22nd June 2018

Building a Strong Employer Brand for long term Success

Blog post

HR Technologist has published an article on building a strong employer brand, written by our very own Mike Roe!

Recruiting new employees is a time consuming and expensive process. According to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management, employers spend on average the equivalent of six to nine months of an employee’s salary to find and train a replacement.

Other additional costs most businesses don’t consider during the hiring process are productivity costs – i.e., the necessary time new employees need until they can perform at full capacity – and opportunity costs, which are essentially lost business opportunities from a lack of sufficient human resources.

Furthermore, high employee turnover translates into lower productivity, increased costs and workflow disruptions. All of these, of course, have a significant effect on the bottom line and company growth.

To avoid this situation, progressive companies are adopting an employee-centric strategy and investing significant resources into employee retention and loyalty programmes.

It’s no secret that happy, engaged and empowered employees are more productive, demonstrate greater loyalty and deliver better performance, enabling the company to grow and stay ahead of the competition.

However, many organizations are still focusing their retention strategy solely on various perks and benefits, ranging from exotic holidays to free drinks and food or unlimited holiday time.

But as cool and nice these benefits are to have, they are not the leading factors that keep employees satisfied long-term.

Company culture and values, career opportunities and senior leadership are among the most important factors in garnering staff loyalty and attracting new high-performance talent.

So how can companies develop their employer brand, attract the right talent and reduce staff turnover?

When it comes to your ‘employer branding,’ ignorance can come at a steep price…

The first step in building a strong, inspiring employer brand should be a thorough assessment of the current company culture, what drives and inspires employees and what are the areas that need improving .

The primary source for these insights should be your employees. They are the ones handling the day-to-day activity, and they can provide valuable information about the company’s strong points and potential weaknesses.

By encouraging your staff to identify the difficulties and dysfunctions encountered in their work and asking them to propose improvement initiatives you might discover a new strategic direction you haven’t considered before.

Also, employees will feel their voice and opinions matter, and you’ll get an accurate view of what tactical improvements are needed. Besides, employees whose ideas are repeatedly ignored tend to quit and take their ideas with them.

Organizational X-ray

In the past, this kind of organizational X-ray was an expensive and time-consuming process. Now, thanks to technology, you don’t need to wait six months for a traditional consultancy report that is instantly out of date.

Nowadays forward-thinking business leaders rely on smart, innovative diagnostic tools that cut through the noise and deliver razor sharp insights you can use to define strong, compelling company culture and employer brand, and ultimately, increased organizational performance.

No matter what technology you choose, the most important thing is for employees to feel secure when they provide insight and feedback. Confidentiality and anonymity are key. In this way, you’ll learn their honest views and not what they think you want to hear.

Once you understand what exactly is happening in your organization regarding employee engagement, operations, organizational and hierarchical structures and performance, you’re ready to define an outline of where you are now, what you would like your employer brand to be and the steps required to get there.

Most organizations place the employer brand under the responsibility of the HR department. The reality is that everyone is responsible for the company culture and your brand as an employer. It starts with the senior management team, and it’s dispersed through all organizational layers.

Employer brand values cannot be forced onto employees. They have to be true and accurate and reflect on how your organization treats its employees . Without the support of a leadership team that leads by example and acts in line with brand values, even the very best internal and external communication campaigns won’t be able to change your image and garner staff loyalty.

Internal and external brand messages

Another important aspect to keep in mind when building a powerful employer brand is a close alignment between the external and internal communications strategies promoted by your organization.

If there is a clear discrepancy between the image you present to the world and how your employees view the company, your brand will have a confusing message, and it will fail to engage both external and internal stakeholders.

Remember your employees can either be your organization’s strongest brand ambassadors, or your biggest critics .

Also, staff will not become highly engaged overnight. To successfully shape your employer brand you need to invest in your existing employees and make sure they understand and adhere to the company’s values and mission.

Furthermore, an engaging employer brand keeps pace with the changing needs of the workforce and adapts accordingly. To achieve this, you need to take the pulse of the organization regularly and assess how your brand needs to grow and develop.

The reality is that companies that adopt an employee-first mentality have a better chance of attracting top talent, building employee loyalty, and, ultimately, inspiring consumers to engage with their brand.

It’s up to you to find the right strategy for building an employer brand that keeps employees motivated and engaged.


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