Whether you are approaching your new hires or want to vamp up you employee branding strategy for current employees, here's the foundation for investing into your employer brand the right way.
You’ve seen them. The line of eager fans waiting to watch their favorite cult classic in a theater (even though they can easily watch it at home). Perhaps you’ve been one of them. The fanfare, community-building, shared joy and fun experience make it a no-brainer to stand in line and get out your wallet. No doubt there’s a bit of magic in the experience.
This cultural swooning over a beloved brand or film is a sensibility your company can adopt to instill a similar sense of emotional investment and belonging amongst your employees. Environment is infectious. HR managers, Directors of Experience , marketers (or whoever is on your employee branding team) can influence and create a fresh and attractive employee brand.
Employer Branding: Laying the Right Foundation
Employer branding is a way to stamp your organization with company values, its mission and sentiment. It’s more than just office culture. You know it when you see it and you’ll feel it when you don’t.
In fact, it’s an embodiment of core values and sensibilities that permeates within the work environment, micro-actions and consumer and client relationships.
Branding has been part of company and corporation building for hundreds of years, even if it was secondary to achievement and growth. Yes, way back in 1600, The United East India Company (The Vereenige Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC)) was the biggest corporation ruling the financial world for over 200 years. It was the trademark of a stable and successful business, and young men clamored toward the value proposition of stability and growth in a job there. No, your company doesn’t have to dominate the world to be a great employee brand, but it does need to commit to a few organizational tenets in both spirit and action.
You need to know how to implement a good employee branding strategy as those processes and practices are integral to success. But first and foremost, an overarching commitment to alignment is the start of a solid employee brand. What exactly does this mean?
You can bypass the “systems-thinking” and instead view brand value propositions holistically from recruitment, onboarding, team interaction, managerial interaction, productivity, investment in growth endeavors and, above all, a vision. Make sure your organization is fully on board with this commitment - succeed at promoting your HR challenges to the rest of the organization with these tactical tips.
Companies that stand for what’s important to employees today create a longer and more productive employee lifecycle. Retention increases as does loyalty. New employees are 40% less likely to leavethe first six months if there’s a solid employer brand.
Commit to sustainability- Align across every area of business from manufacturing practices to office guidelines. Harness employee professional development days that innovate sustainability practices. Offer employees across departments the opportunity to collaborate and drive the brand actions, goals and message.
Commit to diversity- Create recruitment funnels with cross-functioning teams from all areas of your corporation. Every member of your company can use her skill set to be an ambassador for diverse and talented new hires and employees.
Envision a great sense of community? Today, most companies are grabbing hold of community creation and brand responsibility for it. Non-profit initiatives, volunteer work for team building and collaboration have become tacit parts of great employer brand reputation.
Work on the work-life balance- One of the most compelling drivers of employee satisfaction and success is transparency. More men than ever before are taking a parental leave while the majority of working couples also have dependents. The schism between working hard for your employer without consideration of family needs is an outdated mindset. An employer brand that encourages employees to be transparent with family needs and work-life balance creates a setting that supports and nurtures staff in the long-term.
Emotional Investment Begins with Connection in Shared Values And Purpose
A shared vision starts with shared values. Beginning from the recruitment process, your values already express themselves through job descriptions that market to your dream employees. Compare two targeted descriptions below.
An industry-speak spec:
“Work well in a collaborative environment and value sustainability, at times working in teams to ensure product meets standards.”
Vs. a purpose-driven job spec:
“You’re passionate about sustainable ocean practices and how our brand can continue to innovate our product together with our customers to decrease overfishing. You thrive in an open door, collaborative environment.”
When you market to the right candidate and show exactly how their position is integral to your brand values, you create a foundation for speaking directly about those shared values within the first interviews. You’ll also get a clearer sense of a candidate's emotional investment into those shared values, if you disclose them properly in the first place.
An employee value proposition (EVP) done right accentuates shared brand values and presents them to the wider world as well as candidate pool.
Things to include:
A clear outline of the purpose of your organization positioning the open role as its intrinsic part.
The special benefits offered at your company and a hint at the kind of office atmosphere you aim to promote.
The role of your organization in solving industry- and worldwide problems, as a part of your company mission.
You can always revamp and reinvent your internal employer brand for current employees to create a deeper emotional investment for your employer brand. In fact, the very action of taking up that commitment, can create better results. Mission driven employers exhibit 30% higher levels of innovation and 40% higher levels of retention.
Your Employees ARe an Extension of Your Brand
A candidate who loves your product will naturally become a cheerleader for your brand, as well as your organization on the whole. Referrals and word of mouth are recruitment gold today more than ever - with social referrals and online company reviews ruling the job market, make sure to prep for digital brand competition and snap up savvy candidates before someone else does. And once you have met your perfect candidate match? Don't waste any time letting them walk around your office disoriented - get going with "Cultureboarding" them ASAP.