Managing organisational reputation is an imperative in a dynamic and competitive environment. Smart companies monitor and control how both stakeholders and potential candidates see them. Not just in how they are presented online, but how the employer brand presents a holistic picture of the company culture and the vision, values and goals they espouse.
The employee experience matters because good staff are the basis of your success, so hiring and keeping the best has to be a priority. A poor level of employee engagement affects productivity, employment and training costs, collaboration, creativity and innovation. This matters more than ever now because of our changed ways of working.
Freelance and contract workers will make up almost half the workforce by 2020 and that mobile talent know their worth, what is on offer from your competitors and they choose where and when they work based on careful research into your reputation and employer brand. There’s an opportunity to improve talent management and employee retention by working out what matters most to your potential employees and using a robust employer branding strategy to make it clear that they’re a great place to work.
What the workforce wants
A Fortune 500 report affirms that, regardless of employment type, today’s professionals seek inclusivity, transparency, humility and managers who view them as more than just a role description.
The big thing you need to do this year is to make good use of the data you gather from monitoring your employer brand strategy initiatives and measuring changes in employee engagement. HR have a wealth of information available to them but often are not very confident about using it effectively to influence the business, they tend to be reactive in answering stakeholders need rather than using their knowledge proactively.
To add weight to employer branding initiatives you need a robust understanding of the data available, sadly HR are often not well placed to undertake this sort of analysis – they don’t always know what they have, in terms of data, and whether it is accurate. When you are looking at employee experience, engagement and employer brand it’s important to make sure you understand what data you have and what it is telling you.
It’s about asking the right questions and providing data to address the real problems that you want to tackle. The employer brand strategy team need to understand the data, assess for validity, then manipulate and present that data so it provides a simple but credible storyboard that makes the senior leadership team sit up and take notice.
Giving the workforce a voice
Employer branding puts a focus on the voice of your people and is vital in enabling you to represent the workforce, and their attitudes and opinions, on critical issues at the leadership level. Ask yourself – what do we need to know about our people and what do we need to do about it? That ought to drive change to make things better for the workforce.
The organisation’s employer brand is the strategic basis of all employment messages, so take the time to understand and develop an understanding of the brand. The brand message needs to align with the reality of the organisation as a workplace and reflect the real experience of current employees (who are potential brand ambassadors) and attract potential employees.
Be aware that if you feel you have been reasonably successful, you can’t rest on your laurels. Change is the only certainty in the current environment. Don’t suppose that the strength of your overall brand is set in stone. The way we work is changing; the workforce is changing, work methods are evolving, so ensuring that your employer brand truly represents your culture, environment, values and vision is imperative.