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Newsletter #1028: The “Lessons from Employers” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

Like marketers, employers have to get creative to stand out from the competition, offer something worth talking about, and share the human side of their company.

Here’s how employers from Sears, Amazon, and Intel are doing it:

1. Be nice to your competition’s upset customers
2. Make a big statement
3. Tell a great story
4. Check it out: Common Mythconceptions

1. Be nice to your competition’s upset customers

Target’s having a tough time in Canada, and they’re closing a lot of their stores. That means a lot of Canadians are losing jobs. So to help, Sears Canada is offering Target employees the same discounts their workers get at Sears. They’re also encouraging the people who got laid off to apply for a job with them.

The lesson: That’s not just smart for recruiting new employees from Target’s recently unemployed. It also makes Sears look good in front of Target Canada’s newly displaced customers.

Learn more: The Wall Street Journal

2. Make a big statement

Each year, Amazon offers their warehouse employees up to $5,000 to quit their jobs. But it isn’t a layoff — it’s an opportunity to evaluate if they want to stick around. Amazon doesn’t necessarily want their employees to quit, but in the long run, if they don’t want to be there, it’s not good for the company anyway. And as it turns out, fewer than 10 percent of the employees who were offered the deal took it last year.

The lesson: A big offer like that says a lot about the kind of workplace Amazon wants to build. It also shows their customers they want things to be done right in the long term even if it costs them some money in the short term.

Learn more: CNN

3. Tell a great story

“If you tried to call Karthik Natarajan on his smartphone in his lab in Oregon, you simply would never get through. Ever, period. Karthik might as well be smiling at us from the dark side of the Moon.” That’s the beginning to a post on Intel’s corporate blog titled, “Where I Work: Cone of silence” (and it’s a good read). It explains in detail what goes on inside their RF Testing Lab, Karthik’s daily routine, and what he does for Intel products. That’s not just an employee bio on their “About Us” page, and it’s not just a quick description on a job posting — it’s a well-written, interesting story about a real Intel employee.

The lesson: Unless you’re already a part of the industry, it’s not easy to understand the work that goes on behind a big tech company like Intel. Great stories like these help put a human face to the work and give people a relatable, repeatable story to tell a friend.

Learn more: Intel’s Blog

4. Check it out: Common Mythconceptions

Good news: Swallowed gum doesn’t take seven years to digest, and it’s OK to swim right after you eat. Learn more about these myths — plus why you can safely wake up a sleepwalker — in this infographic from Information is Beautiful.

Check it out: Common Mythconceptions

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