We’ve shown in this series of articles that employer brand is a powerful tool in shaping corporate culture and helping employees to internalise corporate values; and is invaluable in engaging employees and aligning talent management with business strategy. The positive correlation between employer brand and employee engagement has been recognised by a number of academic studies.
So, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Heger conducted an empirical study which identified a relationship between a strong Employment Value Proposition (EVP), the core component of employer brand, and respondents’ level of engagement. The study showed that employee engagement is largely influenced by an organisation’s EVP, in that EVP attributes (elements appealing to employees) serve to motivate a firm’s workforce (Heger, 2007).
A 2011 study found that in companies with developed employer brand, employees are more actively engaged in decision-making and management process (Kucherov & Zavyalova, 2011).
Tailor your strategy
All investors know that an enterprise’s value depends on the quality of their workforce but it is also plain that different elements of employer brand have varied impact on overall organisational performance, so it is important to articulate the desired outcomes so as to tailor the employer brand strategy for effectiveness and efficiency. Key to success in influencing productivity outcomes is effective communication of the employer branding message.
Organisations invest in employer branding in order to attract high-quality applicants, retain high performing employees and build an image as a great employer. In the UK employer expectations of their brand strategy include improved recruitment and retention rates and benefits to the service delivered to commercial customers; the metrics used to calibrate success are those such as cost-per-hire, time-to-fill, and turnover rates.
It is in the area of engagement that benefits are most obvious. Employer branding affords a strategic framework incorporating both marketing and human resource management that enables an organisation to attract, retain, and motivate high-performing employees. Robust employer branding enhances employee engagement and satisfaction, and as result improves production efficiency because the employer brand creates a great employee experience value for talented people.
Purpose and pride
In essence effective employer branding ensures that employees are brand ambassadors. It is becoming more and more important that employees identify with the brand and that positive attitude towards the organisation can result in greater creativity and innovation.
A 2013 study by the Temkin Group found that engaged employees are very valuable. When compared with disengaged employees, highly engaged employees are more than three times as likely to do something good for their employer even if it’s not expected of them:
- Almost three times as likely to make a recommendation about an improvement at work
- More than 2.5 times as likely to stay late at work if something needs to be done
- More than two times as likely to help someone else at work.
It can be difficult to quantify the return on investment and just filling vacancies is no guarantee of success. The objective is to ensure employees’ ability to deliver on organisational strategy, offering superior service, or other performance targets. Employer branding activities must focus on more than attraction and retention if they are to deliver sustained and enhanced performance expectations. A well-defined brand unites employees and creates a feeling of shared purpose and pride in the organisation that is a powerful advantage in a competitive marketplace.
Ready to measure the correlation between employer brand equity and business performance? Check out The Employer Brand Index.