • Barbara Hyman is EGM People and Culture at REA Group.

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