A strong employer brand encourages recruitment of quality talent and builds effective employee engagement and employee retention. Engaged and committed employees are the vital ingredient in creating quality customer experiences.
The term “employer brand” came about during the mid 90’s. It now covers a range of strategies and activities to enhance the reputation of an organisation as an employer. It makes it easier as well as cheaper to hire and retain quality talent particularly in labour markets where skills and talent are in short supply.
Digital disruption and social media have helped link a company’s reputation with customer experiences and engagement.
Many organisations promote the quality and commitment of their employees in their consumer marketing. The strength of the employer brand can have a major impact on the pride, commitment and engagement levels of those employees involved in delivering a positive customer brand experience.
Building a strong employer brand
Building a strong employer brand requires more than promoting the fact that you offer a great place to work in your recruitment advertising. It requires shaping employee perceptions and behaviours based on the values that will make your organisation successful and aligning employee performance to these values.
If the reality is far from the promise then the brand and reputation will be damaged rather than enhanced.
Aside from the tangible changes you may need to make in terms of benefits or the workplace environment, it may mean a very fundamental shift in culture, attitudes and behaviours. This requires planning, commitment from the top and consistency in executing strategies. An organisation’s culture is one of its greatest assets but shifting it is no easy feat.
Defining core values
The first thing you will need to do is clearly define and articulate your core values. What will make your organisation successful for the benefit of all stakeholders including, customers, staff and shareholders? Employee performance and behaviours need to align with these values. In building a strong employer brand, it is important that you are promoting behaviours that align with company goals. Your talent strategies and your consumer strategies need to be based around the same core values.
Lead from the top by having executive leadership clearly set out expectations. Once the culture is established, it needs to be consistently shaped and re-invigorated across the entire enterprise. If the branding is inconsistent with the reality of working in your business, it will quickly fall apart and impact customers and your engagement strategies. A brand-led culture change needs to be reflected in all communications and everything you do.
Employee reward and recognition is a powerful tool when it comes to aligning employees your organisational mission and company goals. It can build a productive, creative and big thinking culture by increasing employees willingness to deliver discretionary effort. It shifts them from being motivated by just a paycheck, to actively contributing to larger company-wide goals.